Historian Arnold Toynbee studied 19 major civilizations in his research for A Study of History. Toynbee concluded that civilizations are made from their responses to challenges in their respective natural environments. This is important to remember, because why civilizations collapse is based on it.
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In his writing, Toynbee states that the “Creative Minority” propels a primitive society into a civilization.
Toynbee says that the reason for a civilization to collapse is that the “Creative Minority” eventually ceases to be creative and degenerates into a “Dominant Minority”.
“First the Dominant Minority attempts to hold by force—against all right and reason—a position of inherited privilege which it has ceased to merit; and then the Proletariat repays injustice with resentment, fear with hate, and violence with violence when it executes its acts of secession. Yet the whole movement ends in positive acts of creation—and this on the part of all the actors in the tragedy of disintegration. The Dominant Minority creates a universal state, the Internal Proletariat a universal church, and the External Proletariat a bevy of barbarian war-bands.”
Arnold Toynbee’s A Study of History has been acknowledged as one of the greatest achievements of modern scholarship. A ten-volume analysis of the rise and fall of human civilizations, it is a work of breath-taking breadth and vision. D.C. Somervell’s abridgement, in two volumes, of this magnificent enterprise, preserves the method, atmosphere, texture, and, in many instances, the very words of the original. Originally published in 1947 and 1957, these two volumes are themselves a great historical achievement.
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This Historian Said Why Civilizations Really Collapse was first posted on March 8, 2021 at 2:52 am.