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shible
12-12-2007, 06:01 PM
:sl:

The Social Bomb - Destruction of the Traditional Family
By Professor Nazeer Ahmed




Human civilization has gone off on a tangent and has created not one but multiple threats to its own survival. Of these, the nuclearization of the family has by far the greatest potential for destruction. Global warming, ecological destruction, and excessive consumerism are other well-known threats.

The family is the first building block composed of individuals. The structure and stability of the family determines the strength and stability of the social edifice that it erects and ultimately the stability and survival of the civilization that it seeks to build. When the family is strong, a civilization endures. When the family comes apart, a civilization unravels.

Families emerge from a multitude of reasons. Some are no more than a matter of convenience. They are like froth on the ocean and disappear just as the wave that generates them withdraws into the womb of the ocean. Their stability is uncertain as is the outcome of a cast of dice in gambling casino in Las Vegas.

Then there are marriages that are built on contract. On the global scene, by far the largest number of marriages that take place, and the families they generate, are based on contract. A large number of Muslims have also come to accept marriage as a contract between a man and a woman.

However, marriage in Islam is more than a mere contract. The Quran describes men and women as garments of each other, meaning the two are intertwined like two bundles of light sustaining and reinforcing each other in their march towards divine presence.

A contract cannot be a substitute for spiritual bonds. How can a contract capture the love between a parent and child, or the bonds between a brother and sister? Contracts may be nullified but love endures.

The family in Islam is based on marriage between a man and a woman. It is a covenant before God in accordance with the Sunnah of the Prophet. It has the elements both of a contract and a spiritual union. It is sanctified by Law, ratified by contract and sustained by the goodwill of the extended family and the community.

Even the rituals that are observed by a family and the community serve to reinforce familial bonds. They serve as occasions when the individual reinforces existing social bonds and develops new ones so that when the family comes under pressure, these bonds sustain the marriage and the family.

Rituals and customs give life to a culture. The diffusion of Islamic spirituality into local traditional cultures have knit them together into a global Islamic labyrinth so that there is a recognizable taste, feel and aroma to Muslim culture whether it is observed in Malaysia or Nigeria. A Pakistani can marry a Moroccan and maintain a family within the rhythm of an Islamic life. This is so because regional cultures have absorbed and internalized the transcendental values that have knit the Islamic civilization together.

It is unfortunate that under the double hammer of Western culture and internal extremist pressures may of the traditional social customs and ancient rituals are disappearing among Muslims. Stripped of the multiplicity of support systems that customs and rituals help nurture and sustain, the individual is thrown back to his own wits to weather the storms of life. He is like a tree that stands on a single root. A single waft of turbulence from a strong wind knocks it down. Marriages come apart and the family disintegrates.

The weakening and disappearance of traditional support systems for the family is one of the greatest threats to human civilization. Muslim societies are no exception to this. Broken marriages, disintegrated families and single parent families are no longer rare among Muslims.

The shock waves produced by the intrusion of technology in modern life have destroyed the traditional family and have given birth to the nuclear family. Economic pressures stifle social interactions. Mass media have invaded the space that was once the exclusive preserve of the family. Working men and women cannot take care of their aged parents and send them off to old age homes. Children return from schools to empty homes. The television takes the space that was once occupied by the grand parents. Mobility destroys the social bonds that once sustained community life in towns and villages. Where there once were a thousand hands sustaining a family, there are now just those of the nuclear family, of the husband the wife or those of a single parent.

Islam offers a balanced spiritual, social and cultural framework wherein the family may yet escape the destruction that is wrought by modern centrifugal forces.

A civilization is held together by a transcendental idea which acts as its cement. Ibn Khaldun postulated that this cement was none other than Asabiyah, the racial and ethnic cohesion born of blood relationships. The nomads of the desert possess this characteristic in abundance which fosters in them the virtues that moves a civilization forward. As the nomads settle down in cities, they lose these virtues and are ultimately overcome by a fresh wave of nomads.

While Ibn Khaldun’s theory may explain the formation and disintegration of tribal societies, it fails to explain the rise and fall of global civilizations. Islam, for one, condemns Asabiyah. “I evolved you into tribes”, extols the Quran, “so that you may know one another”. What has welded Islamic civilization is its innate spirituality which is based on the continual consciousness of Divine presence. This innate spirituality has provided the reservoir for internal renewal when the community has faced global challenges.

