Monday, June 07, 2010

Brooks Adams - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Just discovered this guy. Crazy interesting stuff and not very well known:
He believed that commercial civilizations rise and fall in predictable cycles. First, masses of people draw together in large population centers and engage in commercial activities. As their desire for wealth grows, they discard spiritual and creative values. Their greed leads to distrust and dishonesty, and eventually the society crumbles. In The Law of Civilization and Decay (1895), Adams noted that as new population centers emerged in the west, centers of world trade shifted from Constantinople to Venice to Amsterdam to London. He predicted in America's Economic Supremacy (1900) that New York would become the world trade center.
His description of Roman society is like reliving the recent financial collapse.