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Why Do Societies Give Up?

Jack2894 Wrote: Feb 14, 2013 11:43 AM
Roslyn, that's the myth. Wealth has been accumulating in fewer and fewer hands for decades now. ( Marx predicted a capitalist society would eventually end up with two extremes, a tiny wealthy minority and a huge, poor majority. This disparity would produce a revolution. The US, by growing a middle class, showed Marx was wrong. As we let the middle class deteriorate, we are proving him right. The choice is ours, but anyone who thinks the growing income disparity in the US is NOT a problem is making the wrong choice.

Why do once-successful societies ossify and decline?

Hundreds of reasons have been adduced for the fall of Rome and the end of the Old Regime in 18th-century France. Reasons run from inflation and excessive spending to resource depletion and enemy invasion, as historians attempt to understand the sudden collapse of the Mycenaeans, the Aztecs and, apparently, the modern Greeks. In literature from Catullus to Edward Gibbon, wealth and leisure -- and who gets the most of both -- more often than poverty and exhaustion implode civilization.

One recurring theme seems consistent in Athenian literature on the eve of the city's takeover...