4 Matching Annotations
  1. Oct 2020
    1. John Glubb and Avoiding the Fate of Empires

      John Glubb was an English Army officer who created a theory called the "Fate of Empires", which catalogues the typical rise and fall of hegemonic orders and attempts to explain why they fall. He wanted to understand where the North Atlantic European Hegemonic Order is in its cycle, in the hopes that we could avoid making the same mistakes as those before us.

      This is the typical cycle of empires:

      1. Age of Pioneers

      A small and insignificant nation on takes over its more powerful neighbors. This new nation is driven by a need to grow and improve, to become the power they took over. This phase is characterized by an optimistic sense of improvisation and initiative.

      1. The Age of Commerce

      The new empire has a lot of new territory, which is safer due to recent military successes. This sets the stage for economic growth. The conquering class benefits from the merchants but aren't motivated solely by material gains.

      1. Age of Affluence

      The ruling class look for ways to spend their new-found wealth, and because they still feel an idealistic sense of noble nationalism, they spend their money on large-scale civic and building projects and invest in art and culture.

      1. The Age of Intellect

      Gradually this material success corrodes the values of the ruling class and material wealth replaces nationalism as the primary virtue. This phase is characterized by a defensiveness and the need to protect what they have. Wall building comes at this phase.

      Often seen as a golden age, this is the phase that often comes before its downfall.

      1. The Age of Decadence

      The ruling class is completely disengaged from the issues of the state and are focussed almost completely on sport, entertainment, and personal gain.

  2. Jan 2019
  3. Oct 2017
    1. Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling

      WWI marked the introduction of chemical warfare which in return created complete terror and pandemonium; soldiers were not prepared for the effects of chemical warfare. As Jones indicates, the use of chemical warfare was to “terrorize the enemy and make their troops temporarily lose their minds.” Alexander Watson also claimed in his study (as cited in Jones, 2014) “gas created uncertainty: unlike shrapnel, it killed from the inside, eroding a soldier’s sense of control, while raising the terrifying fear of being suffocated." Going off the “created uncertainty” we have the use of "ecstasy" which encompasses a trance-like state; coinciding with the idea of being "drunk with fatigue" (see above annotation) from the effects of the gas. The delayed reactions of the soldiers against the gas would result in a behavior of "fumbling." The gas was designed to attack the nervous system; accelerating the deterioration of the body and mind.

    2. Drunk with fatigue

      War is not only difficult on the physical aspect of an individual; it is just as difficult on the emotional and mental capacity of a human. It is factual that WWI culminated an astronomical amount of casualties, destruction, and disablement. This reference to being “drunk” may help guide us into the notion that soldiers are not able to differentiate between fantasy and reality under the duress of mentioned “fatigue.” We can understand that the state of "drunk" alters your reality and can have dangerous repercussions; in this sense, the loss of one's mind or life. In the prior lines we have loss of physical functionalities of the human body with words such as “limped on,” “lame,” and “blind,” which coincides with the premature aging or physical deterioration of the soldiers.