The Fate of Civilizations, Part 3

It is up to us to find a way to an open future that fixes the problems of the present.

Steven Yates
34 min readDec 13, 2022


Photo by Alice Pasqual on Unsplash

Part 3 of 3 (Part 1, Part 2)

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” -R. Buckminster Fuller

“I have become convinced that we need to decentralize our political and economic structures and broaden our approach to knowledge if we are to find our way to a more balanced and sane society.” -Helena Norberg-Hodge

A Recapping.

Sir John Bagot Glubb claimed to see six stages in the lifecycle of a civilization:

(1) Breakout and Age of Pioneers.
(2) Age of Conquest.
(3) Age of Commerce.
(4) Age of Affluence.
(5) Age of Intellect.
(6) Age of Decadence.

An Age of Decadence, the age the West is presently in, is characterized by:

(a) Pessimism and alarmism among intellectuals and writers: “doom and gloom.”

(b) A weakening of religion / religious institutions.

(c) Materialism; loss of a societal moral compass, and a frantic chase after things.

(d) Frivolity: an “eat, drink, and be merry” mindset.

(e) Celebrities and athletes replace statesmen as “influencers”; real leaders have all but disappeared.

(f) A widening wealth gap; the middle class has started to disappear.

(g) Irrational fiscal policy. Think: modern monetary theory.

(h) Irrational overseas aggression, i.e., warmongering, with no goals or end in sight.

(i) New migrants (some of them refugees from war zones) congregate in or around major cities and refuse to assimilate as did migrants from generations past.

(j) Women move in increasing numbers into professions previously dominated by men. Men are emasculated.

(k) An entitlement mindset predominates; increasing numbers are willing to live at the expense of a bloated…



Steven Yates

I am the author of What Should Philosophy Do? A Theory. I write about philosophy (especially the Stoics), health and systems, and the future if we have one.