A Theory of Civilisation
From ‘A Study of Our Decline’ by P Atkinson (21/4/2016)

  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 (community) exists in one of two modes; it is either:
  7. The mode of a communal understanding (community) is a result of the mode of the majority of citizens, who themselves exist in one of two separate modes. A citizen is either:
  8. The community Waxes (gains wisdom) when the majority of citizens are unselfish OR Wanes (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 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 founding morality are progressively discarded. Each successive generation becomes less restrained and more impatient of restraint so shedding more restraints. But as morality is the foundation of understanding, what is being shed is the understanding of the community, which is communal suicide. This is revealed by:
  12. Dark Ages: ‘The absence of a sane community.’ if the enfeebled civilisation is not over run by another community but by barbarian war bands whose victory is won not by superior technology but the senility of their enemy, then there is no waxing community anywhere and humanity has lost its ability to think clearly. This marks the start of a new Dark Age when widespread insanity corrupts science and religion into ignorance and superstition, which must return humanity to a primitive state, where life will be short, harsh and miserable.
  13. Re-Birth: a new civilisation can arise from the collapse of an old civilisation when: