Sunday, 8 April 2007

The fall of an Empire - WHY?

Some years ago, I have been in Egypt, as a tourist, looking at the sights and leading the good life on a Nile steamer. But there was one question, never asked: why and how did this important civilization wither away. The people living now in this country have absolutely nothing to do with this great civilization.

To find out a bit more of this, I am reading now "The Fall of the Roman Empire" by Peter Heather. This mighty empire, stretching from Scotland to the Arabian Deserts vanished in some years.

And not twenty years ago, the Soviet Union disappeared in some months, like a drop of water on a hot plate. Why did this happen? I do not know really and nobody seems to care, anyway.

And what about us? Here in Europe, we are not living in an empire, the European Union is far from that. But we have certainly a special way of living that now seems to be threatened. Already in 1917, nearly hundred years ago, the German Oswald Spengler published "The Decline of the West", a great and important book and what he wrote 90 years ago still makes sens.

However, though all this looks a bit pessimistic, it is clear that I never led a better life. And lots of people around me are in the same position. So what?

What about a little trip into the near future, let's say into 2084? Could be, people of that time
don't pay taxes anymore, the cars run without petrol, you are living 110 years in excellent health, and it rains only at night, when you are sleeping. Could be however that there are only some wretched survivors of some stupid war struggling through ruins, like in Mad Max.

Interesting times ahead.

1 comment:

  1. Bonjour Georg,

    ... interesting times ahead, indeed. Apparently, there is a Chinese saying -- May you live in interesting times; and it's meant to be a curse! :O

    I'm looking forward to when it rains only at night...!