|"Truth is never the fault of the Messenger" - Dredd|
Or at least you have been agitated by my quoting him several times.
Maybe several times too many.
But something happened recently, an archaeological discovery of a lost civilization.
So once again, let's take another look at what Toynbee said, and then apply it to the residue, debris, and cultural artefacts of that civilization to help us understand how accurate he was:
"In other words, a society does not ever die 'from natural causes', but always dies from suicide or murder --- and nearly always from the former, as this chapter has shown."(Civilization Is Now On Suicide Watch). So, after that civilization was murdered or more likely, committed suicide, someone stumbled upon "it":
The story of this discovery begins in 2012 when an aerial survey of a remote valley in La Mosquitia, Honduras, revealed evidence of the ruins of a pre-Columbian city. Some experts thought the ruins might be part of the legendary “White City.”(Ancient City, "Has Ancient Ferguson Been Found" - just kidding). The scientists going over the area are of a different, and much more interesting opinion than the hypothesis that it is a city:
Archaeologists, however, no longer believe in the existence of a single “lost city,” or Ciudad Blanca, as described in the legends. They believe Mosquitia harbors many such “lost cities,” which taken together represent something far more important—a lost civilization.(National Geographic). It was a civilization thriving like any other, with commerce, politics, religion, love, hate, life and death.
Then it was gone.
The jungle grew over it, it became a myth or legend like Atlantis or the Hittite Empire, once a "shining city on a hill," then poof, empty, decaying, and gone from memory.
The cities and people surrounding the recently found civilization are evidence that there was no reason that civilization, whatever it was called, absolutely had to cease to exist.
As Toynbee said, "a society does not ever die 'from natural causes'", no, a society is perpetual, with citizens both being born and dying within its gates, as it lives on beyond the generation that founded it.
Egypt, for example, existed long before this newly discovered civilization, and still exists today, long after it.
Egypt's ancient glory is gone, but still it remains.
None of the old timers who built the pyramids, and other bloviating architecture, are around any more, but Egypt still is.
To the contrary, the mysterious civilization now hidden beneath the jungle overgrowth just went away.
Who knows when or why.
Except as Toynbee says, by suicide or by murder.
This series brings all that to our attention, because, we are in The Sixth Mass Extinction period, and are sure to try to become extinct too.
It seems that current civilization is more like "Jones Town," which was a murder suicide (MOMCOM's Mass Suicide & Murder Pact, 2, 3, 4, 5).
I would not be surprised if some, or many, survived the lost civilization we are talking about today, because, some were likely to see it coming and escape.
But, our civilization's weapons and poisons are strong beyond any civilization before us, to the point that we can destroy our civilization with nuclear weapons, or with our use of fossil fuels.
Potentially without any escape.
And, we are eagerly doing everything we need to do to "make it so."
The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.