Belief in the Swirls of Our Age
by David Novák
...Study of History - Arnold Toynbee Toynbee selected 21 world civilizations in his study, of which 16 (according to the author) have perished. He found out that only rarely an empire fell as a result of military defeat by another civilization. He claims that the empires rather underwent a "cultural suicide" at some point of their history. He basically gives five reasons for this cultural suicide, or in other words, breakdown of the empires.
1) Residents have fallen into a state of depravity (in the sense of moral freedom). Toynbee describes this state as a state of mind in which people consciously or unconsciously accept the idea that they don’t need to follow any "higher" law (Antinomismus). In other words, people stopped believing in the need for morality and rather began to follow their instincts.
2) People succumbed to idleness, specifically so that they fled from the daily problems to the distraction and entertainment at any cost.
3) People have succumbed to the feeling that their effort does not make sense and that they don’t have control over their lives - they are rather a part of some impersonal machine.
4) Toynbee speaks further on the overall feeling of selfloath arising from the moral depravity.
5) The last thing, which led to the downfall of civilizations is promiscuity is not only in the sexual sense, but rather the unquestioning acceptance of almost anything, a kind of unquestioning tolerance in religion, literature, language and customs.
Will history repeat itself?
Proletariat vs. kognitariát, cleverness or wisdom?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Information, information ...
Instability and change
Responding to changes
Will we enjoy ourselves to death?
The crisis of fatherhood
Sex and game as a substitute for religion
Cult of youth
Loss of role models
Communism in us
Czechs - "The nation to itself" or "In God we trust"?
(„The nation to itself“ is an inscription in the National Theatre in Prague. The money for the building came from a public gathering.) America - our role model?
What to do?
Time and a sense of finality
Life as a gift
Living in freedom
Wisdom and flood of words
Truth, faith, reliance
Awareness of own value
Conclusion - the silent God
A Study of History - Arnold J. Toynbee .