Wealth, Energy, and Human Values

The Dynamics of Decaying Civilizations from Ancient Greece to America

by Thomas P. Wallace, Ph.D.



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 5/22/2009

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 528
ISBN : 9781438976273
Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 528
ISBN : 9781438976280

About the Book

The degradation of the modern American culture, including its 2008 financial and economic crisis, and the modern rejuvenation of Asian cultures are best understood within the context of 4,000 years of human history. Such are the consequences of the dynamics of cultural change, responding to societal variables of wealth, energy, and human values. This work provides a unique and formidable science-based framework for civilization development that complements and enhances the work of preeminent historians and sociologists. Accordingly, the foundation for societal progress is placed on restrictive scientific definitions, principles, and concepts of energy and wealth consumption, rather than solely on behavioral perspectives derived from empirical data and historical events. Society’s dynamic forces are linked to the cultural deterioration and collapse of Ancient Greece and Rome, Imperial Spain, and Great Britain. Specific chapters are devoted to stagnation of Western civilization, Asian and Islamic resurgence, deterioration of the American culture, and ecological degradation of North America’s largest estuary, the Chesapeake Bay; collateral damage of socio-economic profitability. The characteristics of America’s current cultural deterioration parallel those of previous great civilizations. These include abuse of wealth and energy resources; excessive individual and national debt; lack of cultural civility, discipline, integrity, and ethics; unaffordable militarism, escalating income and wealth disparities; unresolved crises in health care and public education; and stultifying cultural complexity and bureaucracy. Themes include the underlying principles responsible for the eventual deterioration of all known civilizations; the basis for the recurring, sequential periodicity of civilization success and failure; and the roles and significance of militarism and religion in civilization growth, decay, and rebirth; Addressing these themes necessitates the integration of the academic disciplines of history, sociology, economics, and science, reflecting human nature and socioeconomic and political realities that fundamentally and continuously alter human values, priorities, and behavior, thus creating human history.

About the Author

Dr Wallace, a physical chemist, has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in chemical thermodynamics and kinetics and polymer science. His research publications have appeared in the Journal of Physical Chemistry, Journal of Polymer Science, Applied Optics, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, and Journal of Applied Physics. Additionally, he has served in various university administrative positions including the presidency of Illinois State University.