Thursday, July 30, 2020

The Civilizational Will to Survive

Some civilizations possess the extraordinary will to survive and expand—instead of being crushed by any monumental failure or cataclysm, they actually get revitalized and energized. This kind of quality is seen in the Roman Republic, and its successor, the Roman Empire. Expansion of territory was the leitmotif of Roman politics and culture and they expanded by virtue of their military might; they fought war after war, continually taking on new and more distant foreign powers, and, remarkably, they always won in the end. They frequently lost some of their battles, but they never thought of negotiating or surrendering; after every loss at the battlefield, they recovered quickly and within a year or two, they would be back at the battlefield with a larger military and a better strategy—they kept fighting till they managed to subjugate or annihilate the enemy. In their thousand year history, the Romans had more civil wars and massacres than any other major kingdom in their time—many of their civil wars and massacres went on for more than a year, and yet they kept growing their empire, the state of their economy kept improving, their military remained a formidable force, and they kept making progress in the areas of philosophy, science, agriculture, art, and urban management.

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