RBG On the Decline and Fall of the Amerikkkian Empire
Including:THE HISTORY OF EMPIREEdited by THE FROLINAN SCHOLARTHE DECLINE AND FALL OF EMPIRES: A THEORY OF DE-DEVELOPMENTBy Johan Galtung, dr hc mult, Professor of Peace Studies
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Full MP3 download of audio clip used in the IceBreaker Video Progressive Commentary Hour - Pathology of Power Dr. Jim Garrison and Dr. Paul Ray - 07/30/12 (A 1 Hour Discussion and Analysis) From: RBG GEO-POLITICAL TRUTH SERUM, Blow Back and Reverberation A 20 Hour Sequenced Video Playlist by RBG BLAKADEMICS Following below:THE HISTORY OF EMPIREEdited by THE FROLINAN SCHOLARTHE DECLINE AND FALL OF EMPIRES: A THEORY OF DE-DEVELOPMENTBy Johan Galtung, dr hc mult, Professor of Peace Studies
Empire 1 Empire The term empire derives from the Latin imperium (power, authority). Politically, an empire is a geographically extensive group of states and peoples (ethnic groups) united and ruled either by a monarch (emperor, empress) or an oligarchy. Aside from the traditional usage, the term empire can be used in an extended sense to denote a large-scale business enterprise (e.g. a transnational corporation), or a political organisation of either national-, regional- or city scale, controlled either by a person (a Imperialism and colonization in 1900 political boss) or a group authority (political bosses). An imperial political structure is established and maintained in two ways: (i) as a territorial empire of direct conquest and control with force (direct, physical action to compel the emperors goals), and (ii) as a coercive, hegemonic empire of indirect conquest and control with power (the perception that the emperor can physically enforce his desired goals). The former provides greater tribute and direct political control, yet limits further expansion because it absorbs military forces to fixed garrisons. The latter provides less tribute and indirect control, but avails military forces for further expansion. Territorial empires (e.g. the Mongol Empire, the Median Empire) tended to be contiguous areas. The term on occasion has been applied to maritime empires or thalassocracies, (e.g. the Athenian and British Empires) with looser structures and more scattered territories. Definition An empire is a state with politico-military dominion of populations who are culturally and ethnically distinct from the imperial (ruling) ethnic group and its culture — unlike a federation, an extensive state voluntarily composed of autonomous states and peoples. What physically and politically constitutes an empire is variously defined. It might be a state effecting imperial policies, or a particular political structure. Empires are typically formed from separate components that come together. Some units include ethnic, national, cultural, and religious diversity. Sometimes an empire is a semantic construction, such as when a ruler assumes the title of "Emperor". The said rulers nation logically becomes an "Empire", despite having no additional territory or hegemony such as Central African Empire or the Korean Empire proclaimed in 1897 when Korea, far from gaining new territory, was on the verge of being annexed by the Empire of Japan, the last to use the name officially. Amongst the last of these empires of the 20th century were the Central African Empire, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Manchukuo, the German Empire, and Korea. The terrestrial empires maritime analogue is the thalassocracy, an empire comprising islands and coasts which are accessible to its terrestrial homeland, such as the Athenian-dominated Delian League.
Empire 2 History of imperialism Early empires Early empires Achaemenid Empire of Persia at its zenith Maurya Empire of India at its greatest extent under Ashoka the Great The Akkadian Empire of Sargon the Great (24th century BCE), was an early large empire. In the 15th century BCE, the New Kingdom of Ancient Egypt, ruled by Thutmose III, was ancient Africas major force upon incorporating Nubia and the ancient city-states of the Levant. The first empire comparable to Rome in organization was the Assyrian empire (2000–612 BCE). The Median Empire was the first empire on the territory of Persia. By the 6th century BCE, after having allied with the Babylonians to defeat the Neo-Assyrian Empire, the Medes were able to establish their own empire, the largest of its day, lasting for about sixty years. The successful, extensive, and multi-cultural empire that was the Persian Achaemenid Empire (550–330 BCE) absorbed Mesopotamia, Egypt, part of Greece, Thrace, the rest of the Middle East, much of Central Asia and Pakistan, until it was overthrown and replaced by the brief-lived empire of Alexander the Great. The Maurya Empire was a geographically extensive and powerful empire in ancient India, ruled by the Mauryan dynasty from 321 to 185 BCE. The Empire was founded in 322 BC by Chandragupta Maurya who rapidly expanded his power westwards across central and western India, taking advantage of the disruptions of local powers in the wake of the withdrawal westward by Alexander the Great. By 320 BCE, the empire had fully occupied past northwestern India as well as defeating and conquering the satraps left by Alexander. It has been estimated that the Maurya Dynasty controlled an unprecedented one-third of the worlds entire economy, was home to one-third of the worlds population at the time (an estimated 50 million out of 150 million humans), contained the worlds largest city of the time (Pataliputra, estimated to be larger than Rome under Emperor Trajan) and according to Megasthenes, the empire wielded a military of 600,000 infantry, 30,000 cavalry, and 9,000 war elephants.
Empire 3 Classical period Classical period The Roman Empire under Trajan (98 - 117). This would be the Han Empire of China in 87 BC. Empires peak territorial power. The Roman Empire was the most extensive Western empire until the early modern period. Prior to the Roman Empire the kingdom of Macedonia, under Alexander the Great, became an empire that spanned from Greece to Northwestern India. After Alexanders death, his empire fractured into four, discrete kingdoms ruled by the Diadochi, which, despite being independent, are denoted as the "Hellenistic Empire" by virtue of their similarity in culture and administration. In western Asia, the term Persian Empire denotes the Iranian imperial states established at different historical periods of pre–Islamic and post–Islamic Persia. And in East Asia, various Celestial Empires arose periodically between periods of war, civil war, and foreign conquests. In India Chandragupta expanded the Mauryan Empire to Northwest India (modern day Pakistan and Afghanistan). This also included the era of expansion of Buddhism under Ashoka the Great. In China the Han Empire became one of East Asias most long lived dynasties, but was preceded by the short-lived Qin Empire. Post-classical period The 7th century saw the emergence of the Islamic Empire, also referred to as the Arab Empire. The Rashidun Caliphate expanded from the Arabian Peninsula and swiftly conquered the Persian Empire and much of the Byzantine Roman Empire. Its successor state, the Umayyad Caliphate, expanded across North Africa and into the Iberian Peninsula. By the beginning of the 8th century, it had become the largest empire in history at that point, until it was eventually surpassed in size by the Mongol Empire in the 13th century. The ally of the Caliphate, the Somali Ajuuraan Empire, ruled over the Horn of Africa. Through a strong centralized administration and an aggressive military stance towards invaders, the Ajuuraan empire successfully resisted an Oromo invasion from the west and a Portuguese incursion from the east during the Gaal Madow and the Ajuuraan-Portuguese wars. Trading routes dating from the ancient and early medieval periods of Somali maritime enterprise were strengthened or re-established, and foreign trade and commerce in the coastal provinces flourished with ships sailing to and coming from a myriad of kingdoms and empires in East Asia, South Asia, Europe, the Near East, North Africa and East Africa. In the 7th century, Maritime Southeast Asia witnessed the rise of a Buddhist thallasocracy—the Srivijaya Empire—which thrived for 600 years, and was succeeded by the Hindu-Buddhist Majapahit Empire in the 13th to 15th century. In the Southeast Asian mainland, the Hindu-Buddhist Khmer Empire built an empire centered in the city of Angkor and which flourished from the 9th to 13th century. Followed by the sack of Khmer Empire, the Siamese Empire was flourished alongside the Burmese and Lan Chang Empire from 13th through to 18th century . In Eastern Europe the Byzantine Empire had to recognize the Imperial title of the Bulgarian rulers in 917 (through a
Empire 4 Bulgarian Tsar). The Bulgarian Empire remained a major power in the Balkans until its fall in the late 14th century. Post-classical period The expansion of the Rashidun Empire. The Ajuuraan Empire Mongol Empire in the 13th century. in the 15th century. At the time, in the Medieval West, the title "empire" had a specific technical meaning that was exclusively applied to states that considered themselves the heirs and successors of the Roman Empire, e.g. the Byzantine Empire which was the actual continuation of the Eastern Roman Empire, and later the Carolingian Empire, the largely Germanic Holy Roman Empire, the Russian Empire, yet these states were not always technically — geographic, political, military — empires in the modern sense of the word. To legitimise their imperium, these states directly claimed the title of Empire from Rome. The sacrum Romanum imperium (Holy Roman Empire) of 800 to 1806, claimed to have exclusively comprehended Christian principalities, and was only nominally a discrete imperial state. The Holy Roman Empire was not always centrally-governed, as it had neither core nor peripheral territories, and was not governed by a central, politico-military élite — hence, Voltaires remark that the Holy Roman Empire "was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire" is accurate to the degree that it ignores German rule over Italian, French, Provençal, Polish, Flemish, Dutch, and Bohemian populations, and the efforts of the ninth-century Holy Roman Emperors (i.e. the Ottonians) to establish central control; thus, Voltaires ". . . nor an empire" observation applies to its late period. In 1204, after the Fourth Crusade sacked Constantinople, the crusaders established a Latin Empire (1204–1261) in that city, while the defeated Byzantine Empires descendants established two, smaller, short-lived empires in Asia Minor: the Empire of Nicaea (1204–1261) and the Empire of Trebizond (1204–1461). Constantinople was retaken by the Byzantine successor state centered in Nicaea in 1261, re-establishing the Byzantine Empire until 1453, by which time the Turkish-Muslim Ottoman Empire (ca.1300–1918), had conquered most of the region. Moreover, Eastern Orthodox imperialism was not re-established until the coronation, in 1721, of Peter the Great as Emperor of Russia. Like-wise, with the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, in 1806, during the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815), the Austrian Empire (1804–1867), emerged reconstituted as the Empire of Austria–Hungary (1867–1918), having "inherited" the imperium of Central and Western Europe from the losers of said wars. The Mongol Empire, under Genghis Khan in the thirteenth century, was forged as the largest contiguous empire in the world. Genghis Khans grandson, Kublai Khan, was proclaimed emperor, and established his imperial capital at Beijing; however, in his reign, the empire became fractured into four, discrete khanates. Nevertheless, the emergence of the Pax Mongolica had significantly eased trade and commerce across Asia. In Oceania Tonga Empire was a lonely empire that existed many centuries since Medieval till Modern period.
