Quote of the Day
I’ve always been puzzled by how many abandoned and buried cities there are. What happened to entire civilizations?
Now we are watching human population collapse in a number of countries.
Makes me wonder if all human civilizations fail for the same reasons. What would those reasons be?
My guess is that pockets of humans develop belief systems that drive success, but success creates space for diverse opinions, and then the winning mindset is destroyed.
That’s what is happening in America. Traditional American values — with all its flaws — created a strong country. Now we have the luxury of entertaining less productive mindsets that are destroying the foundation.
Maybe that happens to every civilization.
Scott Adams @ScottAdamsSays
Tweeted on March 29, 2023
Interesting hypothesis. I don’t see any obvious flaws. In our particular case, the ever increasing debt spent on unproductive things is a strong datapoint in support of this hypothesis.
The problem is that the pockets where population is collapsing (like Japan and South Korea) do not correlate with Adams’ hypothesis. They both are still very traditional cultures with little room for dissenting opinions.
The problems seem more economic. Most Japanese couples without children state that they can not afford children. Childbirth is not covered by Japanese health insurance. And, childcare is very difficult to find and expensive. Another issue is work culture. People are expected to work very long hours and then socialize with coworkers after work. Why would people even get married if they never get to see their spouses and children.
The primary reason that couples can’t afford children is due to taxes that are intended to pay for government social programs.
Prior to the 60’s, in the US, you could raise kids, have a wife at home, and buy a house on a single job. Not since then. If the wife has to work, kiss off having enough kids to maintain your population, let alone grow it. Allow unfettered abortion, and you end up importing workers to make up for it. (Japan doesn’t allow people to move there, essentially, so their numbers are dropping like the proverbial rock)
Socialism, in it’s many versions, is intended to take over the job of marriage, which is to support and raise children. They want control, and this is how they assume they can get it, and keep it. What you end up with is feral kids that only know how to destroy things. Can you say “circling the drain?” They also don’t teach history, so as to attempt to keep down the “pitchforks and torches” response from knowledgeable citizens.
All good and fine. The means of societal collapse have been written in human history. And everything that’s happening today is very easily identified as destructive.
An interesting note is that ours is being actively destroyed by the most ignorant of the human race. Were they all?
And for the first time we actually have the means to stop it. And the exact knowledge of whom is doing that destruction. But no will to act?
(Nobody said it was going to be easy.)
The real question is how do we learn and create a generation that is anti-fragile? So that society will be maintained as such?
I think the only way is through what Jesus said.
“The meek shall inherit the earth”. Meekness = power under control. Like him. You have to be powerful, and able to control yourself. Stand ready to sacrifice for that which is good, true, and beautiful.
We have to create a society that believes a handshake is more binding than a thousand page contract.
Like Josey Wales and Ten Bears. We have to put iron in our words again. And that we can be different and still live without butchering one another.
Hard times make hard men.
Hard men great good times.
Good times make soft men.
The “Winning” attitude is quickly replaced by the “Having Won” attitude. Challenge and merit is replaced with idle pursuits and excuses. This results in several decadent, self-indulgent, and weak generations, which precipitates collapse.
Reminds me of this quote from Heinlein:
Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded–here and there, now and then–are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is
kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as “bad luck.”
r/K selection theory explains it pretty well. His theory is a sub-set of that.
I think a lot more people know about the theory than let on.
Currently the collapse is turbo-charged by technology, globalism, and I suspect that there are people at the top (not just elected puppets, but the puppet-masters) who understand r/K and are using it to take down their enemies.
Totally agree on r/K theory. Read both of AC’s books (the one on Narcissists was spot-on and totally appropriate for the time in my life when I was dealing with an actual narcissist). Basically once the K’s have “had enough”, it’s lights out for the r’s. We’re fast approaching that time. OR, perhaps the K’s will simply “withdraw” from society (e.g., John Galt the whole thing) and the r’s can just wack each other. Sigh. It’s sad, but it is what it is.
Who is author “AC”?
Success and plenty allows a society to subsidize stupid and lazy. Do that long enough and the stupid and lazy will suck the life out of the successful. Add in the Dunning-Kruger effect, where the stupid people are TOO STUPID to even understand that they are stupid and allow them the same rights and privileges as those who are competent and useful and you have a recipe guaranteed to create failure.