Spirituality molds the Islamic personality. On the one hand Islamic spirituality accepts and extols the individual worth and the individual responsibility to himself and to divine creation. On the other, it captures the individual ego within an infinitely elastic shell of divine presence. Man was created to know, serve and worship the divine. For the execution of this grand design man has been provided guidance and has been anointed the khalifa over all creation. The resultant personality represents a just balance between the spiritual and the physical, between the internal and the external, between the self and the selfless.

The Islamic community is a composition of such individuals who derive their sustenance from a consciousness of divine presence and observe divine commandments based on justice and balance to create divine patterns on earth. Each individual is like a brick that becomes a part of a grand edifice fulfilling the divine plan.

In the global village, where civilizations interact and learn from each other, Muslims have a unique opportunity to make a contribution towards the preservation and sustenance of human civilization.

Whereas the basis of marriage and family in the West is contractual, and exclusively spiritual in the East, in Islam it is both contractual and spiritual. The stability and permanence of the family will be the ultimate barometer of the survival of our civilization. In this struggle, custom and ritual have an important role to play. Let us not discard what is traditional under the pressures of modernity. If we do, both tradition and modernity will be the losers


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The Social Bomb



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Amadeus85
12-12-2007, 11:09 PM
Well, let me tell you that there are two things that change conservative societies in biggest way. First is allowing women to study and work. The second are american films. :)
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Isambard
12-13-2007, 12:00 AM
Originally Posted by Aaron85
Well, let me tell you that there are two things that change conservative societies in biggest way. First is allowing women to study and work. The second are american films. :)
Those pesky women, thinking they are equal to men!:okay:
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Qingu
12-13-2007, 04:48 AM
This must be why Western, secular societies are falling apart, while Islamic societies are thriving, prosperous, and peaceful.

.....................
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Amadeus85
12-13-2007, 02:03 PM
Originally Posted by Isambard
Those pesky women, thinking they are equal to men!:okay:
Feminists think that they are the same like men. :)
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Amadeus85
12-13-2007, 02:04 PM
Originally Posted by Qingu
This must be why Western, secular societies are falling apart, while Islamic societies are thriving, prosperous, and peaceful.

.....................
Western secular soceties are dying out. :mmokay:
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Qingu
12-13-2007, 02:23 PM
Originally Posted by Aaron85
Western secular soceties are dying out. :mmokay:
Right. This is why millions of Americans, Canadians and Europeans are desperately emigrating to Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan to escape our war-torn societies and poor economies. :)

Well okay, maybe America is in decline. Coincidentally, this is happening alongside the rise of the religious right who elected Bush.
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Amadeus85
12-13-2007, 02:38 PM
Originally Posted by Qingu
Right. This is why millions of Americans, Canadians and Europeans are desperately emigrating to Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan to escape our war-torn societies and poor economies. :)

Well okay, maybe America is in decline. Coincidentally, this is happening alongside the rise of the religious right who elected Bush.
I mean that secular western societies are dying out. I mean people. :rolleyes:
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Keltoi
12-13-2007, 02:46 PM
If one looks at the history of the world's great empires, primarily the Greeks and Romans, it is a good indication of what actually causes social decay. The collapse of family bonds, the collapse of community bonds, and the collapse of traditional virtues.

These problems are mentioned repeatedly in Plato, Socrates, and Plutarch. They saw the decline of their civilization, and ironically the same thing is happening to the U.S.
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shible
12-13-2007, 04:41 PM
May be,

But a Recent news that i read on papers published a Survey that American's are reducing their friends circle in sharing their Secrets.

Out of three American one doesn't have a secret Friend. This is because they think that their secrets will be revealed

What do u think that took them to this FAR ??
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Keltoi
12-13-2007, 05:11 PM
Originally Posted by shible
May be,

But a Recent news that i read on papers published a Survey that American's are reducing their friends circle in sharing their Secrets.