Empire 5 Colonial empires European landings in the so-called "New World" (first, the Americas and later, Australia) in the 15th century, along with the Portugueses travels around the Cape of Good Hope and along the southeast Indian Ocean coast of Africa, proved ripe opportunities for the continents Renaissance-era monarchies to launch colonial empires like those of the ancient Romans and Greeks. In the "Old World", colonial imperialism was attempted, effected and established upon the Canary Islands and Ireland. These conquered lands and peoples became de jure subordinates of the empire, rather than de facto imperial territory and subjects. Such subjugation often elicited "client-state" resentment that the empire unwisely ignored, leading to the collapse of the European colonial imperial system in the late-19th century and the early- and mid-20th century. Spanish discovery of the New World gave way to many expeditions led by England, Portugal, France, the Dutch Republic and Spain. In the 18th century, the Spanish Empire was at its height because of the great mass of goods taken from conquered territory in the Americas (Mexico, parts of the United States, the Caribbean) and the Philippines. Modern period Modern period The Russian Empire in 1866 became the second largest In 1920, the British Empire was the largest empire in history. contiguous empire to have ever existed. The Russian Federation is currently the largest state on the planet. Ottoman territories acquired between The Spanish–Portuguese Empire of the Iberian Union (1580–1640) 1481 and 1683 (See: list of territories) was the first global imperial entity.
Empire 6 The red of this map of North America 1775, shows those In the year 1690, the realms of the Mughal Empire  areas the British exercised direct control, while the pink spanned from Kabul to Cape Comorin. shows areas largely under indirect control. In general governments styled themselves as having greater size, scope and power than the territorial, politico-military and economic facts allow. As a consequence some monarchs assumed the title of "emperor" (or its corresponding translation: tsar, empereur, kaiser, etc.) and renamed their states as "The Empire of . . . ". The French emperors Napoleon I and Napoleon III (See: Second Mexican Empire [1864–1867]) each attempted establishing a western imperial hegemony based in France. The German Empire (1871–1918), another "heir to the Holy Roman Empire" arose in 1871. Europeans began applying the name of "empire" to non-European monarchies, such as the Qing Dynasty and the Mughal Empire as well as Maratha Empire, and then leading, eventually, to the looser denotations applicable to any political structure meeting the criteria of imperium. Empires accreted to different types of states, although they traditionally originated as powerful monarchies. The Athenian Empire, the Roman Empire and the British Empire developed under elective auspices. The Empire of Brazil declared itself an empire after breaking from the Portuguese Empire in 1822. France has twice transited from being called the French Republic to being called the French Empire, while France remained an overseas empire. To date it still governs colonies (French Guyana, Martinique, Réunion, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, St Martin, St pierre et miquelon, Guadeloupe, TAAF, Wallis and Futuna, Saint Barthélemy, Mayotte) and exerts an hegemony in Francophone Africa (29 francophone countries such as Chad, Rwanda, et cetera). Historically empires resulted from military conquest, incorporating the vanquished states to its political union. A state could establish imperial hegemony in other ways. A weak state may seek annexation into the empire. For example, the bequest of Pergamon by Attalus III, to the Roman Empire. The Unification of Germany as the empire accreted to the Prussian metropole was less a military conquest of the German states than their political divorce from the Austrian Empire. Having convinced the other states of its military prowess — and having excluded the Austrians — Prussia dictated the terms of imperial membership. The Sikh Empire (1799–1846) was established in the Punjab. It collapsed when the founder, Ranjit Singh, died and their army fell to the British. During the same period, Maratha Empire or the Maratha Confederacy was a Hindu state located in present-day India. It existed from 1674 to 1818 and at its peak the empires territories covered much of South Asia. The empire was founded and consolidated by Shivaji. After the death of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb it expanded greatly under the rule of the Peshwas. In 1761, the Maratha army lost the Third Battle of Panipat which
Empire 7 halted the expansion of the empire. Later, the empire was divided into a confederacy of Maratha states which eventually were lost to the British in the Anglo-Maratha wars by 1818. The British also established their first empire in North America by colonizing the northern part that included Canada and the colonies in America. In 1776, the United States declared itself independent from the British empire thus beginning the American Revolution. Politically it was typical for either a monarchy or an oligarchy, rooted in the original core territory of the empire, to continue to dominate. If government was maintained via control of water vital to the colonial subjects, such régimes were called hydraulic empires. When possible, empires used a common religion or culture to strengthen the political structure. In time, an empire may metamorphose to another form of polity. To wit, the Holy Roman Empire, a German re-constitution of the Roman Empire, metamorphosed into various political structures (i.e. Federalism), and eventually, under Habsburg rule, re-constituted itself as the Austrian Empire — an empire of much different politics and vaster extension. After the Second World War (1939–1945) the British Empire evolved into a loose, multi-national Commonwealth of Nations; while the French colonial empire metamorphosed to a Francophone commonwealth. The British Empire also colonized China after the opium wars and had major influences in the region via controlling Hong Kong, which was handed back to China in 1997 after 150 years of rule. The Portuguese established its colony in China and had control over the territory of Macau, which was also handed back to China in 1999. Also, the French established its colony in China and had control over the territory of Kwang-Chou-Wan, which was also handed back to China in 1946. An autocratic empire can become a republic (e.g. the Central African Empire in 1979); or it can become a republic with its imperial dominions reduced to a core territory (e.g. Weimar Germany, 1918–1919 and the Ottoman Empire, 1918–1923). The dissolution of the Austro–Hungarian Empire, after 1918, is an example of a multi-ethnic superstate broken into its constituent states: the republics, kingdoms, and provinces of Austria, Hungary, Transylvania, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czechoslovakia, Ruthenia, Galicia, et al. Empire from 1945 to the present Contemporaneously, the concept of Empire is politically valid, yet is not always used in the traditional sense; for example Japan is considered the worlds sole remaining empire because of the continued presence of the Japanese Emperor in national politics. Despite the semantic reference to Imperial power, Japan is a de facto constitutional monarchy, with a homogeneous population of 127 million people that is 98.5 per cent ethnic Japanese, making it one of the largest nation-states. Characterizing some aspects of American foreign policy and international behavior "American Empire" is controversial but not uncommon. Stuart Creighton Miller posits that the publics sense of innocence about Realpolitik (cf. American Exceptionalism) impairs popular recognition of US imperial conduct. Since it governed other countries via surrogates — domestically-weak, right-wing governments that collapse without US support. G.W. Bushs Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said: "We dont seek empires. Were not imperialistic; we never have been" — directly contradicts Thomas Jefferson, in the 1780s, awaiting the fall of the Spanish empire: ". . . till our population can be sufficiently advanced to gain it from them piece by piece". In turn, historian Sidney Lens argues that from its inception the US has used every means to dominate other nations. Since the European Union began, in 1993, as a west European trade bloc, it established its own currency, the Euro, in 1999, established discrete military forces, and exercised its limited hegemony in parts of eastern Europe and Asia. This behaviour, the political scientist Jan Zielonka  suggests, is imperial, because it coerces its neighbour countries to adopt its European economic, legal, and political structures. In his book review of Empire (2000) by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Mehmet Akif Okur posits that, since the 11 September 2001, terrorist attacks in the U.S., the international relations determining the worlds balance of power (political, economic, military) have been altered. These alterations include the intellectual (political science) trends
