core dynamics of imperial decline

In his seminal essay The Fate of Empires, Sir John Glubb listed these core dynamics of imperial decline:

(a) A growing love of money as an end in itself.

(b) A lengthy period of wealth and ease, which makes people complacent. They lose their edge; they forget the traits (confidence, energy, hard work) that built their civilization.

(c) Selfishness and self-absorption.

(d) Loss of any sense of duty to the common good.

Glubb included the following in his list of the characteristics of decadence:

— An increase in frivolity, hedonism, materialism and the worship of unproductive celebrity.

— A loss of social cohesion.

— The willingness of an increasing number to live at the expense of a bloated bureaucratic state.

TheFateofEmpiresbySirJohnGlubb

1 thought on “core dynamics of imperial decline

  1. Amazing that the author wrote this in the 1970’s and predicted the fall of the USSR. The fall of the USA seems eerily close by his descriptions. I, for one, welcome our new Mandarin-speaking overlords.

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