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Tower of Babel and the collapse of civilisation

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10/09/2012 02:21 AM

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Tower of Babel and the collapse of civilisation
Division of labour empowers humans to create great works at the risk of people becoming too specialised. People working on the same project or working in the same organisation often do not understand each other. In many cases nobody oversees the complete picture. This undermines the effectiveness of the organisation as a whole. Many organisations rely on advisors and specialists, such as lawyers, IT specialists and market analysts, while managers often do not understand the work they do and the advice they give. Humans have a limit to what they are capable of managing but common sense does not always prevail, especially when complex solutions are chosen where simple solutions suffice.

The biblical story of the Tower of Babel warns us for the division of labour gone too far. After becoming specialised, people are very dependent on each other, while they do not understand each other any more. In this way a society disintegrates and therefore the story of the Tower of Babel is reflecting the situation we live in today. After the collapse of the city civilisation people scattered over the surrounding countryside (Gen. 11:8). Some ancient city civilisations have collapsed in a similar way. An important theme in The Bible is Eden versus Babylon or rural living versus city life. The story on the Tower of Babel is part of this theme.

The building of the Tower of Babel may also reflect the effect of usury and credit in the financial system. Usury is the principle cause of the division of labour and the concentration of people in cities. Credit amplifies the booms and busts spurred by usury. Most sky scrapers have been built in the years just before financial crises. Historically, skyscraper construction has been characterised by bursts of sporadic, but intense activity that coincide with easy credit, rising land prices and excessive optimism.

Like the story of the Tower of Babel, the story of the Titanic is a warning against hubris. The Titanic was deemed unsinkable and the demise of the ship on its maiden voyage seems not to be a mere coincidence. In 1898 Morgan Robertson wrote the novel Futility, which described the maiden voyage of a transatlantic luxury liner named Titan. Although it was touted as being unsinkable, it struck an iceberg and sank with much loss of life. The name of the novel may also be an indirect reference to the Tower of Babel, which was a futile attempt of humans to become like God.

The essence of civilisation is trying to overcome the laws of nature. The sinking of the Titanic seems to be a prelude to the sinking of the SS Human Civilisation (SS stands for Sinking Ship) that is about to occur. Once again usury, hubris and over-reliance on technology are the principal causes for disaster. The iceberg will be exponential growth hitting the limits of the planet. On the Titanic many passengers and crew died unnecessarily because they were unprepared and panicking. A good plan for the future can prevent panic and will significantly reduce the fatality rate of SS Human Civilisation's appointment with destiny. Natural Money can enhance the development of local self sufficient communities and can help to improve human living conditions in the centuries to come.

See also: Thread: The collapse of civilisation by usury

Last Edited by niphtrique on 10/09/2012 02:21 AM