Azara Blog: Survival of Empires

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Date published: 2006/01/20

The first lecture of the Darwin Lecture Series 2006 was by Paul Kennedy on the "Survival of Empires" ("survival" being the theme this year). Well it was rather disappointing, he didn't really say anything. He discussed four empires specifically: Rome, Spain, Britain and the US. But he didn't really give any reasons why they lasted as long as they did or why they fell when they did. Now in a one hour lecture you cannot give much depth to any subject, but you should at least give some ideas out. Being the Darwin lectures he insisted on mentioning "survival of the fittest" as applied to political systems. Well that might be a convenient political slogan for some, but it is now rather trite. About the only thing he did mention of any note was that logistics and communication are important to empires. But you don't really need a Ph.D. in history to figure that one out.

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