Dateline: 6 October 2014
|This flow chart illustrates the amazing complexity of America's new health care system, also known as, Obamacare. |
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If you have read this blog for long you know that I often make the point that complexity (and dependency) leads to vulnerability. And vulnerability eventually leads to failure.
That being the case, I've long believed that our incredibly complex, interdependent, modern civilization will eventually collapse. That is, after all, what has happened to all complex civilizations throughout history.
So it is that I found This Recent Interview with Professor Joseph Tainter at the McAlvany Weekly Commentary to be of great interest. I recommend it to you.
Joseph Tainter is an anthropologist and historian who has studied the collapse of various civilizations throughout history. He is author of the 1988 book, The Collapse of Complex Societies.
I think Professor Tainter has a remarkably insightful understanding of how and why complex societies always eventually collapse. I think he is right on with his understandings of how our modern civilization will collapse. A few notes from the McAlvany interview:
—Complexity is the cause of societal collapse (Dr. Tainter does not think resource depletion will be the cause of collapse). Other factors certainly enter into the picture, but it is, essentially, complexity itself that leads to collapse.
—Complex societies become more complex as they work to solve problems that arise. Complexity happens slowly, incrementally, over a period of time.
—Collapse, defined as the loss of a complex way of life, happens relatively quickly.
—Our modern complex civilization is trapped in its complexity. There is no way to lessen complexity and avert collapse.
—Complex society is a historical anomaly. Civilizations throughout most of history have not been complex.
I hope you will take the time to listen to the whole interview. And maybe you'll come to the same conclusion I did…
Our complex civilization may be trapped in complexity but we as individuals and families don't have to be. To the extent that we can, we who are wise to the lessons of history can simplify our way of life, lessen our dependencies on complex civilization, and learn to be more self reliant.
It's the same old bottom line. I've been blogging about it here for the past nine years. The good news is that more and more people are seeing the connection between complexity and collapse, and they are being seriously proactive about it.
I'm on blogging break until the 15th.
See you then.