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Who Do We Choose To Be? by Margaret J. Wheatley

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APPENDIX

The Six Ages of a Civilization’s Growth and Collapse

as described by Sir John Glubb

“The life-expectation of a great nation, it appears, commences with a violent, and usually unforeseen, outburst of energy, and ends in a lowering of moral standards, cynicism, pessimism and frivolity.”1

Glubb studied thirteen empires in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe (where he had served as a military commander), from Assyria in 859 BCE to modern Britain in 1950. The pattern of the decline and fall of these superpowers was startlingly clear. It didn’t matter where they were or what technology they had or how they exercised power. They all declined in the same stages, and it always took ten generations, about 250 years. The logic of this is very clear: ...

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