Originally posted by AryanWatch
So will everything start all over again? But how will it be just before it's about to restart?
One of the most interesting classes I ever took as an undergraduate was an overview of ancient Chinese history. It offered a very good look at what
happens to the political structure in a relatively isolated area, and could possibly used to predict what will happen in our current global political
situation, since we have now become one big system.
The answer is that, yes, history tends to be very cyclic, and goes through a number of recognizable stages that continue to repeat. There is no
"restart," per se. In China it happened approximately 7 times, and is essentially continuing today. Basically, the stages are these:
1) Smaller areas and regions organize into independent nation states.
2) The states battle among themselves for control and scarce resources, until there are fewer, larger states.
3) The larger states battle amongst themselves until one powerful state (the Empire) is able to take control of the entire system (China, or the
4) The army and bureaucracy of the Empire grows, requiring it to tax the population more and try to exert more control over distant regions.
5) The sub-cycle of expansion followed by higher taxation and military activity continues until taxes become too high for many people to pay, which
causes them to resort to crime (banditry).
6) Crime increases, requiring more military/police expenditure, followed by more taxes, followed by more crime.
7) Eventually criminals in the outer provinces form smaller independent states, which creates such a burden on the Empire that fighting them is too
expensive, so they thrive. All of this continues to draw revenue away from the Empire. Soldiers go unpaid, and they join smaller state armies.
8) The small independent states grow larger, to the point where one or a confederation of them challenges the Empire and overthrows it, busting it up
into smaller states.
9) We're back where we started with a number of small states fighting each other, and the entire process repeats.
This cycle happens because human beings all pretty much want the same thing. Security from enemies, food, the opportunity to raise kids, etc. Bad
weather or poor government creates hardships that require states to invade other states to survive.
Right now, the world is at the point where there are several large independent states attempting to establish the first Earth Empire. The winner
might actually be the Chinese, which is fitting, since they have experience at it already, although the United States is still a big contender.
Don't count out the Indians, Muslims, or Aztecas, though. Empires are not all evil, of course. The Chinese were always greatest when they had an
empire standardizing roads and money and using its resources to smooth out economic turmoil. Most of the greatest works of mankind were accomplished
through empires. It can be hard on some individuals, but larger human society thrives in them.
So the world of the future is this. Barring any huge asteroid impact, solar flare, or other natural calamity, some nation will eventually "win" the
wars to organize into a central world government. Hard to say exactly how long this will take, or how long it will last. Maybe decades, maybe
But the central world government will eventually go the way of all Empires. It will become bloated and bogged down by bureaucracy and military, with
simply too many people seeking security at the government teat. Taxes will rise to the point where it will turn people into criminals. The criminals
will organize into new power structures. And the whole thing will keep repeating until we're either all dead, all genetically modified into
different subspecies, or until our intelligent robots take over.
Expect that in the next 1,000 to 10,000 years. Of course, we'll all be dead before the Empire is formed. Probably.