Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Arthur Demarest on how "... the key strengths of civilizations are also their weaknesses ... " cue "and this is just like Mars Hill"

In an article that seems as though it could be about Mars Hill rather than ancient Mayan civilization, here are a few fascinating snippets:


Paradoxically, the key strengths of civilizations are also their central weaknesses. You can see that from the fact that the golden ages of civilizations are very often right before the collapse.

Why, reading that set of sentences reminded Wenatchee The Hatchet of an old post here called something like "Mars Hill and the idol of social media", the shorter, newer version of something dating back to 2012:


Another interesting snippet is this, about ways ancient leaders attempted to engage the crises they perceived in their society:

... These steps were actually counterproductive, imposing additional costs and damage and not addressing the real problems. Yet, any really helpful response would have involved political change to redefine the very nature [of] leadership and its roles and institutions.

or then there's this:

The surprising, seemingly contradictory, truth is that most civilizations do not meet their end after a slow decline and do not collapse because of late developing “weaknesses.” The ample record of failed societies chronicles systems at their peak of success, then rapidly disintegrating. [emphasis added]

As Mark Driscoll used to say after reading a text in Nehemiah in 2007, "and this is just like Mars Hill ..."

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