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The Five Stages of Civilization

FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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3/9/2012 11:26:35 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Behold, I have devised these five stages that all human civilization must go through. It is abstract and quite arbitrary but it can be useful or at least entertaining. There is no concrete time frames to which it is assigned. It applies on both macro and micro scales. Smaller versions of the five stages will overlap larger versions in many areas.
A change in states represents a back and forth between two types of characters in human society and a variety of incentives they act upon. They are the neophile, who desires change, and the neophobe, who desires tradition.
The five states are these:
Balance.
Growth.
Reform.
Management.
Revolt.
Before I describe each in detail, it is necessary, so that you may be in understanding of them, that I tell you there are no good or bad stages. There is nothing inherent in them that put humanity in a better condition. As much as they give, so do they take away. Keep that in mind. It is illusory to support one stage over another.

Balance:
This stage could be regarded as the "natural" state of humanity. It could, at the same time, be called peaceful and chaotic. It is the rule of the jungle. Authority and organization is at a minimal. It is primarily under the influence of neophobes. A good example of a society in the Balance Stage was many of the different Native American tribes. They were a highly traditional people who could go thousands of years without the slightest advancement in technology. They always took good care of each other and worked at one with nature, never taking more than they had to.

But no stage can last forever. Eventually, a Balance Stage society becomes starved for change and domination--or it becomes dominated itself. This leads to the Growth Stage.

Growth:
This stage marks the point where humans decide to over-power nature and utilize it however they can to acquire power. They erect fences and divide the Earth up by many straight lines. It is a time of unprecedented innovation. New utilities are made to save us from the dangers of nature and new weapons are created to take natures place. It is the point at which a select elite--brilliant minds--take control and turn other human beings into their tools. It is the dawn of science. This stage is primarily under the influence of neophiles. A good example of a society in the Growth Stage was America during the industrial revolution.

Eventually, people become disenchanted with the cruelty prevalent in the devices that have given them their progress. They wish to purge it, keeping the good and expelling the bad. This is, however, impossible. Thus it introduces the next stage, the Reform Stage.

Reform:
This is a time of immense conflict. The powers at be are forced to change their ways to suite the demand for justice that they have created. The oppressed and ignorant masses rise up to become equal with the old rulers. The rulers do not give up their hard earned power freely and they must join together in conspiracy to maintain it. This is the center stage and it is the most confusing. The neophobes become the neophiles and the neophiles become the neophobes. Neither is in control. A good example of a society in the Reform Stage would be America during the Civil War or the New Deal.

Ultimately, our problem-solving nature will erect a huge monolith of organization that will transcend it into the next stage, the Management Stage.

Management:
In this stage a social apparatus has been constructed to keep the cunning old rulers out. Every person has been organized into their proper slot. We have risen above the chaos of the Reform Stage and arranged everything back into neat lines. Society has clear goals that it pours all of it's resources into and completely neglects any goals which haven't been approved by a committee of a committee of a committee. This is the stage that builds pyramids and puts men on the moon. This is the stage that increases starvation and obesity at the same time. It is ruled by the neophobe. It will do whatever it can to prevent any change in the system. A good example of a society in the Management Stage is America present day.

This stage is bound to build brick upon brick upon brick of resentment in the neophiles. Eventually, they will lash out in terrible anger. This results in the Revolt Stage.

Revolt:
The final stage of the process. The inevitable outcome of the very first neophile uprising for growth. It leads to a second revolution to go back in on itself. It wants not want creation but destruction. To burn down the structures which holds them back. And it always succeeds at one point or another. This stage is under the influence of the neophiles. A good example of a society in the Revolt Stage was the Russian Revolution prior to establishment of the Lenin government.

This is the most short lived of all stages and leads back into the first stage, the Balance Stage. All just to be started again.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
Lasagna
Posts: 2,440
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3/11/2012 8:41:53 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
You give some examples to illustrate the stages but they aren't coherent. Instead of some scattered examples (i.e., Native Americans, Industrial Revolution, Civil war) can you show us where all five stages have occured in a linear fashion? You say they occur at both the micro and macro levels but this remains somewhat undefined and nonsensical. At one point you give the impression that the time-span involved is longer than the entire age of civilization, and at another point you imply that we've gone through the cycle at least several times. There has to be a good reason why these two extremely different measures of time would behave similarly. Otherwise, one must assume they will behave entirely differently.
Rob
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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3/17/2012 1:10:44 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
"A good example of a society in the Balance Stage was many of the different Native American tribes. ... They always took good care of each other and worked at one with nature, never taking more than they had to."

That's so far off base it is a pure work of imagination. Native American tribes were cultural diverse, some pastoral and others pillaging raiders. Read something.
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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3/17/2012 2:16:15 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/17/2012 1:10:44 AM, RoyLatham wrote:
"A good example of a society in the Balance Stage was many of the different Native American tribes. ... They always took good care of each other and worked at one with nature, never taking more than they had to."

That's so far off base it is a pure work of imagination. Native American tribes were cultural diverse, some pastoral and others pillaging raiders. Read something.

Yes, I am aware. That is certainly why I did not say generalize by saying simply "Native Americans", but added "many" and "different".
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord