Jared Diamond’s book “Collapse: How Societies Choose to fail or Succeed” is a best seller, and one of the main reasons of being so is that it openly discusses the topic whether the United States of America will fall and end up like Rome or other powerful empires that we witness throughout history. …
They book is highly influenced by the issues in ecology. One other reason of the book being a best-seller is that people perceive it to be a sequel of his book ‘Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies.’ Collapse follows on the ideas presented in this book. Jared Diamond himself has been doing research in the field of evolutionary biology and was a student of it. His studied and researched many animals and birds in the natural places they lived. Because of the fact that he is an evolutionary biologist it is highly probable that while looking at the history of civilization he would be influenced by concluding something which is influenced by Social Darwinism. It has become an inherent predilection in evolutionary biologists. According to Jim Blaut, almost every major thing that has shaped humanity since the beginning of times has been because of changes in environment. To be more accurate, all the major distinctions among human societies, all those distinctions which allowed some of the societies to rise in the world and the others to falter was because of that particular society’s domestic environment or the geographical placement of those people on the globe. If the history is summarized then it represents these differences. Culture is not that important in this context because all the important occurrences in history are explained by the environment rather than the culture. Culture only produces marginal changes. Jared Diamond in a very organized and structured manner moves through the major parts of history and tries to reveal through evidence that how each part of history in a particular area can be explained by the forces of environment affecting that area. The end result of these phenomena is the supremacy of Europe (‘’Jared Diamond’s Collapse’’). In the first part of Collapse, the author gives his pessimistic views regarding the deteriorating environmental conditions in Montana in the United States of America. He has used Montana as microcosm and as a useful test sample. Below the apparently clean and clear surface of the region of Montana there is a huge amount of dangerous toxic waste which is lying there. There are thousands of mines in Montana which have been abandoned and are full with dangerous chemical and industrial waste like arsenic and sulfuric acid. All of this goes into the rivers. This is not only harmful for the natural habitat in the area but for the humans dwelling there as well. The condition of forests and the animals residing there are not much better either. They are helpless which makes Diamond write that it was previously observed in the first chapter as to how Montana was undergoing environmental changes which were detrimental and were having economic consequences. The goals and values that have been outlined, if implemented would result in different ways of solving these environmental problems. These approaches are associated with different probabilities of getting the required results or failing in them. Currently there is a great difference of opinion regarding the success of even the best possible ways of solving these problems. It is unknown which approach would be chosen by Montana and whether it will be successful or not (‘’Jared Diamond’s Collapse’’). It is not a good thing that the American Indians are not mentioned at all in the initial pages of the chapter. This is surprising because if someone for example writes about the environmental problems prevalent in Alaska, how the indigenous population of Inuits could not be mentioned at all. This is all the more surprising because the author has been very interested in showing the fact that pre-capitalist societies were just as ...
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