Two Minutes with Dr. Yahya: Rise and Decline of Civilizations
دقيقتان مع الدكتور يحيى : رقي وانحطاط الحضارات
Philosophy of Arab Manifesto
ضمن مشروع النهضة العربية
د. حسن يحيى : أستاذ سابق لعلم الاحتماع المقارن
Dr. Hasan Yahya: Former professor of Comparative sociology
The literature on Civilization Decline shows historians, politicians and philosophers contribution to incite ideas describing it. In this series of articles we cover civilization and morality fall, and democracy. There have been many explanations put forward for the collapse of civilization. Morality decline is connected with such fall. Democracy decline and practices of injustice also arein volved. In this article we give some focus on historical examples, and others on general theory as well as some quotes on government and democracy.
Arnold J. Toynbee for example, in his “A Study of History” suggested that there had been a much larger number of civilizations, including a small number of arrested civilizations and that all civilizations tended to go through the cycle identified by Mommsen. The cause of the fall of a civilization occurred when a cultural elite became a parasitic elite, leading to the rise of internal and external proletariats.
The German Oswald Spengler, in his “Decline of the West” rejected Petrarch’s chronological division, and suggested that there had been only eight “mature civilizations.” Growing cultures, he argued, tend to develop into imperialistic civilizations which expand and ultimately collapse, with democratic forms of government ushering in plutocracy and ultimately imperialism.
Edward Gibbon’s work “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” was a well-known and detailed analysis of the fall of Roman civilization. Gibbon suggested the final act of the collapse of Rome was the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453 AD.
“The decline of Rome was the natural and inevitable effect of immoderate greatness. Prosperity ripened the principle of decay; the cause of the destruction multiplied with the extent of conquest; and, as soon as time or accident had removed the artificial supports, the stupendous fabric yielded to the pressure of its own weight. The story of the ruin is simple and obvious; and instead of inquiring why the Roman Empire was destroyed, we should rather be surprised that it has subsisted for so long.”
Theodor Mommsen in his “History of Rome (Mommsen)”, suggested Rome collapsed with the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD and he also tended towards a biological analogy of “genesis,” “growth,” “senescence,” “collapse” and “decay.”
Arthur Demarest argues in AncientMaya: The Rise and Fall of a Rainforest Civilization using a holistic perspective to the most recent evidence from archaeology, paleoecology, and epigraphy, that no one explanation is sufficient but that a series of erratic, complex events, including loss of soil fertility, drought and rising levels of internal and external violence led to the disintegration of the courts of Mayan kingdoms which began a spiral of decline and decay. He argues that the collapse of the Maya has lessons for civilization today.
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