I believe that one of the reasons is that these civilizations are socially addicted to ideologies,and at this moment in our history we have found ourselves in the embrace of a very powerful and dominant ideology,that being "Corporatism".
This acceptance of Corporatism causes us to deny and undermine the legitimacy of the individual as "citizen"in a Democracy.The result of such a denial is a growing imbalance which leads to our adoration of "self interest" and "special interest lobby groups"and the total denial of the public good.
"Corporatism" is of course an ideology which claims rationality as its central quality.The overall effects on the individual are passivity and conformity in those areas which matter and non-conformism in these which don't,street protests for equality are NOT part of the Corporatism agenda!
Over the last twenty five years,"Economics" has been elevated to a "pseudo science" with the great help of Organizations like the Nobel Prize commitee,thanks to its annual financing from big banks!
And over this same period of time,"economics" have been spectacularly "unsucessful" in its attempt to apply these therorical models to the world we live in today.Democratic governments have taken these "economic modelling"with great reverance and zeal,and attempted to apply them and have failed horribly!
Economic "professions"imply both real parameters and professionals who are also responsible for the effects of their advice.If Economist were doctors,they would today be in an endless quagmire of malpractice suits!
The nineteenth century writer Alessandro Manzoni,in his great novel"The Betrothed" wrote"History may truly be defined as a war against time".But you cannot wage this war if you deny reality.If you cannot remember,then there is no reality.
To know-that is to have knowledge of reality,is to understand the relationship between what you know and what you do.
Our actions are in reality,tiny narrow bands of specialist information,usually based on a false idea of measurement rather than upon any knowledge-that is,understanding of the larger picture.
This results in circumstance where a knowing man or woman would embrace doubt and advance carefully and thoughtfully,instead ,our enormous,highly specialized ruling technocratic "elites",are shielded by a childlike certainty,they really do believe that what they say is an absolute truth.As Cicero put it:"He who does not know history is destined to remain a child".
Example,Robert McNamara,the former American Secretary of Defence,was maniacally convinced that the American war in Vietnam would,could,and must be won or the entire world would all become Communist,and he had the numbers to "prove it"!
Is anyone really surprised that Goldman Sachs,The World Bank,I.M.F.and all Banks in general worldwide still prosper and expand at a time when the rest of society is broken by long term economic crisis?
You shouldn't be,there is no reason to be surprised if you know your history!
The sophisticated "Elite's" ruling, when shown and confronted(Occupy Wallstreeters,99%er's)by their own failure to lead Society,react invariably the same.They,the "Elites"just set about building a wall between themselves and reality by creating an "artificial"sense of well being on the inside.
My example would be to look at the French aristocracy,gentry and business leadership,who were never more satisfied with themselves than in the few decades before their collapse during the French Revolution.
The "Elites" of the late Roman Empire were(like todays American "Political" class) in constant foreign expansion and filled with a sense of their own importance,as Emperor after Emperor failed and was assasinated and provinces were lost.
The Russian "Elites"of the two decades preceding 1914-both the traditional leadership and the new,rapidly expanding business class-were in a constant state of effervescence,and look at what happened to them!
One trick which makes this delusion possible is that the very size and prosperity of these "Elites"allows it to interiorize and artificial vision of civilization as a whole.
To be continued