Empire 8 that perceive the contemporary worlds order via the re-territorrialisation of political space, the re-emergence of classical imperialist practices (the "inside" vs. "outside" duality, cf. the Other), the deliberate weakening of international organisations, the restructured international economy, economic nationalism, the expanded arming of most countries, the proliferation of nuclear weapon capabilities and the politics of identity emphasizing a states subjective perception of its place in the world, as a nation and as a civilisation. These changes constitute the "Age of Nation Empires"; as imperial usage, nation-empire denotes the return of geopolitical power from global power blocs to regional power blocs (i.e. centred upon a "regional power" state [China, Russia, U.S., et al.]) and regional multi-state power alliances (i.e. Europe, Latin America, South East Asia). Nation-empire regionalism claims sovereignty over their respective (regional) political (social, economic, ideologic), cultural and military spheres. Timeline of empires The chart below shows a timeline of polities which have been called empires. Dynastic changes are marked with a white line. References Notes  "definition of empire from Oxford Dictionaries Online" (http:/ / oxforddictionaries. com/ definition/ empire?view=uk). Oxford Dictionary. . Retrieved 21 November 2008.  Ross Hassig, Mexico and the Spanish Conquest (1994), pp. 23–24, ISBN 0-582-06829-0 (pbk)  The Oxford English Reference Dictionary, Second Edition (2001), p.461, ISBN 0-19-860046-1  Howe, Stephen (2002). Empire. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 15. ISBN 978-0-19-280223-1.  I.M. Lewis, A modern history of Somalia: nation and state in the Horn of Africa, 2nd edition, revised, illustrated, (Westview Press: 1988), p.24.  Virginia Luling, Somali Sultanate: the Geledi city-state over 150 years, p. 17  Luc Cambrézy, Populations réfugiées: de lexil au retour, p.316  Horn and Crescent: Cultural Change and Traditional Islam on the East African Coast, 800–1900 (African Studies) by Pouwels Randall L – pg 15  Voltaire (http:/ / en. wikiquote. org/ wiki/ Voltaire), Wikiquote, citing Essai sur lhistoire generale et sur les moeurs et lespirit des nations, Chapter 70 (1756), , retrieved 2008-01-06  Gregory G.Guzman - Were the barbarians a negative or positive factor in ancient and medieval history?, The historian 50 (1988), 568-70  Thomas T.Allsen - Culture and conquest in Mongol Eurasia, 211  The East India Company and the British Empire in the Far East - Marguerite Eyer Wilbur, The East India Company - Google Books (http:/ / books. google. com. pk/ books?id=HTCsAAAAIAAJ& pg=PA175& lpg=PA175& dq=baharji+ borah& source=bl& ots=AlYwMkBwb6& sig=KpQbE7bMcMILePXasygPjYd6Xkk& hl=en& ei=ahnNTtnqEOHb4QSUtZ1S& sa=X& oi=book_result& ct=result& resnum=4& ved=0CCoQ6AEwAw#v=onepage& q=cape comorin& f=false). Books.google.com.pk. . Retrieved 2012-04-29.  Pagadi, Setumadhavarao R. (1983), Shivaji (http:/ / books. google. com/ ?id=UVFuAAAAMAAJ), National Book Trust, India, p. 21, ISBN 81-237-0647-2,  George Hicks, Japans hidden apartheid: the Korean minority and the Japanese, (Aldershot, England; Brookfield, VT: Ashgate, 1998), 3.  Johnson, Chalmers, Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire (2000), pp.72–9  Niall Ferguson, Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire, Lay summary (http:/ / booksellers. penguingroup. com/ nf/ Book/ BookDisplay/ 0,,9780143034797,00. html)  Sidney Lens; Howard Zinn (2003), The forging of the American empire: from the revolution to Vietnam, a history of U.S. imperialism (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=qvLfIHqkOOAC), Pluto Press, pp. 63–64 (http:/ / books. google. com. ph/ books?id=qvLfIHqkOOAC& pg=PA63), ISBN 978-0-7453-2100-4,  LaFeber, Walter, Inevitable Revolutions: The United States in Central America (1993) 2nd edition, p.19
Empire 9  Max Boot (May 6, 2003), American Imperialism? No Need to Run Away from Label (http:/ / www. cfr. org/ publication. html?id=5934), Council on Foreign Relations OP-Ed, quoting USA Today, , retrieved 2008-01-06  Lens & Zinn 2003, p. Back cover (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=qvLfIHqkOOAC& printsec=backcover).  http:/ / users. ox. ac. uk/ ~polf0040/  Ian Black (December 20, 2002), Living in a euro wonderland (http:/ / www. guardian. co. uk/ elsewhere/ journalist/ story/ 0,,863888,00. html), Guardian unlimited, , retrieved 2008-01-06  EU gets its military fist (http:/ / news. bbc. co. uk/ 2/ hi/ europe/ 2574625. stm), BBC News, December 13, 2002, , retrieved 2008-01-06  Nikolaos Tzifakis (April 2007), "EUs region-building and boundary-drawing policies: the European approach to the Southern Mediterranean and the Western Balkans 1" (http:/ / www. informaworld. com/ smpp/ content~content=a777076388~db=all), Journal of Southern Europe and the Balkans (informaworld) 9 (1): 47–64, doi:10.1080/14613190701217001, , retrieved 2007-01-06  Stephen R. Hurt (2003), "Co-operation and coercion? The Cotonou Agreement between the European Union and acp states and the end of the Lomé Convention" (http:/ / taylorandfrancis. metapress. com/ index/ HNG8A7X4G9BWAM84. pdf), Third World Quarterly (informaworld) 24: 161–176, doi:10.1080/713701373, , retrieved 2007-01-06  Europeanisation and Conflict Resolution: Case Studies from the European Periphery (http:/ / www. belspo. be/ belspo/ home/ publ/ pub_ostc/ WM/ rS10303_en. pdf), Belgian Science Policy, , retrieved 2008-01-06  Jan Zielonka (2006), Europe as empire: the nature of the enlarged European Union (http:/ / users. ox. ac. uk/ ~polf0040/ IAReview. pdf), Oxford: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-929221-3, , retrieved 2008-01-06  For the Okurs thesis about "nation empires", look at the article: Mehmet Akif Okur, Rethinking Empire After 9/11: Towards A New Ontological Image of World Order (http:/ / www. sam. gov. tr/ perceptions/ volume12/ winter/ winter-004-PERCEPTION(mehmetakifokur). pdf) Perceptions, Journal of International Affairs, Volume XII, Winter 2007, pp.61-93 Bibliography • Gilpin, Robert War and Change in World Politics (http://books.google.it/books?id=2iKL7zr3kl0C) pp. 110–116 • Geiss, Imanuel (1983), War and empire in the twentieth century, Aberdeen University Press, ISBN 0-08-030387-0 • Johan Galtung (January 1996), The Decline and Fall of Empires: A Theory of De-Development (http://web. archive.org/web/20071013085302/http://transcend.org/galt.htm), Honolulu, archived from the original (http://www.transcend.org/galt.htm) on 2007-10-13, retrieved 2008-01-06 Written for the United Nations Research Institute on Development, UNRISD, Geneva. • Lens, Sidney; Zinn, Howard (2003), The Forging of the American Empire: From the Revolution to Vietnam: A History of American Imperialism (http://books.google.com/?id=qvLfIHqkOOAC), Plkuto press, ISBN 0-7453-2100-3 • Bowden, Brett (2009), The Empire of Civilization: The Evolution of an Imperial Idea, University of Chicago Press, ISBN 978-0-226-06814-5 External links • Index of Colonies and Possessions (http://www.worldstatesmen.org/COLONIES.html) • Gavrov, Sergey (http://ru.wikipedia.org/?oldid=46320689) Modernization of the Empire. Social and Cultural Aspects of Modernization Processes in Russia (http://books.google.ru/books?printsec=frontcover& id=Xk_2XdutUVcC#v=onepage&q=&f=true;) ISBN 978-5-354-00915-2 • Mehmet Akif Okur, Rethinking Empire After 9/11: Towards A New Ontological Image of World Order, Perceptions, Journal of International Affairs, Volume XII, Winter 2007, pp.61-93 (http://www.sam.gov.tr/ perceptions/volume12/winter/winter-004-PERCEPTION(mehmetakifokur).pdf)
Article Sources and Contributors 10 Article Sources and Contributors Empire Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=511453459 Contributors: (, 200.191.188.xxx, 2812, 3141llamsR, 4shizzal, A. 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Original uploader was Vastu at en.wikipedia File:Roman Empire-117AD.png Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Roman_Empire-117AD.png License: GNU Free Documentation License Contributors: Eleassar, Er Komandante, Gryffindor, Rettetast, 1 anonymous edits File:Han map.jpg Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Han_map.jpg License: GNU Free Documentation License Contributors: User Yuninjie on en.wikipedia File:Rashidun654wVassal.png Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Rashidun654wVassal.png License: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Contributors: Gabagool File:Ajuuraan.png Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Ajuuraan.png License: Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Contributors: User:Runehelmet File:Mongols-map.png Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Mongols-map.png License: Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 2.0 Contributors: Electionworld, Firespeaker, Latebird, Nik Sage, Quadell, 1 anonymous edits File:The Russian Empire-en.png Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:The_Russian_Empire-en.png License: Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Contributors: Shadowxfox File:BritishEmpire1919.png Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:BritishEmpire1919.png License: Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 2.5 Contributors: Maps & Lucy File:Ottoman empire.svg Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Ottoman_empire.svg License: unknown Contributors: André Koehne File:Spanish Empire.png Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Spanish_Empire.png License: GNU Free Documentation License Contributors: Users Albrecht, Arthur Wellesley, XGustaX on en.wikipedia File:Map of territorial growth 1775.svg Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Map_of_territorial_growth_1775.svg License: Public Domain Contributors: Cg-realms; adapted from a scan from the National Atlas of the United States File:India in 1700 Joppen.jpg Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:India_in_1700_Joppen.jpg License: Public Domain Contributors: Charles Joppen License Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported //creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/
