A civilisation is a society that dominates surrounding societies by use of violence. A group of societies cannot create a shared understanding because they do not share the same basic morality, which makes their different understandings incompatible. In attempting to assert its own beliefs each society will inevitably clash with the others, and the stronger society will dominate. Hence:
Organizations that attempt to represent a group of different societies, such as the United Nations, cannot resolve clashes in morality and must fail.
Once a society declines it is only a matter of time before it becomes too feeble to resist the demands of other societies who will overrun and extinguish the dissolving society.
A society is a shared understanding, so is based upon shared beliefs about right and wrong, which are its religion. This religion allows citizens to bestow the same meaning on events so discover the same purpose and thus act as a single creature. And as the religion is concerned with social welfare, it will demand reverence for truth and self-sacrifice, qualities that are essential for every society to thrive. Therefore, as long as the majority are faithful, the society will blossom and build its vision of heaven on earth.
Society's Lifespan A shared understanding recreates itself by each generation imbuing their offspring with the shared understanding, which is its religion. However, as this process is not perfect, every new generation contains a number of disbelievers, who eventually become the majority. Then the society loses not only its religion but its shared understanding so stops waxing and starts waning.
Hence, every society exists in two modes, it is either waxing to a prime ruled by tradition; or waning
The majority persecute the minority by treating them as outcasts and forcing them to become isolated and alienated. In the vital mode the disbelievers win social stigma, in the dissolute mode the faithful are viewed as simpletons.
Waning Without the guide of its religion, the society insensibly becomes ruled by popular fears and fancies, a tyranny that accepts no contradiction or resistance so
Social Cohesion Lost as honesty and self-sacrifice discarded.
Social Order Lost as tradition is discarded with duty, so citizens lose their clear identity and sensible purpose.
Sensible Communal Purpose Lost As it becomes the pursuit of popular delusions so wasting time money and effort while ignoring society's vital interests.
Knowledge is Corrupted as reverence for truth is replaced by popular fears and fancies, which replace science with popular superstition thereby weakening technology, impoverishing the society and creating delusions.
Society's Mind Crippled as
The free exchange of opinions is hobbled by the tyranny that forbids contradiction of popular fears and fancies.
Language loses clarity as the traditions of spelling and grammar are discarded, so no one is quite sure what is being said, or if it is sensible.
Together these plunge society into delusion, chaos and poverty while shrivelling communal understanding so creating a hell on earth.
The Start of Waning, which is the onset of the next Dark Age, is marked by two symptoms, with the appearance of one being followed by the appearance of the other:
A Class War for this is when the selfish violently wrest power from the traditional ruler and place it in the hands of the declared agents of the selfish majority. This is a reversal of authority for it stops being the master but becomes the servant of its charges. Government stops being guided by tradition but starts being tyrannised by popular notions so replacing sensible with irrational rule.
A Golden Age of Literature When previous traditional restraints of what can be said and who can say it, are discarded so allowing an initial blossoming of the arts, especially literature. However, this discarding of tradition is also the discarding of the rules governing the use of language, which henceforth steadily loses accuracy and clarity.
In England the Civil War (1642–1651), forcing Monarchy to become a servant of the Parliament, preceded their Golden Age of Literature (1660–1780); while in France their Golden Age of Literature (17th Century) preceded the French Revolution (1789), which replaced Monarchy with popular rule.
Decline Ensues and from this time the community enters an irreversible decline where it becomes progressively sillier and weaker (Senile) though officially there is no change. This is revealed by:
The Retreat From Reason—as understanding is founded upon morality which is being discarded by the community, the ability to think clearly is also being discarded.
The Suppression of Truth—Selfish citizens are not concerned with self-sacrifice but self-aggrandisement, so the demands of duty are ignored in the pursuit of private gain. As the aim of duty is public good, this is what suffers to supply profit to the selfish. Such behaviour can only be maintained by the cloak of deceit, which makes truth an anathema to the selfish.
The Embracing of Delusion—Unrestrained by truth or reason, individuals (and their community) are unable to resist their fears and fancies which become the inspiration for widespread absurd beliefs: superstition.
The Shrinking From Resolute Action—Selfishness prevents the private sacrifice demanded to endure in the face of adversity, so preventing individuals and the community from showing determination and perseverance. This makes the whole community timid and unable to overcome difficulties.
The Exchange of Justice for Tyranny—the courts stop upholding the notions of justice revealed by tradition, but start enforcing the irrational tyranny demanded by popular fad. This change is signaled by an explosion of legislation which reveals the transfer of public stigma from the immoral to the statute breaker: from the unmarried mother to the woman who smokes a cigarette in the office (2004).
Anarchy Prevails—because a sense of duty, which is revealed by tradition, is what restrains citizens’ immediate physical desires so allowing the public harmony that is the essential cement of any group. Once tradition is discarded by the self-seekers, so is duty, hence order.
Communal Identity is lost as traditional reverence for communal racial character is discarded.
Dark Ages:'The absence of a sane community': a time when there is no sane community anywhere, which wins the replacement of science & duty with superstition & hysteria, so rendering the civilisation senile and unable to prevent barbarian war bands [Terrorists] from becoming the new rulers of humanity. Thus, returning existence to a primitive state, where life is short, harsh and miserable.
Re-Birth: a new civilisation can arise from the collapse of an old civilisation when:
Life has to become so harsh that it prevents the creation of spoilt (selfish) children so over time the majority of selfish citizens are replaced by unselfish citizens.
Some event forces the abandonment of the existing corrupt traditions set by the collapse of civilisation, which cripple the community of now unselfish, so dutiful, citizens.