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Olduvai III: Catacylsm
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An Empire of Denial

Is there a rise from the dead?

Despite claims to the contrary, we still live in an age of empires. The only difference this time is that the one dominating this planet is in full denial of this fact. No empire can avoid its fate however, and this one is of no exception either. In my previous post I’ve shown how Empires fail as they meet their fate at the end of their exponential growth period, but what are the ominous signs of this happening today? How long can the Empire mask its predicament by over-reliance on foreign resources, debt and constant territorial expansion? Is there a way to stop the unraveling, once the abundant flow of resources starts declining?

Finally, is there a way back for Empires from the land of the dead?

Empire State. Photo by Patrick Langwallner on Unsplash

In order to answer these questions, we have to understand what behavior has led up to this point. The key to understand this is that the overuse of resources to the point of unsustainability almost always lends a short term political advantage over those who are more reality conscious and think generations ahead. Thus the more unsustainable your actions are, the more successful you become — on the short term at least. This bidding game virtually guarantees that the Empire ends up overdoing things, resulting in overshoot: using natural resources and polluting Nature at rates well beyond the planet’s capacity to recover.

Lacking any meaningful — let alone politically acceptable — answer to this predicament, however, the Empire’s elite finds itself in a corner. The only way forward would be a rapid adaption and a radical cut-back on excess. Yet, elites cannot back down, else their rivals (both from within and outside) would immediately take advantage, threatening the Empire to plunge into chaos…

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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