THE DECLINE AND FALL OF EMPIRES: A THEORY OF DE-DEVELOPMENT by Johan Galtung, dr hc mult, Professor of Peace Studies Director, TRANSCEND: A Peace and Development Network Written for the United Nations Research Institute on Development, UNRISD, Geneva Honolulu, January 1996 Tokyo, May 1996Contents1. Introduction: Why study de-development?2. Decline, fall, and the afterlife of empires3. Toward a theory of development: Some factors4. Toward a theory of de-development: Twenty factors5. Ten mini-studies5.1 The decline and fall of the West Roman Empire5.2 The decline and fall of the East Roman Empire5.3 The decline and fall of the Arab empires5.4 The decline and fall of Spain (la decadencia)5.5 The decline and fall of the Italian city-states5.6 The decline and fall of the Ottoman Empire5.7 The decline and fall of the Chinese Ching dynasty5.8 The decline and fall of the British Empire5.9 The decline and fall of the Soviet Empire5.10 The coming decline and fall of the US Empire6. Twenty factors, Ten mini-studies and Five reflections
7. A mini-theory of rats, sinking ships, and new ships8. Sustainability vs. natural death and euthanasia9. Conclusion: Decline and fall of the global marketplace?1. Introduction: Why study de-development?Development studies often focus on deficits relative to certain goals and on how to make up.Resources can be made available, like capital through savings, grants, loans, investment; humancapital through education/skills, health, modern values; fixed capital through technicalassistance, infrastructure, etc. One interesting formula is Development = Education/skills +Infrastructure.Given the development crisis, however, another perspective may also be appropriate."Development" is positive, carrying an idea of progress perspective. How about studying "de-development", a negative, regress perspective, with decline and fall? As a minimum it might beuseful to know how and why things went wrong, trying to draw some conclusions about what notto do. A focus on positive outcomes is needed. But we should also focus on negative outcomes,on what should not be done, not come about, backed by data and theory. Falsification is alsoeasier than verification.Economists and macro-historians like Edward Gibbon, Carlo M. Cipolla, Mancur Olson, PaulKennedy, P. Dasgupta have made material and hypotheses/theories available. Their books can bemined for insights in de-development, and their findings can be related to general studies offactors conditioning development.After looking at about 30 cases, ten cases were selected: West Rome, East Rome (Byzants), ArabEmpires, Spain/la decadencia, Italian city-states, the Ottoman Empire, Ching dynasty, Britishempire, Soviet empire (socialist), and the US empire (capitalist). The mini-studies are superficial,mainly based on Cipollas major book. There may be other views. But there is sufficient basis topropose a theory of de-development which can then be used as an additional approach,complementing positive development theory.2. Decline, fall and the afterlife of empiresOur cases are empires and dynasties. That they decline and in the end fall, can be seen as aspecial case of the more general "law" or principle that nothing lasts forever. Everything issubject to the "Law of Change." But if that is so, this should also be the case for that Law. Itsvalidity should not be "forever". Looking at the list of the ten empires, their creators certainly didnot think of their projet as existing on a limited lease of time only. The presumed viability was
forever; the project was irreversible. They thought they had created an End of History through anew reality. Reality, however, put an end to their project. Why? How?One answer: "because of dialectics". Actio creates reactio. Push long enough and counter-forcesarise. Empire-building without "pushing" is difficult, to put it mildly. To grow economicallysome "pushing" is also needed. A single counter-force may not tear down what has been built,being too weak. But in the margin of the system these forces will accumulate and their synergiesmay ultimately lead to decline and fall as the system exhausts itself fighting or in general tryingto control the disruptive forces.The dialectics is not always based on exogenous, external forces, like "ecological decay", or "thebarbarians crashing the gates" (Ibn Khaldun), hammering at the Roman Empire in synergisticways. The dialectic can also be endogenous, like Marx theory of rupture when the mode ofproduction no longer is adequate for the means of production. Or Sorokins "principle of limits":any system will satisfy only a limited range of the broad spectrum of human needs; sooner orlater accumulated frustration from the needs left unattended will lead to major upheavals.And a third possibility: stupidity, the March of Folly.Such theories are far-reaching, but too general for a theory focusing mainly on the economics ofde-development. The range of factors behind the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, forinstance, spans far beyond economics, even with a broad definition of that field, into any field ofinquiry, like lead-poisoning from the pipe-lines in the Roman water system.There is much to be gleaned from general dialectics, however, starting by asking a question:"what would a diagram of decline and fall look like?" People usually draw single-peaked curveswith birth-growth-peak/maturity-decline-fall/death. The model is human biography. But thatshould make us pause and think. Is the single-peaked life not a social construction. like in "hereached the high point of his career"? Could we not have multi-peaked lives/empires? How aboutshifting the achievement criterion, like an engineer-businessman becoming a scientist in thehistory of his own specialty later on in life? How about empires doing the same?Moreover, how do we reject any afterlife after death, neither in the form of eternal life "up there"or "down under", nor in the form of reincarnation, nor in the form of rebirth of certain aspects? Isan empire that disappeared but left behind strong memorials and memories, even to the point ofbecoming archetypal like the Roman Empire, really dead? Do reincarnations like the "HolyRoman Empire of the German Nation", or Mussolinis short-lived effort, not imply thatsomething was still alive? The Roman Empire was a more or less successfully imitated archetypein all the other nine cases. Is that not some kind of rebirth - and in that case is it Christian(forever), Hindu (intermittent) or Buddhist (partial)? We shall return to this question of after-life,discussing sustainability, euthanasia, and acceptable death.3. Toward a theory of development: Some factorsCritics of contemporary theories of development generally take the line that "economics is noteverything", let alone "the only thing", and charge development theory and practice with
"economism". The present author is among them, and this opens for a chance to explore somelimitations of that critical approach.Usually the critique of economics in the development process takes two different forms: When economics is used as consequence, effect: the critique would be that the goal is not awell-functioning economy, in the black at household, company, country levels, with high androbust growth rates to ensure that it stays that way. The goal is not rich countries, companies,families, but humanly rich individuals. The goal is human development, with naturedevelopment (ecological balance as a minimum), social development and world development.Homo mensura, humans are the measures of all things, not something else like an economicsystem abstracted from human beings. We could expand that concept to include naturedevelopment, with a focus on life, vita mensura. Even Protagoras can be improved upon. When economics is used as condition, cause: the critique points to many other factorsconditioning development, also when development is conceived of in a narrow, economic, sense.Nature with its limits, is certainly one; so is the motivation structure in the human Self, in turnconditioned by culture. The location of individuals, households, companies, countries in socialand world structures matters. None of these factors, or syndromes of factors, is sufficient. Butthey are all necessary conditions, meaning that economic development is certainly a necessary,but not sufficient condition for development.If E is a set of necessary economic conditions for development, D; then this means that D impliesE. But then we also have that -E (the negation of any one of the conditions in E) implies -D, andthe negation of D is what we mean by "de-development. What we have to do is evidently to tryto identify some of these factors or components of E, leaning on reasonable accounts of thedecline and fall of economies, even big economies.This is not a return to any primacy of economics, so dear to liberal/conservative and marxistdevelopment schools. But economic factors must be taken explicitly into account. In theeagerness to show that economics is neither everything nor the only thing, many critics read as ifeconomics is nothing. The cut between necessary and sufficient is too sharp, like much ofCartesian/Aristotelian logic. But it points in the right direction.In that case, following this simple logic above, all we need is a list of economic factors that playat least a subsidiary, contributing role to development. We can then hypothesize that the negationof any factor, singly or combined, on this list would cause de-development. No doubt this is oneapproach.Below is an exercise for seven factors found useful in development studies, four of them non-economic and three economic.Generally, however, this is not the way out. We are always dealing with syndromes of factors.The above logic is too simple. The negation of one factor may be inconsequential if there isenough momentum from the remaining factors. But the negation of a whole syndrome matters.Empirical studies, like our mini-studies, may tell. Moreover, by studying de-development we
