An empire must either be the hunter or the hunted. In the phase of hunter, the empire’s population is united, optimistic, energetic, hard working, moral, unselfish, religious, and serious. They are devoted to conquering new territories, destroying their enemies, transforming the landscape with infrastructure projects, and expanding the field of knowledge through their inventions and discoveries. Their heroes are the successful military generals, the individuals who perform acts of self-sacrifice and courage, strong-willed politicians, and the visionary industrialists and builders.
No empire can remain in the phase of hunter forever—the stage comes when the population grows weary of the role of hunter. They become convinced that wars are immoral and cruel. They start believing that infrastructure projects destroy the environment and sully nature. They try to avoid fighting, destroying, and creating. They become diverse, disunited, pessimistic, dispassionate, lazy, amoral, philanthropic, compassionate, self-centered, atheistic and frivolous. They examine the philosophies to find ways of preserving society without having to fight. They try to deal with their enemies through negotiation and bribery. Their heroes are vapid artists, frivolous celebrities, alienated intellectuals, lying journalists, traitorous politicians, and crony capitalists.
In the twenty-first century, the dominant empire is in the final phase of being hunted. Hunters have converged on it from the inside and the outside. The hunters might finish this empire by 2050 and create space for one or many aggressive and energetic empires of the hunters to arise. The twenty-first century can be seen as a phase of transition from the empire of the hunted to the new empires of the hunters.