A Theory of Civilisation
From 'A Study of Our Decline' by P Atkinson (19-Feb-19)

  1. A civilisation is a communal understanding that upholds its beliefs by inflicting violence upon any dissenting citizen (justice) or community (war). A group of communities cannot create a shared understanding because they do not share the same basic morality, which makes their different understandings incompatible. In attempting to assert its own beliefs each community will inevitably clash with the others, and the stronger community will dominate. Hence:
  2. A communal understanding is the single understanding formed by a group of a race of people who, inspired by similar experiences, share the same beliefs about right-and-wrong and true-and-false. That is, they share morality and knowledge, so forming a single understanding that exists as a common tradition made up of language, manners, customs, laws and institutions: a community. (see the simple example of the Boer community)
  3. Communal understanding is superior to individual understanding because it is not constrained by human anatomy but is practically unlimited in scope and duration.
  4. The character, or personality, of a communal understanding is its culture.
  5. A communal understanding recreates itself by each generation imbuing their offspring with the communityʼs tradition.
  6. A communal understanding exists in one of two modes; it is either:
  7. The mode (Blossoming or Shrivelling) of a communal understanding is a result of the sanity of the majority of citizens, who are either:
  8. The community Blossoms (gains wisdom) when the majority of citizens are unselfish OR Shrivells (loses wisdom) when the majority of citizens are selfish.
  9. All communities have a life-cycle: they rise to a prime then decline into senility. This is because the mechanism the community uses to recreate itself—imbuing its children with tradition—is not perfect; it not only creates unselfish citizens who revere the beliefs of their parents, but also a few selfish citizens who do not revere the beliefs of their parents. Over time, as every selfish citizen must fail to continue the tradition of the community, the community must gain an increasing number of citizens who are selfish and lacking tradition. When the number of selfish citizens becomes the majority then the community stops waxing and starts waning.
  10. The Start of Decline, which is the onset of the next Dark Age, is marked by two symptoms, with the appearance of one being followed by the appearance of the other: In England the Civil War (1642–1651), forcing Monarchy to become a servant of the Parliament, preceded their Golden Age of Literature (1660–1780); while in France their Golden Age of Literature (17th Century) preceded the French Revolution (1789), which replaced Monarchy with popular rule.
  11. Decline Ensues and from this time the community enters an irreversible decline where it becomes progressively sillier and weaker (Senile) though officially there is no change. Under the influence of selfish citizens, the restraints upon personal behaviour demanded by the duty revealed by tradition, are progressively discarded along with tradition. Each successive generation becomes less restrained and more impatient of restraint so shedding more tradition, hence more duty. But as duty is essential for communal existence, identity and purpose, what is being shed is the understanding of the community, and is communal suicide. This is revealed by:
  12. Dark Ages: 'The absence of a sane community': a time when there is no sane community anywhere, which wins the replacement of science & duty with superstition & hysteria, so rendering the civilisation senile and unable to prevent barbarian war bands [Terrorists] from becoming the new rulers of humanity. Thus, returning existence to a primitive state, where life is short, harsh and miserable.
  13. Re-Birth: a new civilisation can arise from the collapse of an old civilisation when: