Friday, September 14, 2012

The Late Roman Stage of Modern Western Civilization, Or the Tytler Cycle Revisited

You want economic growth? Print a lot of colored paper tickets or create a lot of virtual bookkeeping entries. You are in debt? Inflate it away (see above) or go into more debt. You lived beyond your means? Live even more beyond your means. You want to save for the bad days in the face of impending crisis? Spend everything on luxuries instead. You did a good job of serving the needs of others? Expect confiscation. You did a bad job of serving the needs of others? Expect bailout. You live by your own means? Expect calls for confiscation. You live at the expense of others? Expect calls for empowerment. You want peace and stability? Try to police the whole world. The world erupts in war and chaos because it doesn't want to be policed? Police it even more methodically. Your political meddlings distorted the world economy? Meddle in it even more fervently. And so it goes.

Yes, this is the common wisdom of modern Western civilization. And yes, it indicates as clearly as possible that the modern Western civilization is in its late Roman stage once again. And while it is not yet certain that it will share the fate of Rome, this scenario is now more probable than not.

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