A short study of cycles in world history. Much of what we are experiencing today happened before and will happen again.
Another outward change which invariably
marks the transition from the Age of
Conquests to the Age of Affluence is the
spread of defensiveness. The nation, immen-
sely rich, is no longer interested in glory or
duty, but is only anxious to retain its wealth
and its luxury. It is a period of defensiveness,
from the Great Wall of China, to Hadrian’s
Wall on the Scottish Border, to the Maginot
Line in France in 1939.
Money being in better supply than courage,
subsidies instead of weapons are employed
to buy off enemies. To justify this departure
from ancient tradition, the human mind
easily devises its own justification. Military
readiness, or aggressiveness, is denounced as
primitive and immoral. Civilized peoples are
too proud to fight. The conquest of one
nation by another is declared to be immoral.
Empires are wicked. This intellectual device
enables us to suppress our feeling of
inferiority, when we read of the heroism of
our ancestors, and then ruefully contemplate
our position today. ‘It is not that we are
afraid to fight,’ we say, ‘but we should
consider it immoral.’ This even enables us to
assume an attitude of moral superiority.
The weakness of pacifism is that there are
still many peoples in the world who are
aggressive. Nations who proclaim themselves
unwilling to fight are liable to be conquered
by peoples in the stage of militarism—
perhaps even to see themselves incorporated
into some new empire, with the status of
mere provinces or colonies.
When to be prepared to use force and when
to give way is a perpetual human problem,
which can only be solved, as best we can, in
each successive situation as it arises. In fact,
however, history seems to indicate that great
nations do not normally disarm from
motives of conscience, but owing to the
weakening of a sense of duty in the citizens,
and the increase in selfishness and the desire
for wealth and ease.
In my copy of The Fate of Empires, it on page 24, but if you’re using the link, go to page 15, XXIV The Arab Decline. I read it three times, just to be sure I wasn’t imagining it or misreading it. It’s truly amazing.
It was mind boggling to read. Even Glubb couldn’t believe what he reading in the 10th century Arab chronicles; full on feminism in the midst of a Muslim civilization! Who would believe such a thing today? But that seems to be a pattern noticed by others as well. In JD Unwin’s “Sex and Culture” starting on page 379
he details several ancient civilizations (Sumeria, Babylon, Athens, Rome, etc) where the same thing happened. Feminism is not at all new, rather female emancipation is symptomatic of the decline and fall of that culture. And that once feminism by whatever name starts it is irreversible and no turning back until the host culture dies and is taken over by a male dominated society. When feminism sets in the society rots from the inside and then crumbles when it encounters an external challenge. Toynbee put it well “Civilizations are not murdered; they commit suicide.”
Complimentary to Glubb’s essay and written well before it is a book by JD Unwin called Sex and Culture the interesting historical part starts on page 379. You can get the book here archive.org/details/b20442580/page/378
Rather than explain what it is about I shall quote someone else’s description:
What he fails to mention is that as Unwin points out that once started feminism (or whatever name you want to call it), is unstoppable. It continues till the host society dies and is taken over by a male dominated society and then the cycle repeats itself. One of the main effects is decline in birth rates - leading to all kinds of social upheaval.
I’m really not sure what you’re trying to say anymore.
The quote you attributed to Toynbee is not sourced from that web link (which notes that his view of history is “severely criticised”). But what’s more confusing is that Toynbee contradicts the anti-feminist, and rather selective, view of history you attributed to Unwin.
In the end, however, I’m not really interested in playing find-a-quote as it simply results in the Appeal to Authority fallacy. You are entitled to believe what you wish, but publishing content that misrepresents history and subverts the rights of 50% of our population on a forum that encourages acceptance is a tough sell. I responded so that other readers will not interpret a lack of response as tacit agreement. I cannot speak for women, but I can let the women around me know that I stand with them.
I do not wish to start a flame war, and I’ve spent more time fact-checking my understanding of Toynbee than is healthy, so I will refrain from participating further. To others reading this: I encourage you to stand up for reason and science, especially when fallacies are used — however innocently — to undermine the hard-won rights of others.
If you had actually read Unwin’s text starting at page 379 you would know that feminists have nothing to worry about, because once started feminism is irreversible and cannot be stopped. I am not writing a thesis so I am sorry that I didn’t give the exact citation for Toynbee I only added that link in case someone didn’t know who he was. Because his work is criticized, so what? Everyone’s work is criticized. Feminism is severely criticized and for good reason, that didn’t stop you from supporting it.
One observation: it seems to me that no matter what other people say, what you reply with ends up sounding like you’re more interested in the argument rather than the subject of the argument. Many people find this wearying.