may benefit from other discourses that include non-economic factors, and that may have someimpact on the positive study of development.Let us look at how some factors--like hard work, savings, greed, inconsiderateness and Q/P, C/N,F/R, explained below--work their crooked ways into this messy field.Hard work. If production factors are hard to arrive at, the processing difficult and the distributiontiring, then hard work is needed, at least for economic development. But if the factors are easilyavailable, processing is unnecessary, and consumption is on the spot or nearby, where is thenecessity for hard work? Or, is development defined so that the necessity of "hard work" is atautology, making the British Midlands rather than South Pacific Islands "normal"? Isdevelopment theory conditioned by the British Midlands? If so, is that not driving imperialismtoo far?No doubt Kant worked hard to produce his master-pieces, so did Beethoven. But could it be thatwe define as an indicator of development only that which has "hard work" as a price? That thetype of kindness, for instance, that seems to come more easily to women than to men, and couldbe seen as a criterion of real human development, does not count if it comes easily, naturally?Savings. If we live on the margin savings serve as a hedge against such calamities as hunger anddisease, and for investment to grow further. But imagine a life with neither hunger and diseasenext door, nor with any compulsion to grow further. Like a welfare state with those worriesremoved. Then, why do we need savings? Do we de-develop without them? No, their absencewould only be a sufficient condition for de-development if we want more development, or toremove worries. The general logic still holds, only that "savings", like "hard work", fit the wet,cold, foggy British Midlands with little or no welfare state better than a South Pacific island withmutual rights and obligations intact.Greed. Economic activity steered by need rather than by greed leads to a replacement rather thanto a growth economy. The element of greed guarantees a continued search for higher growth. Butgreed may also come about as a consequence rather than as a condition for hard work andsavings. Greed answers the question, why do I continue working so hard, and saving so much,when I have all I need? We can choose to see this like the former US President Reagan once did,"greed and corruption are the price we pay for a free society". Or we can see it as de-development. Only by defining development as economic growth, and not as satisfaction, do weescape a de-development conclusion. In that case we would look at people becoming less greedyas an indicator of coming crisis. And again, only if we prefer a rich society with nasty people init to a poor society with nice people. Do we?Inconsiderateness. Economic activity, like medical activity, has side-effects and side-causes,externalities. Some of them are negative, like the greed just mentioned. To go ahead withgrowth-oriented economic activity a certain blindness to these negative externalities is needed,with shallow justifications, like "the good end justifies the bad means", "eggs must be cracked tomake an omelette", or "this will sort itself out in the longer run".
The argument might be that if we really should take into account all negative side-effects thenwe would never do anything but resign ourselves to our miserable fate. The argument is, ofcourse, a non sequitur: externalities could be taken into consideration from the very beginning, asis done today routinely with some ecological externalities. Potentially this would yield more, notless development. The problem is, however, that economists admit only a very narrow range ofexternalities.Q/P, the ratio of quality to price for a product. The higher Q/P, the higher the probability of adeal. And, the more deals, the more growth. But does it follow that if we decrease quality and/orincrease prices, then we are on the road to de-development? Can anything be gained bydecreasing the quality, meaning functional adequacy, cultural adequacy and sustainability? Well,there is planned obsolescence (low sustainability) as a strategy to sustain production, and withthat employment. In the same vein, increasing prices can also be seen as a strategy to decreasemarket activity in order to cool the economy. Again the answer is not so simple. It all depends.On what? That also depends.C/N. This is the ratio of culture to nature in a product. Is a product mainly culture, like a CD, ormatter, like blueberries? The higher the degree of processing, the better. More revenue can bemade at higher levels of C/N, degree of processing. Does that mean that a move downwardushers in de-development? Or, could there be something positive in "back to nature", correctingfor too much culture? It all depends. On what, also depends.F/R. This is the ratio of the finance economy to the real economy. It should be neither too high,nor too low. Does that mean that shifts toward finance economy, as speculation, or toward realeconomy as a subsistence economy, is catastrophic? Probably not for a shorter period of time.But to live in pure speculation or subsistence forever is a different matter. It all depends.The conclusion is not so clear. But the first four are indicative of a development theory seriouslybiased by a hard geography and by a hard bourgeoisie insensitive to the suffering of the inner,the outer proletariat, and nature. The other three, however, particularly when combined, areprobably crucial.4. Toward an economic theory of de-development: Twenty factorsEasier because falsification is easier than verification. We could proceed inductively, extractingfactors from each of the ten cases, or deductively, presenting a scheme of such factors, usingthem to comment on the cases. The author started inductively to identify factors, and proceededdeductively to present the findings. We are dealing with post-, not pre-dictions anyhow.We first divided the world into two parts, the "country in a process of de-development" vs."foreign countries/abroad/the context". Self vs. Others, in other words. They relate to each othereconomically, and also militarily, politically, culturally.And then we cut into the countries in six different ways:- humans vs. environment, a rather key inter-face;
- natives vs. foreigners, as foreigners may play a crucial role both for development and de-development;- center/elites vs. periphery/people, roughly in terms of power - normative/contractual/coercive -and privilege;- primary, secondary and tertiary sectors of economic activity, meaning extraction from nature,processing, distribution, adding to the tertiary sector professional/cultural activities;- production factors: nature, labor, capital, technology, management, (N, L; C, T, M), and theiravailability;- deep culture, cosmology, for motivation patterns and adequacy.Given this scheme a necessary condition for development is balance/adequacy for all six divides.But that formula is vacuous if we do not know a priori what that means. In hindsight it is easy todraw the conclusion that there was serious imbalance, but at that time it may already be too late;the decline may be self-reinforcing, irreversible. We should be able to tell in advance.Twenty hypotheses about de-development, decline and fall:De-development will take place as a consequence of:First divide, Self vs. Other: Bad division of laborI,1: long-term accumulation of foreign debt,I,2: long-term accumulation of negative externality balancesI,3: excessive military costs keeping other countries at bayI,4: long-term exploitation of Periphery by political hegemonsI,5: cultural imitation and absence of creativitySecond divide, humans vs. environment: ImbalanceII,6: depletion from extractionII,7: pollution from processing, distribution and consumptionII,8: general deterioration of diversity/symbiosis, of maturityThird divide, natives vs. foreigners: Bad division of laborIII,9: long term accumulation of debt to foreigners
III,10: long term accumulation of negative externality balancesFourth divide, elites vs. people: Bad division of laborIV,11: long-term exploitation of the people by the elitesIV,12: excessive miliary costs keeping other people at bayFifth divide, primary/secondary/tertiary sectors: ImbalanceV,13: neglecting one or more sectorsV,14: foreigners controlling one or more sectorsSixth divide, production factors: Insufficient availability ofVI,15: nature, internally, through import, or processed abroadVI,16: labor, internally, foreign workers, or working abroadVI,17: capital, internally, foreign investors, or invested abroadVI,18: technology, endogenous, or imported from abroadVI,19: management, elite, people, or imported from abroadSeventh divide, deep culture: Inadequate motivation patternVII,20: deep culture, too expansionist, or too contractiveBut how do we know that a country is de-developing, what are the criteria, as distinct fromfactors/causes/conditions? If the divides above are the independent variables, and the 20hypotheses are the mechanisms, then what are the dependent variables?Here "sustainability" or the classical "reproducibility" enters: when the economy is no longersustainable/reproducible. A human being can take stock of his/her wellness every morning: am Ithe same, better off or worse off than yesterday morning? - knowing very well that successive"worse-offs" spell illness, decline and fall, possibly impending death. An economy, a companyor a country, takes stock at the end of the year and arrives at the same conclusion. Thus,"expenses exceed revenues" is not a reason for decline, it is a criterion of decline. "Expansionbrought economic benefits but incurred military costs, and the latter exceeded the former" is nota reason either, only a way of spelling out that budget more clearly. A possible cause might bethat the country was too expansionist (hypothesis VII,20 above), and then start inquiring moredeeply into the reasons why.
