Today, I will write about something very different from what I usually focus my content on: history, geopolitics and other related material. Today, I will discuss the book Foundation, first published in 1951 by Isaac Asimov.
This book is very relevant, and people who enjoy politics, geopolitics, and culture will find it inspirational for its pertinent cultural and political impacts, which affect our modern-day societies around the globe equally in developed nations.
These topics are the decline and fall of empires, the decay of culture, technological advancement and the belief that the best days of civilisation are behind them.
This attitude is very much in ascendancy within the United States of America and other Western nations, particularly amongst the Anglo-Saxon-speaking peoples.
Foundation Book Series
Foundation is a novel by Isaac Asimov, first published in 1951. It was the first volume of his famed Foundation trilogy (1951–53), describing the collapse and rebirth of a vast interstellar empire in the future universe.
This original book trilogy takes heavy inspiration from the 18th-century historian, essayist and member of the British Parliament, Edward Gibbon, author of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in 1776.
In turn, Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy inspired the creation of the Dune trilogy by Frank Herbert and Star Wars created by George Lucas and set the framework of what we now consider contemporary science fiction.
Isaac Asimov was also part of the golden age of science fiction in the mid-1930s to early 1960s.
What is so fascinating about this trilogy is how it depicts the decay of the Galactic Empire in contrast to the new rising Galactic Empire in the form of the Foundation and the planet Terminus; this has many modern-day and ancient themes, such as why societies choose to fail.
Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series also showed that nations and empires declined because the citizenry stopped believing in the Empire. Due to long-term and systemic decisions happening over centuries, nations fail.
We can see contemporary examples of this happening with China, Germany and the British all feeling the effects of not producing replacement generation and the collapse of national confidence.
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
All civilisations, nation-states, and their institutions eventually collapse or are permanently destroyed and reformed again in different iterations by their successor states or dynasties, especially in places such as China, with its long and bloody history of over 4,000 years.
For the Roman Empire its fall began long before Germanic tribes crippled the Western Roman Empire in the fifth century with the final collapse in 476 A.D.
The event that destroyed the Roman Empire happened after its victory against Carthage in the Third Punic War, also called the Third Carthaginian War (149–146 BCE), the third of three wars between the Roman Republic and the Carthaginians.
Empire that resulted in Carthage’s final destruction, its population enslavement, and Roman hegemony over the western Mediterranean.
However, what destroyed the Roman Empire was internal political decay and the inability of its leadership to resolve its problems peacefully and democratically, which started with the murder of Tiberius Gracchus in 133 BCE.
The reason he was killed was due to intending to reform the economic system within the Roman Empire with more and more concentrated within the Roman senatorial classes and also due to Fears of Tiberius’ popularity and his willingness to break political norms led to his death, along with many supporters, in a riot instigated by his enemies.
For people reading this within the United States and many other nations around the globe, you can see clear links between the inability of people to communicate and resolve the issues peacefully and, in the long term, civil wars, murders and the nation’s collapse.
If you are interested in these topics and big ideas, the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov is the book for you; it will leave you pondering many thoughts related to our modern-day society and why Nations fail.