The golden age of Arab science
Medicine just like any field had to start form somewhere. Despite all of the medical miracles we see in everyday life there was a golden time of medicine. It occurred between the 8th and 13th centuries in the middle east. During this time of discovery the works of Hippocrates and many others where expanded upon and ended up spreading through to Europe. Why was this the case. Well actually this was due to religion.
From the Quran
“The scholar’s ink is more sacred than the blood of martyrs”
“For every disease, Allah has given a cure.”
Yet, the atmosphere of learning did not continue forever because of differences between the different religions … and the crusades did not help either.
There were quite a few different factors leading to the fall of the Roman empire.
- Economic troubles and over reliance on slave labor
- Over expansion and military overspending
- Government corruption and political instability
- The loss of traditional values
This is quite a long list but all of these factors are fairly inter-related. The loss of traditional values could be seen as a major factor of government corruption. With that corruption should lead to instability as people have less faith in their institutions due to the abuse by their leaders.
The Roman empire was impressive as it included everything from Britain down thru Egypt and Spain over to Caspian sea. The larger the territory you have to defend, the greater the chances of incursion at the edges. This expansion worked while the empire was expanding as the some of the treasure that came back to Rome was in the form of slaves as craftsmen and to work the fields. When the empire could no longer expand and was spending to support the military this was an economic problem. One of the other economic problems was rich people fleeing to the countryside to escape taxes.
There can be many different empires whether or not they are times of science, fashion or actual populations. It is the history of the world that empires rise and and eventually fall. This is not always to the direct invasion of conquering legions but can be due to other factors.
The United States Empire (1945 – )
All of the examples fallen empires through history tell the tale of why the United States might have a rough road ahead of it. Despite some of the material losses during the two world wars it was blessed by not having problems of trying to build up a shattered industrial base like most of Europe or even its Allies such as the UK. The United States industrial base along with its military might rocketed the USA to superpower status in both military might, economic powerhouse and market to the world after World War II.
In the light of the current pandemic, certain weaknesses are coming to light that foreshadows problems. One of these is waning belief in science. I think this is most visible with the “anti-vaccine” movement. Just as recently as a few decades ago, getting a vaccine was seen as must have almost rock star type of event. Today people are refusing to wear masks in enclosed environments, tell tales of how vaccines will sterilize you and disbelieve the science behind global warming. You do not need to believe mankind is warming the planet to believe the planet is getting warmer ever since the industrial revolution.
Fiscal prowess. Most, if not all normal people have a certain amount of fiscal prowess. This might be iron clad self levels of self control or it might be no savings and no credit card company will give you a credit card. The same cannot be said for most governments and the United States seems to have a problem with fiscal restraint. The United States is still in a privileged position as all of its debts are issue in its own currency but this alone cannot save them. It is difficult to judge whether or not the wide margin of spending on the military versus other countries is justified or not but the spending is occurring through the use of deficits not through taxes. This is worrisome itself but at the same time this money is not being used to maintain the ever expanding infrastructure required by its populace (roads, bridges, police, public works, etc). It is just not realistic to build a bridge and then not continue maintenance on it over the decades. Otherwise it can fall apart or fall down.
What might be the largest but perhaps more subtle factor of the fall of empires is corruption and loss of traditional values. It surely does not affect someone in South Africa if a car dealership in Iowa is evading taxes through various shady practices. But one of the critical positions that the United States has had is the moral superiority when talking about dictatorships and human rights violations. These bragging privileges are becoming harder and harder to justify.
- Political Corruption
- Suppressing voters rights
- Packing the court
- Self dealing
- Human rights violations
How would the USA of 1950 spoke about the country with these types of abuses? How can the USA convince the citizens of Russia about the rule of law and Democracy? How can the USA tell countries to clean up their act with this type of behavior. It is rather like the parent telling the child to do as I say not as I do.