Massive migration out of the country, or at least out of the cities, by elites or people, is also acriterion rather than a reason, or rather a reading of how elites or people read the situation: thesystem is doomed. And the same applies to spiritual migration: the body is still in the system,performing its tasks, but halfheartedly since the spirit is anywhere else. Both elites and peopleare observing rather than participating, drawing conclusions for themselves rather than forsociety, assessing the right time to leave, to jump the sinking ship.Demralization, in other words. And, as the saying goes, will the last person leaving please turnoff the lights - -5. Ten mini-studies5.1. Case 1: The Decline and Fall of the West Roman EmpireThe reader will find on the next page (Diagram I) an effort by the present author to summarizemuch of the literature on the Roman Empire and to go one step further. As the Roman Empirebecame model for other empires, at least in the West, its decline also became archetype for otherdeclines, defining the discourse. One more example of how the Roman Empire has survived itsown demise, dominating our thinking even about the death of empires.The diagram is divided into three columns. To the right are five indicators/criteria of decline andfall, break-down, failure to be sustainable/reproducible. As mentioned above, we could also talkabout dependent variables. The extreme Other, the barbarians, are increasingly successfulmilitarily. The society militarizes to the point that even the emperors are military men. A strictcommand/control ethos permeates society with rigidity and lack of creativity, except, possibly,on the battle-field. People lose interest and faith. The more imaginative escape to another habitat,the countryside, building alternative societies like the villa romana, thereby also escaping statetaxation and the ecological depletion of the soil. Long before that they have become observersrather than participants. What happens in society happens because of "them", never because of"us".Obviously these five criteria are interrelated in circular loops; they serve as each othersconditions and consequences. These may also be the only five factors visible to the members ofsociety at that time, the causes, and the root causes, being invisible. "Native theory" wouldcluster around these criteria, to the point of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy about decline.In the second column, in the middle of the diagram, the reasons/causes are indicated, but as ahypothetical flow chart, not as a list of factors. The basic divides used are between elites andpeople (here called proletariat), and between natives and foreigners (here called barbarians). Theeconomic model of society is based on the two answers to one question: how does surplus flowto the materially non-productive elites, engaged in political/military leadership, and in culturalproduction, only. The two answers are: through territorial expansion, conquest, plunder, exactingtaxes from the external proletariat (Toynbee), the barbarians; and through slave-basedproduction, paying the slaves little or nothing, living off the added value produced by the slaves,or the internal proletariat in general.
No wonder that barbarians and slaves protested, counter-attacked, revolted. To contain theprotests two approaches were used. There were the military campaigns against both. But therewere also positive approaches. For the proletariat there was the famous panem et circenses, breadand circus, welfare state and entertainment. And for the barbarians co-optation into the elite, thestate and the army. In both cases the idea must have been to give them vested interest in thecontinuation of the Roman Empire. As they were given channels of mobility into the covetedelit, the elite expanded, became more foreign and more costly to maintain, generating moreconquest and exploitation to become sustainable.The system worked as long as it worked, meaning as long as there was a reasonable balance inthe flow chart. The system was remarkably stable, for centuries, and also remarkably fragile, in astate of unstable equilibrium. The implication was that when decline really started it wasirreversible. Or so it seemed.In the first column there is an effort to look for the root causes of the whole phenomenon,locating them in the deep culture of the Roman Empire. The cosmology was centrifugal. Thatthey had not only the right, but even the duty to expand was taken for granted. They saw theirown conquest, plunder and exploitation as the best that could happen to the barbarians and theproletariat, probably including the gladiators sacrificed for entertainment purposes. Their wholehistory from the beginnings around -750 bears testimony to an expansionist or centrifugalmentality, pushing the limes outward; to the British Highlands, the Rhine-Danube and theEuphrates, with an army of 600,000.In that column there are also two competing cosmologies, barbarian and Christian. The"barbarians" were smaller groups, probably more centripetal in their basic orientation. However,exposed to the contagious expansionism of the Roman Empire, including being co-opted, theCarolingians, the Vikings, and the Franks of the Crusades became no strangers to expansion.And the Christians, not only inner-oriented but other world-oriented in their search for a NewKingdom, became converts to expansionism as Christianity became religio lecita in the RomanEmpire (+313). The incorporation succeeded. The Christian successor systems were alsoexpansionist, hence also subject to decline and fall.And that may be the basic key: expansionism in the deep culture leads to expansion without stopsignals leads to counter-forces leads to decline leads to fall after the outer limits have beenreached and transgressed. There are in-between mechanisms as indicated in the second column.But the basic conclusion remains that the cause of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire wasits expansionist deep culture, never questioning expansionism as such.>From this it does not follow that "contractionism" is the answer. The historical successor wasthe manorial system, and then the feudal system, and many of the units were very small. Thetotality, the "medieval system", did not prove sustainability either. Without trade, self-reliant inprinciple, spending huge amounts of resources on what today would be called ritual, liketournaments, parties, religious ceremonies, they over-used natural resources till the environmentcould sustain neither itself, nor them. Cultivating the mountainsides did not help much either.
So the serfs left, headed for the city-states and positions at the bottom of artisanry. Ultimately theknights left too, and became troubadours, robbers and pirates, or artisans, burghers.In retrospect, how could the Western Roman Empire have been saved, have been madesustainable? Here is one formula/answer:- by exploiting nature in Italy and North Africa less;- by exploiting the inner proletariat less;- by conquering and exploiting the barbarians less;- by keeping a lid on the growth of the elite sector;- by turning more towards spiritual and away from material values. No doubt this combinationwould have worked. But then the Roman Empire would not have been the Roman Empire, butcloser to its successor system in the Middle Ages. A futile speculation.A more profound question is why the Roman Empire should be made sustainable at all. Theanswer is probably affirmative for those training their eyes on the elites and their achievements,negative for those more concerned with what happened to nature, the proletariat and thebarbarians. There is something to learn from that about the concept of sustainability. What is sogreat about sustainability? And - sustainability for whom? Against whom?5.2 Case 2: The Decline and Fall of the East Roman EmpireThis was essentially the Balkans and "Little Asia", Turkey. But they behaved as if they were theRoman Empire after the division was final in +395 and particularly after West Rome fell in+476. They had their own identity centered on Constantinople, the old Byzants, built byConstantin the Great in +330, and on Orthodox Christianity. The Great Schism of +1054between the Western (Catholic) and Eastern (Orthodox) Churches added the religious to thepolitical division, solidifying the faultline through Europe. Losing Asia Minor, and Jerusalem!,to the Seljuq Turks gave rise to the Crusades 1095-1291 that also hit East Rome.Economically the loss of land meant loss of agriculture, making them dependent on food importsfrom the outside. Having no ships the trade had to be done by others. To the West they had threecompetitors, Genova, Venezia and Ragusa (Dubrovnik). What remained for East Rome to do wasstatecraft, playing Genova and Venezia against each other, giving Venezia concessions to importgoods free of duty. Already in 1347 the situation was so critical that the Emperor conducted hiswedding in ceramics, not in gold and silver. Finally they were encircled by the Ottomans, and the1453 conquest by the Ottoman Mohammed II of Constantinople under Constantin XIPalaeologus was only the final death blow.Past capital and prestige may impress satellites but not the competitors. If the primary sectordeclines then other sectors have to function to compensate. But they had neither industry, norcrafts, nor trade; only statecraft. To entrust primary and tertiary sectors not only to foreigners but
to foreign countries did not work. The miracle is that the empire nonetheless lasted a thousandyears till finally the bells tolled in 1453.5.3 Case 3: The Decline and Fall of the Arab EmpiresWe are essentially talking of the Caliphate, the rulership of Islam by a leader who is bothtemporal and spiritual. Soon after the death of the Prophet the Caliphate split into the Umayyads,ruling from Damascus, and the Abassids ruling from Baghdad. The Abassids massacred theUmayyads in +750, but some found the way to Spain and continued as the Western Caliphate ofCórdoba +712. The Abassids were massacred in +1258 in Baghdad during the Crusades by analliance of Christians and Genghiz Khans grandson, Hulaku. Under the Fatimids the centermoved to Cairo, taken over by the Abassids in +1171.In Cairo the Mamelukes, originally slaves brought to Egypt by Fatimid caliphs, were ruling as awarrior caste of landlords with private armies. Economically Mameluke sultans, chosen from theranks of the warriors seem to have been particularly inept. First, there was the problem of origin,celebrating the rise from slaves to rulers, maybe enjoying the fruits rather than cultivating them.Second, there was the problem of warriors being better at destruction and ruling than atconstruction and serving, whether the latter is done from the primary, secondary or tertiarysectors of the society. Being inadequate as farmers and traders the whole economy suffered aserious decline from a commercial and monetary economy to a subsistence economy. Localchiefs got feudal rights, meaning thy were more interested in squeezing surplus out of theie serfsthan in economic growth. The Portuguese Vasco da Gama, +1497-99, captured the trade betweenAfrica and India.And in 1517 the death blow came when the Ottomans, following their Constantinople success,conquered Cairo. One lesson seems to be never to leave key sectors to foreigners or/and themilitary.5.4 Case 4: The Decline and Fall of Spain (la decadencia)Few countries have had such access to wealth through theft, after the conquest of most ofSouth/Central America from 1492 onwards, and then wasted it so quickly, as Spain during thedecadencia 1620-1690. After the genocide on the dominant indigenous peoples, the Aztecs andthe Incas, the rest was up for grabs, including precious metals and jewels. The flow into Spainfrom the Colonies, mainly through Sevilla, was continuous. And yet, by the end of the 17thcentury little remained. How? Why?The general explanation seems to be that an economy based on industry and commerce did notfit into an economy based on feudal agriculture and colonialism. The latter two blended easily,being based on the same concepts of dominio, ownership, of land for agriculture or mining, andof people, as serfs and slaves. There is no need for innovation beyond control to ensuremaximum gain. And no search for markets either as the wealth piled up at the feet of the hidalgo,the grande, and the church.