Out of three American one doesn't have a secret Friend. This is because they think that their secrets will be revealed

What do u think that took them to this FAR ??
Sorry, but I'm not sure what you're getting at here.
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shible
12-13-2007, 05:29 PM
I jus tried to bring in the news that say Ameriacans don't feel that they can trust a fellow american.

Unfortunately i was not able to get that news on net or else i would have dropped the proof
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Isambard
12-13-2007, 06:53 PM
Originally Posted by Keltoi
If one looks at the history of the world's great empires, primarily the Greeks and Romans, it is a good indication of what actually causes social decay. The collapse of family bonds, the collapse of community bonds, and the collapse of traditional virtues.

These problems are mentioned repeatedly in Plato, Socrates, and Plutarch. They saw the decline of their civilization, and ironically the same thing is happening to the U.S.
Id say the fall of alot of the great empires is actually the fault of the population become more and more dogmatic. Wasting your resources to chase and kill others because they dont agree with your imaginary friend is a good way to plummet your economy and make the society divisive.

See America under Bush
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Keltoi
12-13-2007, 06:59 PM
Originally Posted by Isambard
Id say the fall of alot of the great empires is actually the fault of the population become more and more dogmatic. Wasting your resources to chase and kill others because they dont agree with your imaginary friend is a good way to plummet your economy and make the society divisive.

See America under Bush
No offense, but the Greek and Roman populations were anything but dogmatic. Those societies crumbled from the inside due to the decay of the citizenry. That decay had to do with the loss of community and social values. The average Roman or Greek citizen was free of "dogmatic" or religious law. In fact, the Romans were so "liberal" in their adoption of foreign gods and festivals, that the whole concept of a national religion was thrown out the window.
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Isambard
12-13-2007, 07:06 PM
Originally Posted by Keltoi
No offense, but the Greek and Roman populations were anything but dogmatic. Those societies crumbled from the inside due to the decay of the citizenry. That decay had to do with the loss of community and social values. The average Roman or Greek citizen was free of "dogmatic" or religious law. In fact, the Romans were so "liberal" in their adoption of foreign gods and festivals, that the whole concept of a national religion was thrown out the window.
My Roman history is a bit fuzzy, but didnt Rome go all christian, implement christianity as a state religion, then slaughtered more christians (those that disagreed) then the Roman state of old ever did?
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Keltoi
12-13-2007, 07:11 PM
Originally Posted by Isambard
My Roman history is a bit fuzzy, but didnt Rome go all christian, implement christianity as a state religion, then slaughtered more christians (those that disagreed) then the Roman state of old ever did?
Rome eventually adopted Christianity, but the empire was in decline for many generations before that. As for slaughtering Christians...no, I'm not aware of the Christian Roman Empire slaughtering other Christians. The empire did split between the West and East, with the Byzantines embracing Orthodoxy. However, it never came to war between them.
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Qingu
12-14-2007, 04:03 AM
Originally Posted by Keltoi
If one looks at the history of the world's great empires, primarily the Greeks and Romans, it is a good indication of what actually causes social decay. The collapse of family bonds, the collapse of community bonds, and the collapse of traditional virtues.
Really? Do you have any sort of evidence for this? I don't see any correlation to weakening family bonds and Roman or Greek decline (nor do I see any way to actually measure "weakening family bonds").

I do see a correlation between the collapse of the Roman Empire and the rise of Christianity though.

These problems are mentioned repeatedly in Plato, Socrates, and Plutarch.
Socrates and Plato were writing during the golden age of Greece. Shortly after they wrote, the Greeks conquered most of the known world, and scientific knowledge was at a high point in history.

I also fail to see any correlation between Plutarch's writings and Roman decline.

How on earth is this evidence of anything?

They saw the decline of their civilization, and ironically the same thing is happening to the U.S.
The U.S. is a more religious nation than Canada, Japan, and much of Europe—none of which are declining. The most religious nations—Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan—tend to be the poorest and least stable.

If anything, the U.S. is declining because of the domestic and foreign policies of religious lunatics.

But of course, you can blame the homosexuals for fueling our oil addiction, declaring unjust wars and racking up a multitrillion dollar national debt. I'm sure gay sex caused these things.
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barney
12-14-2007, 04:08 AM
Meh, It went all Byzantine, and Christianity kinda went all catholic, and we had a few big wars, and the Cathys tromped through constantinople, and then The Turks tromped through Constantinople the other way....then Rome died.

