2346. Collapse of Complex societies.

Joseph Tainter, in his powerful 1990 book The Collapse of Complex Societies shows that those who have power misuse the technologies available to them, seeking more power and profit, seek ever more complex and expensive solutions to the next challenge facing their civilization. Civilizations collapse because the increasing costs of complexity overtake increases in productivity. The elites are the elites because they own the infrastructure of the state (as in GE, Shell, and the Carlyle Group, ConAgra and Citicorp) and, when things start looking bad, instead of trying to fix the system, they ramp up their exploitation of it, to get the cash to survive, by cutting costs, which further degrades the systems performance and capacity to innovate. 

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