This was being and having rather than becoming. Why should a rich Spanish grande makeanything that could be bought from those who had the skills? With that ethos the Spanish neverdevelop those skills, a fact that pleased their competitors in the Italian and Low Countries city-states, and in England, enormously. Experts from their competitors were even invited to makecannon balls, and the trade went to such major enemies as the British. The Spanish gladly gaveaway more challenges than they stole gold. By 1898-1902 the fall was completed by the USAwalking into their downtrodden imperial shoes in the Pacific and the Caribbean.The lesson seems to be never to give away challenging work; if you do you will suffer seriousconsequences.5.5 Case 5: The Decline and Fall of the Italian city-statesThe economic decline of Italy, like for Spain, was during the 17th century. Italy was not theprimary beneficiary of Spanish "dont manufacture, buy" policies. The major beneficiaries wereEngland, France and the Low Countries. And the net result at the end of the 17th century wasclear and similar to Spain:"From being a developed country, mainly importing primary products and exportingmanufactured good and services /banking and shipping/, Italy had become an underdevelopedcountry, mainly importing manufactured articles and services and exporting primary products".But not for Spanish reasons. They did no pay sufficient attention to Q/P, quality over price. Thequality of Italian textiles was still excellent. But there was the problem of price. The Italianprices became too high, for three reasons:- excessive control by the guilds, tying Italian manufacturers to old-fashioned production andorganization;- the pressure of taxation in the Italian states;- labor costs too high relative to other countries.But behind these well-known factors something else was lurking.Thus, could it be that they were the victims of their own tremendous success in earlier centuries?That they considered themselves to be basically invulnerable, having nothing to learn whereproduction and organization are concerned? Could it be that the city states and labor also felt thatway, that the textile industry was so secure that they could easily take on more taxation and stillpay higher wages? The result was the end of "her career as a country, once depressed andoverpopulated".The lesson seems to be never rest on ones laurels, to watch both Q and P, and remember:customers are treacherous people! They may vary both Q and P so as to arrive at a better Q/Pthemselves.
5.6 Case 6: The Decline and Fall of the Ottoman EmpireThere were beginnings before 1453, but the real rise and expansion came after that fall of theByzantine Empire. Having conquered Syria and Egypt, Sultan Selim I also assumed theCaliphate, ruling over major parts of Asia, Europe and Africa. But in the 18th-19th centuries theOttomans lost to Russia in the Russo-Turkish wars that lasted almost two centuries, and also lostGreece and Egypt. The Balkan wars (1912-13) and World War I (1914-1918) led to thebeginning of the end in 1918.Much of the warfare was with military defeat, but much of the dynamic was economic. Threebasic factors are known to us.First, the Ottomans created an elite corps of civil servants and military, the Janissaries, based onwar captives and abducted Christian youths from the Balkans, marched far away from theirfamilies and raised by the Ottoman State. The Janissaries had the power to make and unmakesultans. There were some similarities with the Mamelukes in Egypt, rightly or wrongly suspectedof disloyalty. In +1826 the Janissaries were massacred by Sultan Mahmud II in their barracks;fifteen years after the founder of modern Egypt, Mohammed Ali, had done the same to theMamelukes.Second, Ottoman society was long on religion, government, war and agriculture, but short onindustry and trade. A dangerous formation in a period when European empires developedindustry and trade. Consequently the status as industrialist and trader had to be filled byforeigners, among them Armenians. Jews evicted from Spain had played important rolesfinancing the Ottoman Empire, and Europe beyond that. When the natives fail to learn andchange, the tasks and fruits of modernity accrue to foreigners and foreign countries instead.Classical.5.7 Case 7: The Decline and Fall of the Chinese Ching DynastyThe fascinating account by Ping-Ti Ho will be used in the following, with the usual caveat thatreliance on one author always is dangerous. His account starts describing the wealth of China atthe end of the Ming (1368-1644) and the beginning of the Ching (1644-1912) dynasties, withfabulous accumulation in some families, with long-distance and inter-regional trade, and withguild-halls in commercial centers.And then came five reasons for decline from the 18th century, culminating in the Taiping/GreatPeace rebellion 1850-64:- the best way of getting rich was to buy the privilege of selling staples, like salt and tea, undergovernment monopoly;- the profit was not reinvested in commercial and industrial enterprises that were less profitablethan money-lending and tax-farming. Rich people preferred to buy official ranks and titles andencouraged their sons to become degree-holders; in addition conspicuous consumption played arole;
- with no primogeniture wealth was shared within families and clans, meaning that there was nogreat accumulation at one point;- Confucian values rewarded the learned and studious, not the hardworking merchant.Philosophy prevailed over technology;- the most powerful economic control was exercised by the State, giving a choice betweenbureaucratic capitalism (the solution during the Kuomintang dynasty) and bureaucraticcollectivism (the solution during the Communist dynasty).Lesson: hard work, savings, greed and inconsiderateness on the top led to an economic growthinsensitive to stop signals. The Age of the Merchant; followed by the Age of the People asSarkar predicted, the Communist dynasty. With its decline and fall.5.8 Case 8: The Decline and Fall of the British EmpireThe UK was the Center and exemplar par excellence of archetypical modern Westernimperialism modeled on the Roman Empire. On the next page (Diagram II) is an effort tosummarize some thinking on the problems of imperialism, and to go one step further. Thediagram is similar to Diagram I for the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. Similarphenomena demand similar models.There are some differences, relating to "modernization".The materially nonproductive elite now divides into state bureaucrats, corporation capitalists andintellectuals, all three at national and transnational levels. Modernity differentiates, but alsointegrates across borders. The native protest against geopolitical expansion, and the innerproletariat protest against capitalist socio-economic expansion, have Roman Empire dimensions.Military and police punishment expeditions in the colonies join with welfare, entertainment andsport strategies to placate the inner proletariat. A costly system, in a precarious balance.The centrifugal cosmology of the modern West is then held responsible as the root cause,defining expansion as normal and natural. There are challenges from such non-Westerncosmologies as Buddhism, and to some extent Hinduism, both found attractive by lessexpansionist Westerners, particularly by women. And there are sectarian countertrends withinthe West, like the Green movement.The outcome was inevitable: the system collapsed. By the 1960s colonialism was almost gone.But the British economy made up for lost markets in the EU/ACP system. And the major threatto common people was not the loss of empire, but the loss of welfare.Lesson: dont have empires, also for your own sake. You may get into trouble. But the fall ofempire may be your new beginning.5.9 Case 9: The Decline and Fall of the Soviet Empire
The problem of the Soviet Union may not have been too much planning, but too little. With, say,400 people in gosplan and the socialist planning commissions, planning for 400 million in theSoviet Union and Eastern Europe, the 400 were obviously over-challenged and the 400 millionunder-challenged. But even this key externality, challenge, did not enter their planning. They hadvery narrow visions of the economy, just bringing production factors together to produce, withlittle or no attention given to distribution and consumption. The plans were production plans.And countless externalities were left unattended, eg.,- in nature: depletion and pollution, including toxic pollution;- in humans: boredom, withdrawal, apathy, general demoralization; - in society: a top-heavy,centralized, non-participatory society run by the Russian nation controlling other nations, the citycontrolling the countryside, the bourgeoisie the proletariat, and the bourgeoisie having nothing tobuy because the C/N was too low;- in world: a confrontational foreign policy run by the Soviet Union controlling and interveningin satellite countries;- in time: a rigidity making social change very difficult;- in culture: linear marxist visions, the Stufengang, on rigid narrow tracks, and a basiccontradiction between myth and reality.With such matters left unattended tensions accumulated. The society did not produce enoughsurplus to bribe everybody and lost the Stalinist nerve to suppress. Due to low level internationaltrade they could not do what capitalism is good at, exporting negative externalities, like toxins,letting others abroad suffer.Accumulated pollution led to diseases, adding to the general demoralization. Topheavinessdeprived them of initiative which also was largely forbidden. Confrontations led to a very costlyarms race. Rigidity and linearity deprived them of hope. Finallly, the fall was imported fromother, peripheral, socialist countries.Lesson: socialism, better at material basic needs, pays less attention to externalities, does notexport them, and breaks down.5.10 Case 10: The Coming Decline and Fall of the US empireLet us try the three economic factors on the US economy:SYNDROME DIAGNOSIS THERAPYQ/P no dignity for workers; respect for skilled worksyndrome bad or no trade unions; company+national unions
