The Collapse of Civilization – The Historical Record

Why do civilizations fail? Everyone wants to know. Especially now in 2022, when countries seem to be especially unstable. I want to know. And now, maybe I know.

Arnold Toynbee is confirmation that I do.

In 1950’s a British Historian, Arnold Toynbee, assembled 6 volumes on the subject. His conclusion was that civilization declines when a dominant minority oppresses the people, the civilization is unable to problem solve. Then, a single serious problem is all that is needed to upend it.

I say, these may elite know much, but they don’t know how to know (reason through) anything. They are irrational. Reason is developmental, but schools do not know how to develop it. Thus, over time, societal intellect degrades. At first, civilization loses the ability to sustain itself. Then, in time, irrationality becomes the central threat.

Civilization – Rise, Fall, Rinse, Repeat

A Study of History (1934–1961), the British historian Arnold J. Toynbee.

Study Of History PDF

Toynbee’s theory of decay

In his acclaimed 12-volume work, A Study of History (1934–1961), the British historian Arnold J. Toynbee explored the rise and fall of 28 civilizations and came to the conclusion that civilizations generally collapsed mainly by internal factors, factors of their own making, but external pressures also. He theorized that all civilizations pass through several distinct stages: genesis, growth, time of troubles, universal state, and disintegration.


Toynbee argues that the ultimate sign a civilization has broken down is when the dominant minority forms a Universal State, which stifles political creativity. He states:

First the Dominant Minority attempts to hold by force – against all right and reason – a position of inherited privilege which it has ceased to merit; and then the Proletariat repays injustice with resentment, fear with hate, and violence with violence when it executes its acts of secession. Yet the whole movement ends in positive acts of creation – and this on the part of all the actors in the tragedy of disintegration. The Dominant Minority creates a universal state, the Internal Proletariat a universal church, and the External Proletariat a bevy of barbarian war-bands.

Arnold J. Toynbee 
Societal collapse, Wikipedia

In America, what do we have now?

And yet, what does the elite universal state focus on?

Funding Ukraine is the “number one priority”

Mitch McConnell says funding Ukraine is “number one priority” for most Republicans, Posted: December 21, 2022

Not the same priorities as Americans.

Collapse By Design

This is happening because the ruling uniparty is irrational (Toynbee’s “against all right and reason“). They will pursue agendas that they feel good about (“saving democracy”) but also because it increases their power (via the military-industrial complex). In addition, the current ills of society will not be addressed because they are, by design, there to undermine and disempower the enabled “proletariat.” This enabled proletariate is really the American Kulak. “Kulaks were peasants in Russia wealthy enough to own a farm and hire labor. Emerging after the emancipation of serfs in the 19th century, the kulaks resisted Stalin’s forced collectivization, but millions were arrested, exiled, or killed,” Oxford Language Dictionary.

Both the elites and their revolutionaries, the Marxists, are irrational.

The middle class and small businesses are likely rational because they are problem solvers.