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Monday, February 22, 2021

The Downfall of the Cities

In the Ancient and Middle ages, the cities were the place where the political establishment who produced little and consumed a lot would reside. The needs of these cities were fulfilled by the production taking place in the rural areas and the smaller towns. The character of the cities saw a transformation in the middle of the eighteenth century when the industrial revolution swept through several parts of the globe and made the cities the center of production—barring agricultural products, which continued to be sourced out of the rural areas and smaller towns, the cities were now producing enough of the goods and services that they needed to meet the needs of not only their own residents but also the people living outside the city limits. But since the 1950s, the cities have been reverting to what they were during the Ancient and Middle Ages. Instead of being the centers of production, they are transforming (many have already transformed) into centers of political power and consumption. These cities hold the offices of government institutions, multinational companies, academic institutions, global establishments, entertainment organizations, mainstream media, and the high-level lobbyists, financiers, and speculators—all these entities are mainly involved in policy making, regulating, speculating, propaganda, and indoctrination; they are not the producers of material goods and services. The rural areas and the smaller towns produce not only the agricultural products but also other goods and services which the residents of the cities need for their survival. But can modern civilization be sustained if the cities revert to the Ancient and Middle ages way of existence in which they consume a lot and produce too little? The cities are a burden on the rest of the country—they are taking too much from the rest of the country and giving too little in return.

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