We did fight the byzants mate...loads of times. We slaughtered entire freaking citys of Orthadoxes....3rd or fourth crusade...I was reading it last night.

Sucks to be them.
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Qingu
12-14-2007, 04:13 AM
Originally Posted by barney
Meh, It went all Byzantine, and Christianity kinda went all catholic, and we had a few big wars, and the Cathys tromped through constantinople, and then The Turks tromped through Constantinople the other way....then Rome died.

We did fight the byzants mate...loads of times. We slaughtered entire freaking citys of Orthadoxes....3rd or fourth crusade...I was reading it last night.

Sucks to be them.
Truly, Christendom was the height of civilization. If only ancient Rome or Greece were as religious as dark ages Europe! (Or as Afghanistan under the Taliban!)
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barney
12-14-2007, 04:20 AM
Really there wasnt much of a gap between west and east until the 1600's.

If anything Arab civilisation had some advantages over the west in Technology and medicine and maths etc, etc. we were treating leg ulcers by axeing off the leg, and the Saracens were pouring vinigar over the wounds.

The burning at the stake and head-loppy-off-ness was about the same till the 1700's.
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Keltoi
12-14-2007, 03:40 PM
Originally Posted by Qingu
Really? Do you have any sort of evidence for this? I don't see any correlation to weakening family bonds and Roman or Greek decline (nor do I see any way to actually measure "weakening family bonds").

I do see a correlation between the collapse of the Roman Empire and the rise of Christianity though.


Socrates and Plato were writing during the golden age of Greece. Shortly after they wrote, the Greeks conquered most of the known world, and scientific knowledge was at a high point in history.

I also fail to see any correlation between Plutarch's writings and Roman decline.

How on earth is this evidence of anything?


The U.S. is a more religious nation than Canada, Japan, and much of Europe—none of which are declining. The most religious nations—Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan—tend to be the poorest and least stable.

If anything, the U.S. is declining because of the domestic and foreign policies of religious lunatics.

But of course, you can blame the homosexuals for fueling our oil addiction, declaring unjust wars and racking up a multitrillion dollar national debt. I'm sure gay sex caused these things.
To understand weakening "family bonds" you would probably have to change the way in which you understand the word "family". When I mentioned this I was primarily thinking about Greece, and the "polis." To a Greek, loyalties were a ladder of responsibilities. A Greek was loyal to his family, his clan, his polis(community), and when necessary the Greek kingdom itself. When this structure began to break down, as it did during the time of Plato, it weakened the foundation of Athenian civilization. I suppose I could quote you portions of Plato's Republic where this exact scenario is mentioned, but I don't have the book handy at the moment. If you want I will post them later.

An expanding empire doesn't equate to a stable society.

As for Plutarch, he was an historian. If you read Life of Demetrius, Life of Agis, and Life of Cleomenes, it explores in great detail the changes in Athenian society.

The reason all of that is related to Rome is because the same scenarios played out there as well. Not to mention that Rome adopted the Hellenistic world, from which all of this is derived.

As for religion, I don't remember asserting that simply being "religious" was a formula for a successful state. The primary formula for a successful state, IMO, is strong family and community bonds. Why? Because without them you stand for nothing. You become an individual. Individualism isn't a healthy philosophy for a successful state. Not in the long run.
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Keltoi
12-14-2007, 03:55 PM
Originally Posted by barney
Meh, It went all Byzantine, and Christianity kinda went all catholic, and we had a few big wars, and the Cathys tromped through constantinople, and then The Turks tromped through Constantinople the other way....then Rome died.

We did fight the byzants mate...loads of times. We slaughtered entire freaking citys of Orthadoxes....3rd or fourth crusade...I was reading it last night.

