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The Case for True Historical Study and an Outline of John Glubb’s The Fate of Empires
Thank you to Riley for this document.
I recently spoke with a person who I am certain has more native intelligence than I do, who chided me for wasting time on discussions of history, for, the person of today, who wishes to succeed today, has only one proper course of study, today.
This is the opinion of over 99% of humanity, and has always been the opinion of over 99% of humanity, and, for this reason, humanity has always made the same mistakes. As a coach, the person above came off to me as a fighter who refuses to study fights involving other fighters, but only wishes to examine his own battles. This myopic worldview makes it difficult to see correlations between cause and effect, origins and results and robs the fighter of a crucial mirror, one in which he may examine himself, and also his future opponents.
Below is what a former military leader, engineer and political scientist—of the school of practical experience—had to say about the necessity to understand the past in order to prepare for the future:
“As we pass through life, we learn by experience. We look back on our behaviour when we were young and think how foolish we were. In the same way our family, our community and our town endeavour to avoid the mistakes made by our predecessors. The experiences of the human race have been recorded, in more or less detail, for some four thousand years. If we attempt to study such a period of time in as many countries as possible, we seem to discover the same patterns constantly repeated under widely differing conditions of climate, culture and religion. Surely, we ask ourselves, if we studied calmly and impartially the history of human institutions and development over these four thousand years, should we not reach conclusions which would assist to solve our problems today? For everything that is occurring around us has happened again and again before.
“No such conception ever appears to have entered into the minds of our historians. In general, historical teaching in schools is limited to this small island. We endlessly mull over the Tudors and the Stewarts, the Battle of Crecy, and Guy Fawkes. Perhaps this narrowness is due to our examination system, which necessitates the careful definition of a syllabus which all children must observe. I remember once visiting a school for mentally handicapped children. “Our children do not have to take examinations," the headmaster told me,” and so we are able to teach them things which will be really useful to them in life."
“However this may be, the thesis which I wish to propound is that priceless lessons could be learned if the history of the past four thousand years could be thoroughly and impartially studied. In these two articles, which first appeared in Blackwood’s Magazine, I have attempted briefly to sketch some of the kinds of lessons which I believe we could learn. My plea is that history should be the history of the human race, not of one small country or period.”
Sir John Glubb, better known as Glubb Pasha, was born in 1897, and served in France in the First World War from 1915 to 1918. In 1926 he left the regular army to serve the Iraq Government. From 1939 to 1956, he commanded the famous Jordan Arab Legion. Since retirement, he has published sixteen books, chiefly on the Middle East, and has lectured widely.
This book is available for free as a gift to the Human Race.
I encourage my readers to take some time out from reading me, and read John Glubb.
For those of you who are too busy, I will offer a roughly 10% long summary of Glubb’s major concepts with my bias attached.
-1. Most of what passes for historical study is propaganda, meaning it is the opposite of the meaning of the word history, which comes from the ancient Greek root Inquire.
-2. The bulk of the remainder of historical study looks at brief periods of seemingly isolated prosperity with little concern for the chaos from which these periods rise from and decline into.
-3. Glubb characterizes the entire span of human history as generally a great stream moving forward, to which I would add that such a stream, like a real stream, has a main current, stagnant pools, rapids and whirlpools—even counter currents—and that the chief reason why isolated historical study is so damaging is that it does not account for the reoccurring features of the stream of human society, namely, the fact that the “flow” of human history is cyclic, and not viewing the entire progress of this stream disguises the reoccurring and predictive cycles.
-4. Glub offers the following summary of some empires from history, giving the dates from which they were founded as dominant until their marked decline, not their death. The idea is to avoid the decline. Some empires he left out, The Parthian, Sassanid Persian, Hellenized Rome from A.D. 260 through 471, The Mongol empire from 1200-1400, the Aztec and Inca empires, all fall into the 200 to 300 year period of Hegemony, accept, like the Aztecs and Incas, who were felled at their apex, when an alien invasion intervened.
The nation Dates of rise and fall Duration in years
-Assyria 859-612 B.C.: 247 F
-Persia 538-330 B.C.: 208 (Cyrus and his descendants) F
-Greece 331-100 B.C.: 231 (Alexander and his successors) F
-Roman Republic 260-27 B.C. : 233 F
-Roman Empire 27 B.C.-A.D. 180: 207 F
-Arab Empire A.D. 634-880: 248 F
-Mameluke Empire 1250-1517: 267 F
-Ottoman Empire 1320-1570: 250 F
-Spain 1500-1750: 250 F
-Romanov Russia 1682-1916: 234 F
-Britain 1700-1950: 250 F [Anglican, a state church]
End Glubb’s list
-American Empire, 1814 [fought Britain to a draw and owned more natural resources than any other nation] -2019 [the year that the American ruling class defined the United States as a nation without limited ingress, or a nation without borders, despite the will of the electorate and a nationalistic president, which would bring the U.S. in at a mere 205 years, well within the 200-300 year range but on the short end, possibly due to its position as the next to last Imperial nation [before Postmodern China] to rise in this interglacial period, which is rapidly drawing to a close.
Glubb’s historical periods, defined as periods of imperial hegemony, hold up under scrutiny. It would be interesting to see a table of Indian and Chinese Empires for comparison.
