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I do not read everything of Archdruid easily, but some line of his argument is engaging. There is not much other commentary in that direction. Thus a little more from him:
Spengler was thus contributing to an established tradition, rather than breaking wholly new ground, and there have been important works since his time -- most notably Arnold Toynbee's sprawling A Study of History, twelve weighty volumes packed with evidence and case studies [...] Spengler and Toynbee were both major public figures in their day, as well as bestselling authors whose ideas briefly became part of the common currency of thought in the Western world. They and their work, in turn, were both consigned to oblivion once it stopped being fashionable to think about the points they raised [...]

What makes this disappearance fascinating to me is that very few critics ever made a serious attempt to argue the facts that Spengler and his peers discussed [...]

The second foundation for claims of our uniqueness is, of course, the explosive growth of technology made possible over the last three centuries by the reckless extraction and burning of fossil fuels. It's true that no other civilization has done that, but the differences have had remarkably little impact on the political, cultural, and social trends that shape our lives and the destinies of our communities ...

Arnold Toynbee [...] has pointed out an intriguing difference between the way civilizations rise and the way they fall. On the way up, he noted, each civilization tends to diverge not merely from its neighbors but from all other civilizations throughout history. Its political and religious institutions, its arts and architecture, and all the other details of its daily life take on distinctive forms, so that as it nears maturity, even the briefest glance at one of its creations is often enough to identify its source.

Once the peak is past and the long road down begins, though, that pattern of divergence shifts into reverse, slowly at first, and then with increasing speed. A curious sort of homogenization takes place: distinctive features are lost, and common patterns emerge in their place. That doesn't happen all at once, and different cultural forms lose their distinctive outlines at different rates, but the further down the trajectory of decline and fall a civilization proceeds, the more it resembles every other civilization in decline ...

When it comes to hitting resource limits, it may be hard to be exceptional even for a definite Industrial Revolution.
by das monde on Tue Sep 23rd, 2014 at 03:09:54 AM EST
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das monde:
I do not read everything of Archdruid easily

He's no easy read, on any level! A notable sang-froid spiced with occasional bone-dry asides that use wit to stab the message further home, well it doesn't pander the reader.

Basically the price of entry is any hope you ever had of a happy ending, gloom expressed with rare elegance is the tone of all his posts. That said, he manages to make me chuckle in between groans...

Enlightened pessimism.

His writing has gravitas, but listening to him talk live he comes across less mature, a bit boyishly flippant. Common sense wrapped in a somewhat self-conscious brilliance, a polymath's love for learning and orthogonal thinking.

He has another blog on the Druidic side to his work which attracts a different set of commenters.

The level of commentary on both blogs is very sharp. The acid test of any blogger...

The Pragmatic Pagan. A rare voice, a strong signal in the minestrone of the Inter-Noise.

Feral Scholar-ish for intellectual loft, with less military stuff and more civilisation history.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 23rd, 2014 at 10:59:11 AM EST
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The Archdruid is talking on Falling Empires here.
by das monde on Sat Sep 27th, 2014 at 08:36:14 AM EST
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das monde:
Arnold Toynbee [...] has pointed out an intriguing difference between the way civilizations rise and the way they fall. On the way up, he noted, each civilization tends to diverge not merely from its neighbors but from all other civilizations throughout history.

One of the consequences of 'Western Civilization' haven risen so far and so fast is that it has also almost certainly evolved capabilities that will allow it to reconfigure itself in ways that can both be more personally satisfying to the entire population and more energy efficient at the same time. Propaganda has proven such a powerful tool that it is quite conceivable that a society could be converted to an orientation that favors reduced material and energy consumption in return for more equality and opprotunity for all.

What we need is a leader and a movement that can do for capitalism what Gorbechev did for Soviet Communism, but with better control of the direction that the transformation takes. Social orders are entirely human creations and no social order is but that the thinking of the population makes it so. It only took a little more than a quarter century for US wealthy elites to transform US society from one with a powerful central government and increasing equality to one where the central government has become the creature of elites and is being used to despoil the masses in the interests of the elites. (~1950 - 1980) It would seem that it should be possible to reverse that process even quicker that the time it took to create and put it to work.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2014 at 03:53:12 PM EST
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it is quite conceivable that a society could be converted to an orientation that favors reduced material and energy consumption in return for more equality and opprotunity for all.
That would be a top-down transformation. The problem is that the top will not be interested in reversing opportunities once they perceive resource limitations. They will know the game - either you rule the limited capital and the people, or be ruled. So their social constructs  will be on the backward feudal side. Who will be willing, able, effective to bother with the contrary social constructs?
by das monde on Sun Sep 28th, 2014 at 05:21:39 AM EST
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