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What Decides the Life of Empires?

June 24, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 207

In the history of mankind, long before the concept of nationhood originated, a settled tribe would have sought to achieve control of contiguous lands occupied by other settled tribes. The motivation would have been need or greed. Greed would cover possessions or power.

Greed for power would include proselytising by priests (usually in cahoots with invaders of one kind or another), and not necessarily in adjacent lands; for, after the event, the priests would live comfortably in newly-created dominions. Casual raids by mounted marauders (unlike Genghis Khan's raids) to acquire loot would not have created empires.

In historical times, the empires established near and far by the Romans and, later, the Mongolians, and then the Ottoman Turks have left significant footprints - but they went the way of all flesh and human ambition.

The empires established within current living memory were those established by relatively small European nations. They too left significant footprints, many ugly; but they too have gone. The Soviet Empire has gone, as have the small empires attributed to the Manchurians, the Uigurs, and the Tibetans in earlier centuries.

How long did these empires last? An average of about 300 years? For, it has been claimed that, in a universe in which major significant events and occurrences are cyclical, the planet Saturn affects human affairs in 300-year cycles, with 60-year mini-cycles both within and outside the major cycle.

While it is convenient for modern sceptics to discount or otherwise reject such claims, it may be wise to note that, star-gazing and sky-watching by early cultures and civilisations without the use of modern-day optics and other technology led to findings about the universe which have been confirmed only recently, and only through modern technology.

As that eminent scientist Carl Sagan pointed out 'Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.' It is also worth noting that, when astronomy and astrology were one, and knowledge was not fragmented as it is now, it might have been easier for observers and scholars to achieve broader visions about their environments, both internal and external. Is this fanciful?

Perhaps the sceptic might need to delve more extensively into ancient history and pre-history, especially in the form of myths and historical memories; and to note that so much of what is offered as fact today, from cosmology to psychology, is often no more than intelligent speculation, or a tentative theory awaiting confirmation.

The two major empires of the present day are the communist Chinese nation and the US sphere of influence. It would not be fanciful to refer to both as empires, in the light of the prevailing relationships. The former controls its territories in the manner of historical empires, relying on a debatable claim of 'traditional' occupation. Does tradition have a durable temporal measure in terms of years? The latter empire is a hegemonic empire or an empire of influence.

The former empire, the so-called Han empire, subsumes the Manchurian, Uigur, and Tibetan peoples, each of whom had their own empires in relatively recent history. Will these people be able to remain historical societies, retaining their cultural traditions in their own lands?

The US empire, no older than the communist Chinese one, has no tradition to back its role as emperor. Yet, it is as effective in control as its unspoken opposition.

What do the planets say about the durability of these two empires?

Or, will the dance that both are engaged in be the sole determinant of their life-chances and lifespan?

Chapter 11 titled 'Of Empires Gone and Going' in Raja Arasa Ratnam's recent book 'Musings at Death's Door: an ancient bicultural Asian-Australian ponders Australian society' deals with the nature, significance, and probable durability of political conglomerates known as empires. Necessary background is to be found in his web site

Source: EzineArticles
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Article Tags:

Hegemonic Empire


Empire Of Influence


Planetary Cycles


Star Gazing


Sky Watching



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