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Outside Sources / Are We on the Road to Civilization Collapse?


This article is part of a new BBC Future series about the long view of humanity, which aims to stand back from the daily news cycle and widen the lens of our current place in time. Modern society is suffering from “temporal exhaustion”, the sociologist Elise Boulding once said. “If one is mentally out of breath all the time from dealing with the present, there is no energy left for imagining the future,” she wrote.

Great civilizations are not murdered. Instead, they take their own lives.

So concluded the historian Arnold Toynbee in his 12-volume magnum opus, A Study of History. It was an exploration of the rise and fall of 28 different civilizations. He was right in some respects: civilizations are often responsible for their own decline. However, their self-destruction is usually assisted.

To Continue Reading [ Click here / BBC Future]


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