Saturday, August 2, 2014

PODA weapons devolution 3 part 2



Since you can only fight with what you have, nomads have a hard time fashioning armor and weapons from sheep ( they make a mean insulated tent however ).  Without agriculture to produce excess food to feed soldiers they both can’t engage in manufacturing nor hold land.  Without land there is no crops nor factories.  The whole thing feeds on itself.  A symbiosis.  Farmers can produce a surplus which allows manufacturing and an army which was needed in the first place to allow a food surplus to be grown.  By definition, agricultural empires have to start small, feed its rise on the corpses of other groups, and continue to grow to survive least they be eclipsed by a group growing quicker.  This is why empires always without exception are agricultural based and expand til death.  And don’t give me examples from the last 500 years when empires declined slowly and in relative peace.  They were occupied by another empire until the new one imploded, or they were rich enough that a new one kept taking over, or they just faded into a backwater.  A collapse isn’t always as messy as the Romans or Mayans- sometimes migration is greater than famine ( and less deadly as long as the migrants are needed elsewhere, even as slaves ).  A civilization collapse is a die off when the surrounding area is denuded.  If it is just a political/military transfer with resources remaining it isn’t as bad.  And the European global colonization was both a one off event and unique in other ways.  When the future mirrors the past, it isn’t going to be from this time period.


Because growth determines empires, mass production always plays a part ( he wins “who gets there firstest with the mostest” ).  From the first Mesopotamian armies to today, warfare is the best example of environmental degrading consumption.  Mining your assets to the point of exhaustion is part and parcel with empire building and position holding.  That is how you win.  The trick is to be the last to run out-which pretty much nicely sums up human survival as a species.  There is a reason we stay tribal and hostile.  Scarcity is normal, outside the Oil Age.  So it doesn’t matter how quickly you use up resources to defeat all your rivals, it matters more that he runs out first.  And if you aren’t able to extract and build and consume faster, you will be defeated and overrun.  Nomads can survive because no one wants their land.  A remote hidden agricultural area surrounded by a defensive moat of hostile to their enemies nomads is the only way farmers can be peaceful and unwarlike.  Otherwise, they had better be bigger and badder than everyone else. 

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1 comment:

  1. Some food for thought.I am not one of "WE americans are never going to fall" people. But our petro dollar dominance is allowing us to use our advacerys assets for basicly free.If it remains the world currancy for 10 more years havent we striped them of their ability to fight a conventional war? Isnt the atlantic and pacific our Moat?Are we just using our military till we reach the point we have little but they have less?Is our aim to make every one collapse worst than us.I think we will be the one eyed king in the valley of the blind.If you collapse into a dung heap and your on top it is still a dung heap. :)