I am assuming that the first isolated empires, Egypt [a dynastic study?], Sumer and corresponding Indian and Chinese empires may have lasted longer and collapsed under ecological stress rather than political. Also, a study of Meso-American and Andean empires would be useful as well. But we are limited to our fields of knowledge, with mine overlapping Glubb’s closely.
F= Faith-based, with Alexander and the Romans even more pious then the desert Prophets by many measures. I put an F next to each faith-based outburst, all accept for the American empire having a sate church dedicated to sanctifying conquests.
Glubb’s observation that Assyrian spearmen marching and British riflemen in sailing ships and steam ships supported empires of the exact same duration points to social circumstances. Likewise, not all of these empires fell during times of global cooling, though many did. What we have here is an overview of exceptional empires that did not lose to others and rode their own success into the dust of ages and fell under their own weight.
He takes up the eternal yardstick that applies to all civilizations thus far:
“One of the very few units of measurement which have not seriously changed since the Assyrians is the human ‘generation’, a period of about twenty-five years. Thus a period of 250 years would represent about ten generations of people. A closer examination of the characteristics of the rise and fall of great nations may emphasise the possible significance of the sequence of generations. Let us then attempt to examine the stages in the lives of such powerful nations.”
Stages of Empire
Glubb charts 4 general ages, which he will later enumerate as 6, with the first 2 unchanging and ages 3 and 4 both being divided into two more specific stages of degeneration and loss of vitality.
-1. Age of Pioneers, characterized by an “Outburst” of ethnic or racial interests, dominated by risk-taking, and marked by religious fervor
-2. Age of Conquest, characterized by military innovation, dominated by military expansion, marked by exporting population and violence
-3. Age of Affluence, characterized by building and consumption, dominated by assumptions of racial superiority and marked by adoption of military defensiveness [Note that the USA has claimed to be defending itself in every war of aggression since its inception, which makes it something of an anomaly. In Glubb’s terms I would put the U.S. defensive posture squarely on the shoulders of the Nuclear establishment circa 1950, that being America’s Great Wall of the Cold War.]
-4. Age of Intellect, characterized by ideological stress, dominated by political dissension, cultural tension and general pessimism, marked by importing population and violence, religious decline, and most of all, mirroring the barbarian migrations of late stage imperial Rome, increased racial diversity and social welfare programs assigning socially homogeneous levels of trust to antagonistic cultures within the failing body politic.
The United States of America is in my opinion, clearly in the later stages of its Age of Intellect. If one were to discover that China was purchasing land and natural resources from the U.S. and exporting more people to the U.S. than the U.S. is exporting to China, than the analysis is a lock.
Glubb rounds off his second essay by focusing on things far more important to humanity than Empire.
“It is unnecessary to labour the point, which we may attempt to summarise briefly. Any regime which attains great wealth and power seems with remarkable regularity to decay and fall apart in some ten generations. The ultimate fate of its component parts, however, does not depend on its internal nature, but on the other organisations which appear at the time of its collapse and succeed in devouring its heritage. Thus the lives of great powers are surprisingly uniform, but the results of their falls are completely diverse.”
He goes on to excuse us for not learning truth from falsehood, for our histories are carefully arrayed lies:
“Men can scarcely be blamed for not learning from the history they are taught. There is nothing to learn from it, because it is not true.”
He then addresses the idea of a people, rather than a power structure adapted to devouring peoples, which is what an empire is—what any boxing coach could tell you about the fate of an unchallenged champion compared to that of a hardened journeyman:
“In general, decadence is the outcome of too long a period of wealth and power. If the small country has not shared in the wealth and power, it will not share in the decadence.”
Six Specific Stages
-1.The Age of Pioneers (outburst)
-2. The Age of Conquests
-3. The Age of Commerce
-4. The Age of Affluence
-5. The Age of Intellect
-6. The Age of Decadence.
Glubb’s notes make his case for terminal decline most concisely:
(e) Decadence is marked by: Defensiveness Pessimism Materialism Frivolity An influx of foreigners The Welfare State A weakening of religion.
(f) Decadence is due to: Too long a period of wealth and power Selfishness Love of money The loss of a sense of duty.
(g) The life histories of great states are amazingly similar, and are due to internal factors.
(h) Their falls are diverse, because they are largely the result of external causes.
(i) History should be taught as the history of the human race, though of course with emphasis on the history of the student’s own country.
Of Lions and Men
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Ruben ChandlerApril 25, 2019 2:30 AM UTC

If my e-mail would work with you or Ronald West I would have sent this through Google but it doesn't so this is OT but funny. Tell Lynn Lockheart I'm kicked off Twitter again unless I give them a phone number. It says a week but without activating with a phone number it doesn't start the week so I'll be off a month most likely. They didn't kick me off for telling Ilhan Omar she'd be kissing Saudi ass for a living when gas goes up to 6 a gallon for cutting of Iran's oil sales, or for calling Hillary a cunning combination of rat and ape. Some lesbimbo was whining about white men running everything: here it is

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Ruben Chandler


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Ruben Chandler


@AsACountry @HillaryClinton Do what men did, kill them and take over

6:09 PM - 24 Apr 2019

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See what I said? Do what men did, kill them and take over. We are dying laughing.
responds:April 25, 2019 7:05 PM UTC

Thanks so much for this update from within the fishbowl, Ruben!

I feel better already!