Sucks to be them.
I believe you are referring to the 4th Crusade when the Venetians and Franks attacked Constantinople? What caused this was a usurper to the Byzantine throne, named Alexius III. The rightful emperor, Alexius IV, asked the Crusaders to help him drive the usurper off the throne and place him in power. In return, Constantinople would support the new Crusade into Jerusalem. Of course, the Crusaders simply sacked the city and took power for themselves.
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Qingu
12-15-2007, 01:42 AM
Originally Posted by Keltoi
To understand weakening "family bonds" you would probably have to change the way in which you understand the word "family". When I mentioned this I was primarily thinking about Greece, and the "polis." To a Greek, loyalties were a ladder of responsibilities.
So you weren't talking about family bonds—you were talking about arete and loyalty to the city-state. Please don't accuse me of misunderstanding you when you used the wrong word.

A Greek was loyal to his family, his clan, his polis(community), and when necessary the Greek kingdom itself.
What Greek Kingdom are you referring to, the fictional one in the Illiad?

When this structure began to break down, as it did during the time of Plato, it weakened the foundation of Athenian civilization. I suppose I could quote you portions of Plato's Republic where this exact scenario is mentioned, but I don't have the book handy at the moment. If you want I will post them later.
I'd love to see you post them, and support any of your claims.

An expanding empire doesn't equate to a stable society.
Oh, we're only talking about stability?

Then you are correct. An expanding empire with a civilization producing more art, literature, and philosophical works than at any other point in history is less "stable" than a bunch of illiterate savages behind a mile-high wall. What on earth is your point? You weren't talking about stability, you were talking about civilizations falling from grace.

As for Plutarch, he was an historian. If you read Life of Demetrius, Life of Agis, and Life of Cleomenes, it explores in great detail the changes in Athenian society.
He lived in the first century.

The reason all of that is related to Rome is because the same scenarios played out there as well. Not to mention that Rome adopted the Hellenistic world, from which all of this is derived.
Rome adopted a Hellenistic view before it even became an empire. You're seriously trying to correlate this ideology to its fall?

As for religion, I don't remember asserting that simply being "religious" was a formula for a successful state.
Ah, but that's what this ridiculous argument is always about with you Christians, isn't it? Maybe not on the surface, but every time I hear some Christian try to blame the fall of Rome on homosexuality, or atheism, what they're really saying is that this is what's going to happen to America unless we all start believing in Jesus a lot more. Is this in fact what you're saying, or am I being unfair?

The primary formula for a successful state, IMO, is strong family and community bonds. Why? Because without them you stand for nothing.
Ah, yes. Because everyone without kids or parents has no friends or ideals.

You become an individual. Individualism isn't a healthy philosophy for a successful state. Not in the long run.
While I'm truly, truly shocked that a religious person is arguing for increased social control, I'm still looking forward to any sort of support for this ridiculous statement. Even a correlation between individualism and failing societies.

So far you've cited historians, whose testimonies actually didn't correlate to failing states. I'm genuinely curious as to why you expect anyone to believe anything you say.
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Keltoi
12-15-2007, 07:30 PM
Originally Posted by Qingu
So you weren't talking about family bonds—you were talking about arete and loyalty to the city-state. Please don't accuse me of misunderstanding you when you used the wrong word.


What Greek Kingdom are you referring to, the fictional one in the Illiad?


I'd love to see you post them, and support any of your claims.


Oh, we're only talking about stability?

Then you are correct. An expanding empire with a civilization producing more art, literature, and philosophical works than at any other point in history is less "stable" than a bunch of illiterate savages behind a mile-high wall. What on earth is your point? You weren't talking about stability, you were talking about civilizations falling from grace.


He lived in the first century.


Rome adopted a Hellenistic view before it even became an empire. You're seriously trying to correlate this ideology to its fall?


Ah, but that's what this ridiculous argument is always about with you Christians, isn't it? Maybe not on the surface, but every time I hear some Christian try to blame the fall of Rome on homosexuality, or atheism, what they're really saying is that this is what's going to happen to America unless we all start believing in Jesus a lot more. Is this in fact what you're saying, or am I being unfair?


Ah, yes. Because everyone without kids or parents has no friends or ideals.


While I'm truly, truly shocked that a religious person is arguing for increased social control, I'm still looking forward to any sort of support for this ridiculous statement. Even a correlation between individualism and failing societies.

So far you've cited historians, whose testimonies actually didn't correlate to failing states. I'm genuinely curious as to why you expect anyone to believe anything you say.
It would be far more interesting to debate something with you if your posts weren't full of arrogant nonsense. I know you have a problem with religious people, but this topic isn't about religion or the fact that I'm a Christian.

