They keep going and going and going ……….

I really like the idea of a one world government and maybe in about 400 years humanity will have matured enough to actually get one. Donal did an excellent series on why complex societies collapse with talks by Dr.  Tainter.

This got me thinking (no jokes please) as to why certain societies or rather nation/states seem to go along just fine. With very little internal strife and provide for their citizens pretty well. What is it about them that is different that those that do fall by the wayside ? That appear to get to a certain point and then increasingly become less and less responsive to their citizenry and eventually collapse or get overthrown ?

I have noticed a certain pattern though.

• Regardless of the of government they have or start out with, there are nations/states/societies that do collapse.

• Those that do go through particular stages as outlined by Dr. Tainter and others on the way to collapse.

• One of the last stages seems to be one where the governing body becomes less and less responsive to the population as a whole channeling more and more of the wealth and resources to those in the upper class. Usually the upper 5%.

• After they collapse, what is left is split up into separate autonomous nation/states with their own forms of government. Which maybe but usually are not like the original.

But what is it that seems to keep certain nations/societies from having the political and economic conditions that allow them to continue in a more or less stable manner ?

Is the the economic system ?  I would say no.  There are capitalist systems that are very responsive the public and socialist systems as well. The Netherlands was one of the first totally free market capitalist countries in Europe. Having originated the idea of selling stock in corporations.  Finland instituted a socialist system from the time they gained independence from Sweden. Cuba is a communist system which has been very responsive to their populace.

Is it physical size ? Land area ?  Well it seems the most stable and responsive countries are the smallest ones. Like The Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Kuwait. But then you also have Canada and Australia. So I would say no to physical size.

Government ? Well representative democracies are in general more responsive than dictatorships but even this is not a hard and fast rule. India is notoriously unresponsive to a number of peoples in the northern areas especially.

Culture then ? This is also not a good hard and fast rule. It does appear that those countries with the least cultural diversity are the most responsive to their populations. But then you have Canada and Australia which have a large aboriginal population as well as a large number of immigrants.

Population then ? I would say no to total population but maybe to population centers. IE metropolitan areas with high concentrations of people.  Egypt does not have a very high population but what it does have is concentrated in a small number of metropolitan areas. But I would not say this is for sure the case for unresponsiveness.

Natural resources then ? Well I bring up The Netherlands and Denmark and Belgium which have few natural resources and are the most responsive. And parts of Central and South America and Africa which have abundant natural resources and are not very responsive.

Global location then ? Well it does appear that the most responsive counties/nations/societies seem to be the furthest away from the equator.  It would be interesting to do an in depth study on this and see it there is a correlation and what in particular that would be.

I have only just touched on a few areas of thought here. There are of course many others to consider.  So be my guest.

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3 thoughts on “They keep going and going and going ……….

  1. Well C I think at the top of the list of things that isolate groups of people from one another is religion. This is closely followed by economic status or money.

    I refer to isolation in my response becasue that is what is the final undoing of a nation state or autonomous group of people. The direction a state takes, socially or politically, comes in greater and greater conflict with its neighbor states until the relationship between them fails followed by the collapse of one or the other.

    We have a microcosm of this in the U.S. right now where the growing divide between the political elites and wealthy are driving a wedge between them and everyone else. This wedge is isolating us from one another. Religion is giving a strong assist. More and more we are becoming a nation divided.

    At odds in this are states and the federal. Where does the autonomy of a state leave off and the larger federation assert itself? States can’t demand the increased autonomy we are seeing without undermining the federation. This is purely a political struggle and when you come right down to it a struggle between a tiny minority of powerful people or interests.

    That we have this at all is reflected in the concentration of political and financial power and the constant shifting of that power. What you get from this is a dynamic that is politically and financially destabilizing. A social or political system where the rules of conduct are constantly in flux is bound to be hopelessly disorganized and is unable to function in a unified way. This is exactly what we have.

    The idiots running this country are in it for themselves is the principal reason why everything is messed up. We have a rampant social, financial, gender and racial inequality that is destroying this country from the inside. There is a bunch of ideologially driven control freaks guiding us. Their conduct is seriously anti-social in nature. A homogenous social unit has no chance in this environment. That we suffer one major failure after another should come as no surprise. In broad terms we have no unity of purpose and nobody in charge.

    The one thing which remains in contention is this notion of centralized or decentralized control. I can say with complete certainty that we have to settle this argument.

    There must be centralized control and a uniform system of ways we do things. We can’t afford fifty ways of doing everything or have a whole pile of utility companies doing their own thing with the electrical grid or umpty ump insurance providers doing their own thing with distribution of health care. Anyone who thinks this can ever work is a fucking idiot. We have a system which by its very nature produces contention as its major product. It’s insane that we have devised a system which is more noted for the conflicts it creates as opposed to the problems it solves.

    What do we want? A system based upon competition for dollars or one where a cooperative and unified effort is focused at common goals. And bear in mind you truly and objectively cannot have both. We cannot have a chaotic system which empowers people like Scott Walker who we know, under the dictates of human nature, will abuse their power.

  2. cmaukonen

    Well C I think at the top of the list of things that isolate groups of people from one another is religion. This is closely followed by economic status or money.

    I refer to isolation in my response becasue that is what is the final undoing of a nation state or autonomous group of people. The direction a state takes, socially or politically, comes in greater and greater conflict with its neighbor states until the relationship between them fails followed by the collapse of one or the other.

    We have a microcosm of this in the U.S. right now where the growing divide between the political elites and wealthy are driving a wedge between them and everyone else. This wedge is isolating us from one another. Religion is giving a strong assist. More and more we are becoming a nation divided.

    Humm…then if I understand what you are saying correctly, this is rather like the rebellions of the 15th through the 18th century that dissolved the large nation/state/empires of Europe then.

    Those that actually formed this country were the descendents of the original immigrants here. And there for they themselves nor the ancestors went through that period of adjustment that ultimately resulted in the smaller European states we know today.

    In fact they came here to escape those large imperial/feudal systems. Where as those that remained in Europe eventually put and end to them. Some fairly peaceably others not so much. IE France.

    So there can be a case made for this country lacking a certain amount of growing experience as it were.

    And as has been pointed out in a comment in another blog site, there is also two world wars that this country sent troupes to but suffered none of the consequences of but Europe did. This as well will change ones point of view and attitude toward yourself, tour neighbors and the world.

    Good discussion this.

    1. We have a totally different arrangement today. We have a large population and a need to create operational structures that promote efficiency and reduce the discretionary powers of our elected officials that permit them to do whatever they please. There has to be limits to the ill advised use of power. Right now there are no limits. We’ve been given a clear indication what occurs under that circumstance.

      The lie of corporate personhood is a pefect case in point. That’s merely a marketing term cooked up to create a one sided arrangement which has allowed business to become an official citizen even though a business in no way possesses any of the characteristics we associate with a citizen. Where is it written that our elected officials have the authority to turn reality upside down? This happens all the time. Changing the terms to win the argument is a favorite ploy of persons who can’t sustain their argument as it exists. This charade has to come to an end.

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