The Stages Simplified
Since most of my articles regarding the political cycle are long and involved (such as here and there), I thought it would be helpful to have a simplified version for those who have the attention span of a squirrel (myself often included).
I will use Sir John Glubb’s template, because his is the most accurate while remaining simple.
The Stages Of The Cycle Of Collapse
- The Age of Pioneers
- This is the founder stage. Usually highly entrepreneurial (in terms of politics/systems, not commerce), vigorous, independent, quality, and self-sustaining.
- The age of pioneers naturally switches to conquests once the new state is stabilized and able to expand.
- The Age of Conquests
- The expansion stage. There is usually a strong military or other geopolitical leverage for outside-border conquest. State gains power and influence. The nation admires proper leaders: the founders, military heroes, self-sacrificial citizens, and so on.
- Generally, there is a high focus on courage, strength, duty, and similar traits.
- This, along with the founding, are the two “good” stages. Commerce generally starts the downward spiral. The only exception is if the age of conquest creates a multi-ethnic empire, which would then be the starting point for problems.
- This is the only stage that is optional. Not all cycles need a conquest stage, some jump straight to commerce from pioneer.
- Conquest only leads to commerce once the national soul changes to favor money over the traits inherent in the age of conquest.
- The Age of Commerce
- The wealth stage. This is the stage where wealth becomes the focus. Making money and dominating financially becomes more important than honor, intelligence, faith, or loyalty. The public starts to admire the wealthy over military generals or founders.
- Industrialization and economic specialization happens here en masse.
- Hard work and a determined population (created during the age of conquests) are used for commerce instead of conquest.
- The foundational myth begins to be lost at this stage.
- Some consider this a good stage because it is entrepreneurial and innovative, leading to new technology and such. I disagree, as the same characteristics could occur in the age of conquests without the degeneration aspect.
- This switch from honoring the traditions of old to the pursuit of wealth at any cost leads to affluence. While affluence sounds nice, it is deadly for nation-states.
- The Age of Affluence
- The “great weakening of men” stage. Money becomes everything. It is duty; it is the goal; it is the ticket for elevation or praise; it is the true supreme leader.
- All the virtues from the Age of Pioneers and Age of Conquests are wiped out in this stage, as moral decay sets in firmly. Men become weaker and more effeminate because there are no challenges. They bask in their wealth and luxury. Few work hard.
- The dominance of the men of words over the men of action occurs here.
- Affluence naturally leads to rationalism, because people have nothing better to do than philosophize everything to death.
- The Age of Intellect
- The rationalist stage. Science and secular materialism dominate over morality, ethics, and the spiritual. All that matters is what is physical, material, “real”. The people have time to argue over the definitions of these words because they have not had any real struggles for decades due to the Age of Affluence.
- Any remaining morality, ethics, standards, or heritage practices are rebuked during this stage because the citizens are being “enlightened” by the experts.
- “Progress” becomes the focus of this stage, above even money and influence. A new morality appears that worships whatever form of “progress” the experts concoct in their heads.
- Bankers and similar types become far more influential.
- We expect to see massive bureaucracy, regulations, socialism, and interference/intervention during this stage, as the “experts” rise in prominence and start trying to direct everything.
- When the “intellectuals” are in charge, decadence is guaranteed. The men of words are always failures throughout history, so they will philosophize everyone into the ditch with them.
- The Age of Decadence
- The degenerate stage. This is when the entire society is decaying. Everyone knows it, but all the men are initially too weak to do anything about it. The system is falling apart everywhere around the citizens.
- The rulers become mirror images of the citizens, meaning that both are generally weak, frail, pathetic, cowardly, and greedy.
- We expect to see massive escapism, women in leadership, mass immigration, pathological cowardice, hyper-individualism, and similar traits here.
- The state struggles to pay its debts, remain affluent, and remain dominant in geopolitical matters.
- There is usually widespread conflict that occurs due to these degenerations. Since the men are too weak to deal with the conflicts as they arise, this leads to #7.
Relation To Other Cycles
If we are using the “hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, and weak men create hard times” mantra, it would look like this:
- Hard Times: Age of Decadence / Pioneers / Conquests
- Good Times: Age of Commerce / Affluence / Intellect
This cycle above also follows the Prentis Cycle perfectly:
From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to courage; from courage to freedom; from freedom to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to fear; from fear to dependency; and from dependency back to bondage once more.
In more ways than one, it would be best if a nation-state could remain within the Age of Conquests for as long as feasible. This is the best stage for sustainment, decent lives for the citizens, decent morality, with struggle (but of a nature that is not as difficult as the struggles of the founding or decadence), but no weakening of the men.
In other words, the Age of Conquests is where almost all dissidents would like to be. It is where a sustainable system needs to reside. We cannot remove the struggle aspect from life or we will enter the downward spiral to collapse. We must remain in the “hard times”, but in the best stage of the hard times. This does not mean we need to constantly be in military conflict, but we do need to constantly be in some form of a struggle for national betterment and dominance in some discipline, alongside a proper focus and culture. Only the Age of Conquests can give us that.
My belief is we are now at the Age of Decadence. I would wager most of my readers would agree.
We clearly are no longer affluent, and we have begun to leave secular rationalism behind (on both sides of the political aisle). Even the leftists have moved on to moral-emotional arguments.
Thus, decadence is here.
How long will it last? I do not know. But Glubb hypothesized a 250-year average cycle, and we are currently at 247 years old.
Just something to think about.
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