I was referring to the family, the family is part of the community, and Greek loyalties formed a ladder of responsibility, as I mentioned before. The family is the basis of this ladder.

Which Greek kingdom am I referring to? Well, the most notable would be Athens, but there were others, such as Thebes, Sparta, etc. Did you seriously not know any Greek states or were you simply being sarcastically arrogant again?

I also don't remember mentioning homosexuality or athiesm. Do you just pull these out of your bag of tricks in order to feign some kind of self-righteous outrage?

The first thing you must consider when discussing any empire or successful civilization are the attributes that led to their rise in power. For the Greeks and Romans, it was a combination of social discipline and military discipline. By social discipline I'm referring to law and order. This law and order was the foundation of their society, from the top of the ladder to the smallest family unit. When family structure starts to break down, that naturally leads to more break down further up the ladder. Plato's Republic is a fairly lengthy treatise on justice, starting with the individual and on to the city-state itself. While I don't agree with Plato's dream of a kingdom led by philosopher-kings, I think he makes the point quite well throughout that individuals will doom the state unless they work to keep that social network strong. You don't have to agree, but perhaps you have a theory as to what strengthens a nation-state?

As for Plutarch, yes he lived during the 1st century, but his histories are fairly good at describing Athens and Rome and the politics of these cities.
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Qingu
12-16-2007, 05:53 AM
Originally Posted by Keltoi
I was referring to the family, the family is part of the community, and Greek loyalties formed a ladder of responsibility, as I mentioned before. The family is the basis of this ladder.
No. You are equivocating family bonds with the Greek concept of arete, excellence/honor, which entailed devotion to the polis.

Which Greek kingdom am I referring to? Well, the most notable would be Athens, but there were others, such as Thebes, Sparta, etc. Did you seriously not know any Greek states or were you simply being sarcastically arrogant again?
You said "the Greek kingdom itself," an entity above and beyond the polis. There was no Greek kingdom. Though some individual city-states were monarchies.

Athens was not a kingdom.

I also don't remember mentioning homosexuality or athiesm. Do you just pull these out of your bag of tricks in order to feign some kind of self-righteous outrage?
Perhaps I was being hasty. You don't have a problem with homosexuality or atheism?

The first thing you must consider when discussing any empire or successful civilization are the attributes that led to their rise in power. For the Greeks and Romans, it was a combination of social discipline and military discipline.
Interesting you'd leave out their technology and philosophy.

Plato's Republic is a fairly lengthy treatise on justice, starting with the individual and on to the city-state itself. While I don't agree with Plato's dream of a kingdom led by philosopher-kings, I think he makes the point quite well throughout that individuals will doom the state unless they work to keep that social network strong.
Please tell me you are not actually deriving your social theory from Plato.

You don't have to agree, but perhaps you have a theory as to what strengthens a nation-state?
Innovation, beyond anything else.

We can start with the Greeks' very concept of the polis—a political and ideological innovation—and move on throughout history, from the Romans' willingness to absorb superior Greek traditions and redefine themselves around them, to the Europeans' mastery of natural philosophy and economics, to America's radical new doctrine of individual liberty and democracy.

A society unwilling to let its populace change the status quo will grow stagnant and die.
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Keltoi
12-16-2007, 07:07 PM
You are correct on the issue of the word "kingdom", that was a poor choice of words to describe the overall Greek political situation. Perhaps allied states or something along those lines would have been a better description.

As for homosexuality and athiesm, I believe in secular government regardless of my faith. Personally, while my religion may frown upon the practice of these I believe all people should have equal rights and protections under the law.

As for technology and philosophy, these were obviously great contributions. The issue isn't what they left behind, but why they had to "leave them behind" at all.

As for my social theory, no it is not derived from Plato. I use Plato only in the context of discussing Greek political philosophy...I wouldn't even say that I have a social theory. Just musings.

Lastly, as for innovation, I would agree that it is important, especially in the economic sense. However, its when the economy falters that the fabric of society is actually tested. I would agree that alot of it comes down to political policy, but I think the overall state of society dictates the kind of leaders that come to power. Not only their character but also the kinds of policies the people will support.
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