Societal collapse is a natural part of human history. But what causes a society to collapse? Read about this phenomenon here.

What Causes Societal Collapse?

Take a look at any major civilization over the course of history, and you’ll notice that they all have one thing in common: Eventual societal collapse. With inflation rates higher than ever, including during the Great Depression, along with seemingly endless global political strife, people may find themselves wondering when the next collapse will occur.

Fortunately, learning from history may buy us some time. Make sure you read this article to understand what factors play a part in the downfall of a society and what we can do about it.

Environmental Disrepair

Climate change is a hot-button issue, and for good reason. History is full of societies wiped out by Mother Nature. Here are a few just for reference:

  • The Norse (via Greenland)
  • The Greek (via Pompeii)
  • The Mayans (via drought)
  • The Minoans (via deforestation)

Unfortunately, things aren’t looking too great for modern civilization. We’re already battling increasingly hostile conditions like sun flares and colder winters.

Still, it’s important to remember that we have a part to play.

This goes for natural disasters, too, as we’re making a pre-existing problem much, much worse. There’s data to back up such a claim: Research shows that disasters occur more often and that their damage is only getting deadlier, with climate change being the primary factor.

It’s something that sociologist jared diamond studies closely. His findings indicate that ancient civilizations lived in similar biomes, yet thanks to an increased reliance on cars, computers, and harmful chemicals, we’re accelerating our own destruction.

War

What is it good for? Largely, political failures, economic collapse, and a lot of colonization.

No matter how you feel about war, it’s impossible to ignore how rife history is with feuding factions. While we hear the stories about the victors all the time, we rarely stop to think about those societies stomped out in the process.

You don’t have to open a history book to find examples, either. Revered civilizations like China, Egypt, and Ancient Mesopotamia all fell victim to strife and one point.

Overpopulation and Lack of Supplies

Booming civilizations ideally lead to an increase in the population, which makes sense, as financial security and shelter make it the perfect environment for a new generation. In theory, this is a good thing.

But with every new life comes another mouth to feed and the need for expanded shelter. Traditionally, this is where societies run into a myriad of issues, chief among them being the lack of resources.

You can only grow so many crops so quickly or build so many shelters before you risk deforestation.

What Causes Societal Collapse, Anyway?

We know this article was a bit of a downer. Still, it’s so important to take away a few key lessons here.

First, societal collapse can happen to even the strongest civilization. The good news, however, is that we can learn from history.

Reducing carbon emissions, focusing on overpopulation and aiding resource-starved nations, and rethinking our approach to war may help us all live longer. So what will you do to help your society?

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