Rise and Fall of Nations- Repeating Cycles

I am amazed by 14th century North African polymath North African polymath — an astronomer, economist, historian, Islamic jurist, Islamic lawyer, Islamic scholar, Islamic theologian, hafiz, mathematician, military strategist, nutritionist, philosopher, social scientist and statesman. Ibn Khaldun’s ideas were not absorbed by his society, nor were they carried forward by its future generations. Concerning the discipline of sociology, he conceived a theory of social conflict. He developed the dichotomy of sedentary life versus nomadic life as well as the concept of a “generation,” and the inevitable loss of power that occurs when desert warriors conquer a city. Perhaps the most frequently cited observation drawn from Ibn Khaldūn’s work is the notion that when a society becomes a great civilization (and, presumably, the dominant culture in its region), its high point is followed by a period of decay. This means that the next cohesive group that conquers the diminished civilization is, by comparison, a group of barbarians. Once the barbarians solidify their control over the conquered society, however, they become attracted to its more refined aspects, such as literacy and arts, and either assimilate into or appropriate such cultural practices. Then, eventually, the former barbarians will be conquered by a new set of barbarians, who will repeat the process. Some contemporary readers of Khaldun have read this as an early business cycle theory, though set in the historical circumstances of the mature Islamic empire.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibn_Khaldun

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