When I was a kid, I often worried that my lifespan would not include any epic or cool events.
Life punished me for that thought. I’m rewarded with a front-row seat to the collapse of one of the most powerful empires in history. Unfortunately, this also means that much of what I do is doomed with it.
All civilizations die the same way.
They get wealthy, and people get detached from how hard it is to successfully do things. Not do them OK, mediocre, or just get them done, but do them well, so that they endure and do not cause secondary problems.
To do things well requires a whole vision, meaning that you see every factor of the task at once, much as you’d appreciate a fine wine, admire a fine painting or lose yourself in conversation with a brilliant woman.
What replaces the whole vision is the linear vision: take one factor of many, call the rest “details” and “context,” and throw them away.
This leads to people having no idea how the world works, and fearing for the future “subconsciously” as they know things as described in public aren’t right but cannot articulate how they’re wrong, they demand more personal power and less government intervention. This is called a Revolution.
After the Revolution, the people optionally kill the elites, and then start voting, so popular illusions become more important than reality.
At that point, it’s easier to import help than to face real problems head-on. Mercenaries, migrant laborers, foreign financiers, etc. appear.
Then they find that all the problems for which there were not politically acceptable (or later, politically correct) solutions did not go away. Instead they festered and created more problems, damaging that part of the whole that gets called context or details, which in turn damages whatever part we look at linearly.
It’s the same with Western civilization.
All those problems we thought “disappeared” during the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s… just festered and caused others, causing our ruin.
Our grandfathers saying things were going to ruin, they don’t make ’em like they used to, etc. — they were right, just gradually.
All the doomsayers — they were wrong. Sudden decisive doom is not on the menu. Slow decline into disorganization and third world status? You mean, becoming Brazil or Mexico? Yes, that’s the future plan for the USA and Europe.
It’s a fascinating thing to observe — criminals are empowered by wealth to deceive, people feel flattered for deceiving themselves, and then they pull it apart from within.