The role of pandemics and climate in the crisis of civilization From Kyle Harper’s book: How the Roman Empire Collapsed

, by  MASSIAH Gus

Pandemics and climate are at the forefront. This is not the first time they have appeared in history. In an excellent book, Kyle Harper [1] discusses their role in the fall of the Western Roman Empire and shows how they revealed Rome’s loss of resilience.

« Sac de Rome par Genséric, roi des Vandales », tableau de Karl Pavlovich Brioullov (1799–1852).

From this example, we offers free reflection in these uncertain times. This leads us to reflect on the loss of resilience and the fall of the American empire as well as the shift of the center of the world and the rise of Asia. It also leads us to consider that we are currently experiencing a civilizational crisis that will be long-lasting. It places on the horizon the overcoming of capitalism, the mode of production that will succeed it is not determined and could also be unequal and destructive.

This crisis leads us to return to the understanding of transitions between civilizations and to resituate the collapse, which is not the end of History, as a passage towards the emergence of new civilizations.

View online : Les possibles

[1Kyle Harper, Comment l’empire romain s’est effondréré éditions La Découverte 2019 (French version of The Fate of Rome, Priceton University Press, 2017).