The Four Horsemen
Over the centuries systems have been subtly modified, manipulated and even corrupted often to serve the interests of the few. We’ve continually accepted these changes and because man can adjust to living under virtually any conditions, the trait that’s enabled us to survive is the very trait that’s suppressed us. For centuries gatekeepers have manipulated our cognitive map. But in 1989 a computer scientist by the name of Tim Berners-Lee implemented the first successful communication between an HTTP client and server.
The World Wide Web was born. It is since unleashed a tsunami of instantly accessible, freely available information. Just as Gutenberg’s printing press wrestled control of the cognitive map away from ecclesiastical and royal elite, today the Internet is beginning to change Governments, finance and the media. We are on the brink of change, but to enact it we must first understand the things that have been left unsaid for so long. To do that we need context from people who speak the truth in the face of collective delusion, because to understand something is to be liberated from it.
Empires do not begin or end on a certain date, but they do end and the West has not yet come to terms with its fading supremacy. At the end of every empire under the guise of renewal, tribes, armies and organizations appear and devour the heritage of the former superpower often from within. In his essay, The Fate of Empires, the soldier, diplomat and traveler, Lieutenant-General Sir John John Glubb analyzed the lifecycle of empires. He found remarkable similarities between them all. An empire lasts about 250 years, or 10 generations, from the early pioneers to the final conspicuous consumers who become a burden on the state.
Six ages define the lifespan of an empire: the age of pioneers, the age of conquests, the age of commerce, the age of affluence, the age of intellect, ending with bread and circuses in the age of decadence. There are common features to every age of decadence: an undisciplined and over extended military, the conspicuous display of wealth, a massive disparity between rich and poor, a desire to live off a bloated state, and an obsession with sex. But perhaps the most notorious trait of all is the debasement of the currency. The United States and Great Britain both begun on a gold or silver standard, long since abandoned. Rome was no different.
Great empire wealth always dazzles, but beneath the surface the unbridle desire for money, power and material possessions means that duty and public service are replaced by leaders and citizens who scramble for the spoils.