The five stages of civilisation
One of my occasional pieces where I take big ideas and try to make sense of them in a small format. This poster represents my take on how societies rise and fall: broadly the 50-80 year timescale of the long-term debt cycle and the 500-year sweep of the average civilisation. Its thesis: individual people of course affect events, but the broad sweep of history doesn’t change, because human nature doesn’t.
And in case you’re wondering: The UK is entering Stage 4, with the USA heading for Stage 5 and much of the EU already there. China is zooming through an exhilarating Stage 2 (note: economic freedom and political freedom aren’t the same thing) with much of Asia following; Japan is in lifeless Stage 3. Much of the global South is at Stage 1; one possible outcome for the next few decades is depopulation due to climate change, with the southern hemisphere basically uninhabited.