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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Immoderate Greatness: Why Civilizations Fail

Immocerate is short, as I said, and states its case clearly and reasonably, and it has a great index plus good notes and bibliography. English Choose a language for shopping.

They have been backed into a corner by events and lack the moral courage or the political support to institute fundamental reforms, which would require them to inflict pain on the mass of commoners and vanquish powerful elites. To wit, understanding that excessive complexity is both costly and perilous and that management in the sense of control is immodefate.

I couldn’t disagree more. However, the most dangerous byproduct of the unceasing cacophony is a growth in civil dissension. In practice, this means that human beings excel at immoderare perception but are much less adept at abstraction.

Now imagine that same juggler trying to keep his own balls in the air while simultaneously fielding and throwing balls from and to multiple others. Oct 07, Kent Eisele rated it really liked it.

Is inflation always a bad thing?

But as anything other than Old Testament prophesying, it falls short. May 22, Hugo Leal rated it it was amazing. Add both to Cart Add both to List. The less conscious, the more effective. Set up a civikizations.


They are destined to bring about their own downfall,” and I paraphrase. 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 author only civjlizations out that humans were not made to handle the complexity of a civilisation. The originally rich topsoil has become poorer immodetate has even eroded away, and the wider environment has also been impoverished.

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But those of us who have struggled to understand certain things and think we have mostly understood them Thomas Reis February 14, at 5: Check copyright status Cite this Title Immoderate greatness: It needs wood for fuel and timber, so it must chop down forests.

By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of civiliaztions wealth of their citizens. This dour assessment is repeated throughout the second part of the book in various forms, so I can only surmise that Ophuls shares my misanthropy. Thus every known civilization has caused environmental harm and ecological degradation to some degree.

Cassandra’s Legacy: Immoderate Greatness: the narrative of collapse

A juggler, no matter how dedicated and skilled, can only handle only so many balls. Institutions are by their very nature resistant to change, for if not, society would be in a constant state of flux. Frivolity, aestheticism, hedonism, cynicism, pessimism, narcissism, consumerism, materialism, nihilism, fatalism, fanaticism, and other negative attributes, attitudes, and behaviors suffuse the population.


You are a better critic than I. Read, highlight, and take notes, across web, tablet, and phone. The chapter on Moral Decay was the hardest to read, as it seemed at times like a right wing rant.

Review: Immoderate Greatness | The Spiral Staircase

Only a race of supremely intelligent, rational, and wise beings could so order their affairs and so limit their behavior as to avoid this outcome. Europe had the ‘luxury’ of abandoning slavery in the 19th century because it had access to much more efficient sources of energy.

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Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands. These entrenched habits, patterns, structures, institutions, ideologies, and interests prevent adaptation to changed conditions. Planning for the long term becomes an unaffordable luxury.

Apart from a few bands of isolated Tupi-Guarani in the Amazon, almost all of the remaining, scattered tribal peoples have lost the territory, knowledge, and traditions that would enable them to survive if industrial civilization were to collapse. While he only obliquely refers to our present situation, author William Ophuls lays out a description of a civilization’s lifecycle, founded in history and science, which makes it easy to identify how near advanced global civilization is to its demise, and why.