Periodization and cycles

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Serious lessons from developments after Cold War
Korean News, 12 December 1997. Argues that the post Cold-War era can be characterized as the empirical manifestations of a deepening capitalist contradiction. Intensified competition has intensified international problems.
Civilization is a pyramid scheme
By Ronald Wright, Saturday 5 August 2000. History will soon answer the paramount question: Will the 10,000-year experiment we call civilization turn out to be a failure? Development of technology vs. limited natural resources. We must replace the dynamic of economic growth with one of balance.
Did September 11 mark ‘new stage of world history’?
By Patrick O'Neal, The Militant, 8 October 2001. Despite the rhetoric, a useful example of distinguishing historical periods based on a major event (911) and structural change (imperialism).
Review of Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond and Catastrophe: Risk and Response by Richard A. Posner
Reviewed by Clifford Geertz, New York Review of Books, 24 March 2005. The empirical study of how societies die, the comparative examination of cases and the systematic calculation of possibilities, has barely begun. The authors have quite different approaches to the question of social fatality. However material the cause of collapse may be, and however unpredictable or unintended, collapse and catastrophe are social events.