very short term contracts more life-long contractsbad pay means no respect higher minimum salarybad CEO/worker income ratio improve the income ratiolow level education improve lower educationdisastrous media, TV moratorium on some mediaboring, degrading work increase challenge levelbad health, absenteeism social security for alljunk workers, junk work go in for quality in bothC/N profit above challenge go in for bothsyndrome low C/N exports (not arms) increase the levelhigh C/N imports reindustralizationtoo much military work liberate R&D from militarytoo much secrecy lift the secrecyL cheap, no T-incentive make Labor less cheapCEOs C&M- not T-oriented more engineers as CEOCEOs too much power flatter organizationR&D far from marketing decrease distanceexcessively free trade selective protectionismjunk work, junk products go in for quality in bothF/R CEOs C&M- not T-oriented moratorium on some CBAssyndrome quarterly reports onger time perspectivesfinance-trading too easy make it more difficulttoo much speculation money incentive for productionjunk products, junk finance go in for quality in both
Cardinal shortcomings of the mainstream US economy:Q/P syndrome: inattention to quality of labor; inattention to unemployment as reason for L-intensive, T-extensive production;GNP does not reflect quality, only quantity of products marketed; economists underestimate thesignificance of the working classC/N syndrome: inattention to degree of processing, "it does not matter whether we make potato-chips or micro-chips"; inattention to spin-off effects; GNP does not reflect degree of processing;overemphasis on free market and trade regardless of product level.F/R syndrome: inattention to the F and R difference; GNP does not reflect difference between Fand R; economists overestimate the significance of economists, and serve their own capitalistclassKey blocks: class society; greed/inconsiderateness; media power; expansionism; militarism;patriarchy; CEOism; serving dividend interests of stock-holders, not of workers; extremisteconomism.As the therapies are unacceptable, the prognosis is military and finance economy because Q/Pand C/N are too low to compete, crash of finance economy because F/R is too high, recession,depression.6. Summary: Twenty factors, Ten mini-studies and Five reflectionsDECLINE AND FALL: AN OVERVIEWIn  above twenty factors in the life-cycle of an empire were explored, and in  above tenmini-studies were presented.This table is an effort to summarize the findings: West East Arab Spanish Italian Ottoman Ching English Soviet USA No. Rome Rome Empi- Empire Dynasty Yes res deca- city- Empire Empire Empire dencia states1 No Yes No No No Yes No Yes No Yes 42 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 103 Yes Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes Yes 74 No Yes Yes No No Yes No No No No 3
5 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Y/N 9.56 Yes No No No No No No No No Yes 27 Yes No No No No No No No Yes Yes 38 Yes No No No No No No No Yes No 29 No Yes No No No Yes Yes No No No 310 Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes 811 Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 812 Yes No No No No Yes No Yes Yes Yes 513 Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes 814 Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes No No No 515 Yes Yes No No No No No Yes No No 316 Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No No 617 Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No No No 518 Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Y/N 8.519 No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 920 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes 9Yes 17 16 13 8 5 15 10 11 11 12 118YES: a major issue NO: a minor issue, or none Y/N: Yes and NoThe vertical reading informs us how narrow or broad the causation behind decline and fall wasfor each mini-study; and the horizontal reading informs us about the relative prevalence of thefactors. Both readings will be used for the reflections.Needless to say all 200 judgments are problematic. Each cell could easily be the subject of one ormore books (some of them have already been written). But the focus here is on the pattern morethan on any single judgment. The assumption is that even if each judgment is not very robust,conclusions based on patterns may be.Here are the five reflections, with care and reservations:
 No single factor theory has emerged. No single factor, with score 10 and score 0 for allothers, explains the decline and fall of all. No. 2, "long term accumulation of negative externalitybalance" has scote 10, but it is not alone. The narrowest syndrome, for Italian city-states, has fiveof the ten factors operating, and in the broadest syndromes, for the two Roman Empires, 17 and16 of the 20 factors respectively have been recognized. We are not dealing with tautologies.Factor No. 2 may sound close to a tautology, but there is content in "long term", "negative", and"externality". The short term may not be that dangerous. Strong positive side-effects of economicactivity may balance the negative externalities. Implied is also that monetized parts of theeconomy, internalities like the national account balance, are not the only factors that count. But afactor like "elite demoralization", certainly present in all of them at some time, would have beena part of the description, even definition of decline and fall, and not have explained anything. There is a causal syndrome with a clear message/logic.If we draw the line at score 9 four factors (Nos. 2-5-19-20) account for 37.5 of the 200connections, or 19%; not very high. But if we draw the line at score 8, a causal syndrome ofeight factors (Nos. 2-5-10-11-13-18-19-20), or 40% of the 20 factors, we can account for 70/118= 59% of the connections identified.That syndrome can now be summarized as follows:- a division of labor whereby foreign countries, and/or foreigners inside ones own country, takeover the most challenging and interesting and developing tasks, given the historical situation;- a deficit in creativity related to a deficit in technology and good management, includingforesight and innovation;- one or several sectors of the economy neglected or lagging;- and, at the same time, expansionism as ideology/cosmology, exploiting foreign countries and/orones own people inviting negative, destructive reactions.Clearly, if the system "took a sabbatical" and rested to restore itself, then some deficits may berectified. Thus, it looks as if the combination of economic deficits with expansionist immodestysummarizes this syndrome. Obviously, if the elites are unable to manage, suppress their ownpeople, leaving important tasks to foreign countries and/or foreigners rather than to their ownpeople, then the end must be near. Where is the source of renewal in that case? No internalchallenge-response dynamics? The systems vary in the scope of the explanatory basis; some (like the Roman Empires)having a very broad base, others (like the Italian city-states) a more narrow base. This, however,is certainly also a function of the lore that has developed in the historiography of the decline andfall of the systems: the more people and disciplines involved, the more factors. Some appear
over-explained: the oldest for the reasons given, and the most recent because they are parts ofcontemporary debate. Some others that fall between these two chairs may be under-explained.There is a methodological danger here: whoever searches sufficiently long for any factor willprobably finally identify also that one. The broader the base of factors, the more inevitable an impending death, the narower thebase, the less inevitable. A sick empire is like a sick human being: the more pathologies, themore inevitable and hence more acceptable the death. There is nothing that can be done anyhow.To sustain is to prolong suffering, not vitality. To speed up the decline for the two RomanEmpires, giving space for others, appears more rational than artificial longevity.On the other hand, Spain and Italy might have been sustained using simple measures, like moreself-reliance and more willingness to take on new challenges for Spain, and labor marketflexibility and entrepreneurial freedom for Italy. The measures would have saved millions, andgenerations, from centuries of decline.The first conclusion from all of this is obvious: the pathologies have to be nipped in the bud, atan early stage, and above all before they spread like metastases. Sustainability presupposessufficient health to be able to resist multiple shocks from syndromes. A high level of immuno-deficiency is catastrophic.The second conclusion is equally obvious: in some cases the system may have come to a point ofno return. The system is not sustainable, regardless of how strong the desire for eternal life, or amore modest lease on eternity, might be. Like for human beings the system may be headed forwhat is often referred to as natural death, close to the concept of "acceptable death". The systemhas completed its life-curve (single-peaked in the Occident), and there is no clear successor. Andthe end is due to a broad syndrome of causes, not one single cause for which a remedy might befound.The third conclusion is more problematic. Sustainability is a part of the issue. But issustainability itself sustainable? Or, is another concept knocking on the door: euthanasia forsocieties?7. A mini-theory of rats, of sinking ships and of new shipsThese are ten stories of sinking ships, and ships usually harbor rats known to leave sinking ships.But who are the rats, and what do they do after leaving the sinking ship? They probably do notleave to drown, but possibly to find a new ship and a new life?The immediate answer would be to find a new ship, although some rats may prefer dignifiedsuicide to a life in the ruins of their own creation. There are exceptions like the captain of thesinking ship, the last one to leave even at the risk of joining the ship on its way down. Like shipcaptain, like captain of the state ship, the head of state. In principle. But in fact he often prefersescape and ends up as a monarch in exile, unable to find new ships. Better a life in fadedsplendor than death or suicide.