SOCIETIES and CYCLEs
As we deal with an imploding society of our own , it's interesting to look at other societies, past and present, that have experienced similar disruptions. For information specific to the likely (or maybe ongoing, by the time you read this) collapse due to Peak Oil.
Collapse of Societies
Societies collapse for reasons, and social scientists and writers see a commonality in those reasons. No society appears to avoid the inevitable destiny.
"Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future, too." - Marcus Aurelius
How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs and Steel [book]
Collapse of Complex Societies, The
A study of why societies have collapsed throughout history by Joseph Tainter [book]
Coming Dark Age, The
On the risks of unmanageability of large technological systems and the tragic consequences it could have for the world - By Roberto Vacca [e-book]
Death of Megalopolis, The
A futuristic doom novel - By Roberto Vacca [e-book]
Why Societies Collapse
Transcript of a talk by UCLA professor Jared Diamond, winner of a 1997 Pulitzer Prize for his book Guns, Germs and Steel
Collapse of Contemporary Societies
Societal collapse isn't just in the distant past. It's all around us. Perhaps in our present, definitely in our future. We can learn much from societies that have recently collapsed.
They Came, They Went Away
Article in The Economist on European empires
After The Collapse
A review of the film Argentina: Hope in Hard Times
Argentina Crisis Sparks Cooperative Growth
From Project Censored
Argentina: Hope in Hard Times
How Argentines are picking up the pieces of their devastated economy and creating new possibilities for the future.
Argentina's Economic Turmoil
Various views of the collapse
A countrywide barter club network
Argentina's unemployed build direct democracy for basic needs
Argentine workers take over a closed auto-parts factory [film]
Throw Them All Out
Argentina's Grassroots Rebellion
Workers Take Factories Into Their Own Hands
When plant shutdowns loom, workers seek ways to keep the machinery running and their jobs from disappearing
In 1989 the Soviet Union collapsed. Cuba had been dependent on the USSR for oil, purchase of its sugar crop, and other economic aid. Deprived of this assistance, Cuba's economy and agricultural production collapsed, resulting in what the Cubans euphemistically refer to as their "Special Period." For more information, see also our Cuba page.
Article in The Guardian
Cuba's Security in Fresh Product
Article from Food First
Slim Pickings in the Special Period
A visit to a bodega and an economics lesson
Cuba's Fate and Ours
In 1989 the Union of Soviet Social Republic collapsed. There are many different theories as to why, but there is unanimous agreement that it certainly collapsed.
Post Soviet Lessons for a Post-American Century - Part One
How the Russian people dealt with the collapse, and a comparison between Russian and American cultures. Could the Russian experience be a dress rehearsal for the American experience?
"Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it." - George Bernard Shaw
An Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire
New American Century, The
People vs. Empire
Colossus: The Price of America's Empire
Speech by Niall Ferguson, author of "Empire"
The rise and fall of the American empire [book] - (book review)
Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire
By Morris Berman, author of The Twilight of American Culture [book]
Decline and Fall of the American Empire, The
Article on Gore Vidal
Decline and Fall of the American Empire
Interview with author Charles A. Kupchan
Empire of Debt
The rise of an epic financial crisis [book] (about the book)
End of Empire, The
William Greider in The Nation
Fourteen characteristics of fascism—but of course it can't happen here.
Imperial Entropy: Collapse of the American Empire
By Kirkpatrick Sale in Counterpunch
Jonathan Schell on the Empire that Fell as it Rose
Author of "The Unconquerable World"
Last Waltz, The: The Coming End of the American Superpower
By Paul Craig Roberts in Counterpunch
Leading Historian Says U.S. "Empire" To Fail
Report on a talk by historian Eric J. Hobsbawm
Militarism and the American Empire
A conversation with Chalmers Johnson
Short-Lived American Empire, The
By independent journalist Gwynne Dyer
Sorrows of Empire, The
Militarism, secrecy, and the end of the republic, by Chalmers Johnson [book] (interview)
Teetering Empire, The
Third Stage of American Empire, The
By William Rivers Pitt
Iron Heel, The
By Jack London
It Can't Happen Here
by Sinclair Lewis
Plot Against America, The: A Novel
By Philip Roth
They Thought They Were Free
The Germans, 1933-45
Is everything new and never before seen? Are our actions the only factors affecting the course of history?
Throughout the history of humanity many people have studied trends and cycles and concluded that there are natural forces much greater than we that affect the destinies of our societies and our lives.
Perhaps any economic and societal crash we experience has less to do with Peak Oil, budget deficits and housing bubbles than it does with the cyclical ebb and flow of history.
Asian Slump, The - Will It Become a World Depression?
Essay by economics professor Ravi Batra on social cycles. Batra has been described as "having predicted 10 out of the last 3 recessions" (he was wrong on the timing of the one discussed here, too), but the Law of Social Cycles that he presents is very interesting.
Cycles Research Institute
For the interdisciplinary study of cycles
Foundation for the Study of Cycles
Purpose is to discover the causes and conditions for cyclic and rhythmic behaviors
Fourth Turning, The
The past and future of Western history [book]
Great Cycle, The
Predicting and profiting from crowd behavior, the Kondratieff Wave, and long-term cycles [book]
Includes biography of Nikolai Kondratieff
A 54-year (average) economic, social and cultural cycle
Kondratieff Waves in the U.S.
From 1789 - 2003
Long Wave and War, The
The influence of cycles on war
Long Wave Cycle
By Nikolai Kondratieff [book]
Thoughts on a Second Great Depression
One person's commentary on cycles
The last major economic collapse was the Great Depression, starting in 1929 and lasting throughout the 1930s. But economic collapse is a recurring, and cyclical, event throughout history.
Daily Life in the United States, 1920-1940
How Americans lived during the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression [book]
Great Crash of 1929, The
The classic book on the economic collapse and Great Depression, by John Kenneth Galbraith [book]
Great Depression, The
Public Broadcasting System (PBS)
Greatest Market Crashes of History
From tulip bulb to dot.com
An oral history of the Great Depression by Studs Terkel [book]
Stock Market Crash
Anticipating economic collapse - long wave economic news
Nobody knows for sure how a Peak Oil-instigated economic collapse might play out, but there are some pretty interesting guesses.
See Dry Dipstick's Possible Scenarios