Immoderate Greatness: Why Civilizations Fail. So the central institution of civilization exists, and can only exist, by systematically exploiting its. Civilization, for all its wonders and advantages, is destined to collapse due to its nature, writes Ophuls in this meticulously argued treatise. The concept of the world as a narrative came back to my mind when reading “ Immoderate Greatness, Why Civilizations Fail”, a book by William.

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Stealing resources from others is not a permanent solution, because conquest, too, has serious costs: This appeal to prudence will not be readily accepted. This is a well-written, thought-provoking book, and definitely worth reading. It turned out to be free to me on Kindle Unlimited.

Immoderate Greatness: Why Civilizations Fail by William Ophuls

Preview — Immoderate Greatness by William Ophuls. For the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order, this lukewarmness arising partly from fear of their adversaries, who have the laws in their favor; and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who do not truly believe in anything new until they have had actual experience of it. Virgin soil is a complex whj developed over millennia that contains a myriad of chemical elements and biological beings within a very specific physical structure.

It is in the nature of civilizations to wax greater.

Thomas Reis February 14, at 5: The result is an increasingly polyglot population that no longer shares the same values. Rung by rung, the civilization drops ever lower on the ladder of decline. Social groups seek to negotiate shared narratives that are simple, appealing and reinforce shared values.


It is short, as I said, and states its case clearly and reasonably, and it has a great index plus good notes and bibliography.

[PDF] Immoderate Greatness: Why Civilizations Fail [Online Books] – video dailymotion

Steve Bloom February 13, at 3: Customers who bought this item also bought. Like Gulliver, the civilization finds itself tied down by a multitude of vested interests—physical, social, economic, financial, political, and psychological. Would you like to tell us about a lower price?

That is, it turned into smoke, ashes, and heat—some of which did the work of making hot water, but most of which escaped up the chimney. Like your American friend with whom you went for a walk in the woods, who may have been thinking about the next generation of smart phones while you were trying to point out to him the many visible effects of climate change. The chef’s response was -in all earnest!

The Table of Contents summarizes the 6 ways to fail. Both of these will bring down Google, Facebook, and a host of others. Complex adaptive systems are stable until they are overstressed. They are the energy-dense residue of past solar energy in the form of buried organic matter that has been subjected to eons of geological heat and pressure.

The higher the level of economic development, the more money tends to become an abstraction rather than a counter for something concrete.

By clicking on “Submit” you agree that you have read and agree to the Privacy Cail and Terms of Service. It was perestroika and glasnost that allowed the immoderaye fabric of the Civilizatons to implode.

To make a car requires not only many direct inputs—steel, copper, fuel, water, chemicals, and so forth—but also many indirect ones such as a factory and labor force as well as the matter and energy needed to sustain them. Sign up here to receive your FREE alerts. Logan February 14, at 7: Highly recommended easy short read on why Civilizations have kept failing. For the hubris of every civilization is that it is, like the Titanic, unsinkable.


Selfishness crowds out sacrifice, the interests of mass and elite diverge, and the elite itself is divided into warring factions.

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I welcome this approach as Wgy have read some books about the problems we face and the solutions seem unrealistic at best and delusional at worst. Enmeshed in this legacy of the past, it cannot save itself. Ugo Bardi February 17, at 5: In the end, the elites prefer an advantageous present, civiilzations problematic, to an uncertain and poss ibly disadvantageous future.

I made my own division civilizatiobs years ago, which like the rest of my blog got no attention. Yes, I agree that we all have developed our favorite “mental models” and “narratives” or “stories” of the world and where it came from, where it is, and where it’s going. The civilization begins to implode, in either a slow and measured decline or a more rapid and chaotic collapse. Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime.

A money economy takes the disconnection, and therefore the failure, one step further. Ugo Bardi February 17, at 4: