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I've been studying civilizations recently and I came across this essay by Sir Glubb. He essentially states the life cycle of the majority of world empires. To summarize, there are 6 ages.

  • The Age of Pioneers (outburst)
  • The Age of Conquests
  • The Age of Commerce
  • The Age of Affluence
  • The Age of Intellect
  • The Age of Decadence.

The final age is marked with defensivness, pessimism, frivolity, materialism, immigration, weakening of religion, duty and responsibility, and the welfare. Looking at most of the west today, it seems we are well into decadence and since most empires have about 250 years, we can expect lots of changes in the coming decades. 

I was wondering what the rest of the panth has to say about this, and what can we do to potentially become the new pioneers when the west collapses. Also, if we took control how could we use gurmatt to keep the raj from declining. Here is a link the the file, it's an interesting read:

glubb.pdf

Edited by MahadrasSingh
Grammar
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This is really interesting stuff. Are their any parallels you can draw between this and the rise/fall of the Sikh empire?  

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11 minutes ago, TheeTurbanator said:

This is really interesting stuff. Are their any parallels you can draw between this and the rise/fall of the Sikh empire?  

I'm not to sure where to put the Sikh Empire in terms of Glubb's essay. He does discuss rare oddities that failed like Hitler's Reich and the USSR. The raj definitely had the first three ages, and a mix of the final three by the time the British strolled in. I think due to the raj not securing a future sucessor and the backstabbing of singh's top leaders stopped the empire before we saw its true golden age. Also I'm unsure whether the raj was large enough to agree with Glubb's theory, as the examples he gave were continent expanding empires like the islamic caliphates and the roman republic.

Edited by MahadrasSingh
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What were the main factors affecting the downfall of the Sikh Empire? 

Here's what I think: 
 

  • The lack of investment in a proper successor 
  • The betrayal of the Dogra's and others
  • The over liberalization of the Empire 
  • The treachery of the British 

Honestly, if the Sikh Empire was faced with another enemy that wasn't the British, they would have lasted way longer, the reason they fell was becuase the British was specialized in taking down Epires using divide and conquer and had a lot of resources. 

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16 minutes ago, TheeTurbanator said:

What were the main factors affecting the downfall of the Sikh Empire? 

Here's what I think: 
 

  • The lack of investment in a proper successor 
  • The betrayal of the Dogra's and others
  • The over liberalization of the Empire 
  • The treachery of the British 

Honestly, if the Sikh Empire was faced with another enemy that wasn't the British, they would have lasted way longer, the reason they fell was becuase the British was specialized in taking down Epires using divide and conquer and had a lot of resources. 

Yeah, I do agree with the ruling party itself setting the raj up for eventual failure. I really do think it was our own issues that ultimately led to the empire's fall however. If some other kingdom showed up they would also see the political chaos within the raj and definitely exploit it, assuming someone didn't sort out the government before that. This is another point Glubb makes, that internal problems ultimately lead to the downfall of an empire and it's usually another power that uses that to take it over (Like the British with us). If we were to take over India or someplace, we would first of all need to sort out the politics of it so it doesn't get out of hand like Ranjit Singh's empire. Also, we should start looking at the current ruling parties (from gov't to the Gurdwara Committees) and see where they are messing up so if we get the chance to seize any type of power, we at least get to keep it.

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54 minutes ago, MahadrasSingh said:

I really do think it was our own issues that ultimately led to the empire's fall however.

Can we try to pinpoint the specific issues, so that we can learn from them in the future. Lack of unity is definitely an issue they led to the downfall, however exactly between which parties? People often blame the Dogra's, however lets forget the "Sikhs" who also killed Ranjit Singh's successors.

I have also heard there was some tension between the more orthodox Sikhs of the Jatha's and the more cultural Sikhs. 

Aside from the Dogra's, who else was responsible for the betrayal? and what where their motivations? 

 

59 minutes ago, MahadrasSingh said:

Also, we should start looking at the current ruling parties (from gov't to the Gurdwara Committees) and see where they are messing up so if we get the chance to seize any type of power, we at least get to keep it.

This is a really strong point, we have to make sure that even the lowest of the low in terms of parties isnt interested in treachery, and truly need to focus on the lower denominator. 

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1 hour ago, TheeTurbanator said:

Can we try to pinpoint the specific issues, so that we can learn from them in the future. Lack of unity is definitely an issue they led to the downfall, however exactly between which parties? People often blame the Dogra's, however lets forget the "Sikhs" who also killed Ranjit Singh's successors.

Aside from the Dogra's, who else was responsible for the betrayal? and what where their motivations? 

Unfortunately, I haven't studied the Sikh Raj enough to bring up examples other than Gulab and Lal Singh. It seems from these cases that promises of power and wealth are the biggest causes of treason in the sikh kaum, as Lal Singh sold off military secrets. Maya seems to be one of the bigger reasons our leadership fails us as they fall into these tricks. Its not just a problem with us but almost all communities. 

Having meetings where issues in the panth are deliberated on (Sarbat Khalsa), with the panj pyare in charge, have been the best method of policy making in the kaum and building trust in the leadership. Ranjit Singh abolished this as in his view, they had Khalsa so the meetings were pointless as his ruling party would make decisions. I don't know how much this would in paticular, would have influenced betrayal in the panth but its worth reinsating/organizing on a smaller level. Like maybe, for this site we could have a yearly tick box for things the kaum should do and we can check up on those tasks to see if they are being implemented.

 

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5 hours ago, TheeTurbanator said:

This is really interesting stuff. Are their any parallels you can draw between this and the rise/fall of the Sikh empire?  

Well, if for other empires, the stages were spread out over centuries, we compressed the latter 4 stages over less than half a century up to falling before the British.

I think you could say we skipped over the pioneer stage or not really applicable to us, since we were already spread out in the Indian sub-continent.

The 18th century was spent in battles and conquests.

The first half of the 19th century comprised further conquests, and also commerce, affluence, intellect, and decadence. Finally loss of empire to the British.

Many commentators have stated that raj leads to affluence which leads to softness which leads to loss to the enemy. I agree with this. 

Also, the Rehit was supposed to keep us hard, but we disregarded Rehit in the time of the Sikh Raj because we had become too enamored of the pleasures of the flesh, fine foods and wines, and beautiful ladies.

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25 minutes ago, BhForce said:

Well, if for other empires, the stages were spread out over centuries, we compressed the latter 4 stages over less than half a century up to falling before the British.

I think you could say we skipped over the pioneer stage or not really applicable to us, since we were already spread out in the Indian sub-continent.

 

It could be possible that the Guru's time was our age of pioneering in a way, as they brought ideas that were never heard of in india at the time and slowly introduced the tenents like the one universal creator, langar, gurmukhi, and later the militarization of the panth. If this is true, then that adds another 200 or so years to the empires lifetime. But then again we would have to define the first date we took rule (both spiritually and temporally). Other than that I entirely agree with you. 

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11 minutes ago, MahadrasSingh said:

It could be possible that the Guru's time was our age of pioneering in a way, as they brought ideas that were never heard of in india at the time and slowly introduced the tenents like the one universal creator, langar, gurmukhi, and later the militarization of the panth. If this is true, then that adds another 200 or so years to the empires lifetime. But then again we would have to define the first date we took rule (both spiritually and temporally). Other than that I entirely agree with you. 

Good point, I had entirely failed to consider that. That period could be considered the precursor to empire.

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So far we have established that the Sikh Raj declined due to various internal issues, like the treasons leaders, removal of Sarbat Khalsa and loss of touch with the Rehit as we became more cultural sikhs than dharmic. This in result led to a minor age of decadence and through the British, an empire still in the age of conquest and commerce used politcal manuevering to take over. 

The Sikh Raj was unique to the other empires as it was the first iteration of the Halemi Raj, but these issues ended it prematurely, assuming we do not count the Guru's time. 

Now a another interesting idea would how we could connect this to india right now and see if it could be reaching a collapse or where it is right now in the of empires, if we can call india an empire

Anyone in the matajameen that could give us some insight?

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India and Indians (the sort residing in places like Delhi, Gujarat, Mumbai, etc) would strongly argue they're somewhere between the Commerce and Affluence stages, lol. I never realised it until recently, but most of these countries that declared their independence from their colonialist masters in the previous century, are being ruled via proxy by western agents, business interests, and intelligence assets, even if the public front in these countries seems to be one of bluster and bravado. It's just very, very convincing P.R. It's like a condescending parent placating an unruly and boisterous child. "Yes, you are a strong boy, yes you are!"  

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58 minutes ago, MisterrSingh said:

I never realised it until recently, but most of these countries that declared their independence from their colonialist masters in the previous century, are being ruled via proxy by western agents, business interests, and intelligence assets, even if the public front in these countries seems to be one of bluster and bravado. It's just very, very convincing P.R. It's like a condescending parent placating an unruly and boisterous child. "Yes, you are a strong boy, yes you are!"  

Very true, in way the British never really left. Though I think some level of decadence is creeping its way with the high levels of materialism in the cities and overall defensivness in the country. Though I'd say India probably has a couple of decades before parts of the social structure begin to wearband tear, assuming it doesn't just collapse in on itself.

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42 minutes ago, MahadrasSingh said:

Very true, in way the British never really left. Though I think some level of decadence is creeping its way with the high levels of materialism in the cities and overall defensivness in the country. Though I'd say India probably has a couple of decades before parts of the social structure begin to wearband tear, assuming it doesn't just collapse in on itself.

The Indian mainstream is scrambling around for an identity that resonates beyond their borders on an international level. They truly believe India is a sleeping giant, and should be dining at the top table. This kind of ambition does count for something, and I'm sure it will inch them forward over the next few decades, but overall the poverty, the corruption, and general sense of third-worldness won't be shaken off anytime soon. 

Funnily enough, I think the sheer size of the place and the maddening diversity of languages, cultures, and faiths (albeit all of an Eastern flavour) mean an organic, gradual, and "natural" collapse isn't on the cards, unlike England which is happily and obliviously marching towards its fall. I believe Europe the continent -- and by extension the civilisation that grew from as far back as the impact of the Enlightenment -- is in its death throes. We are embarking on the journey into Decadence and decline. Europe will end before India does if things are allowed to run their natural course. If we factor a devastating regional war, perhaps nuclear, into the mix, then there's no saying what will happen.

Edited by MisterrSingh
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One of the main downfalls of Sikh empire as well as most powerful empires was the war of succession and damaging family politics.

The real game of thrones probably was based on the antics of the mughul rulers or Maharajah Ranjit's family.

Family infighting was taken advantage of by other outsiders (ie Hindu Jammu and Punjabi Dogra's of Lahore Darbar) and then outsiders of the whole region (The British east india company troops).

Also the over reliance of non-Sikhs in the ranks of the army and power structures caused rifts within sikh generals and political circles. The failures of good diplomacy and sign up treaties with rulers of other independent sikh kingdoms like nahba, jind, faridkot because it is said Maharajah ranjit wanted to expand his kingdom empire and sought to fight them which that led to those Sikh rulers of those kingdoms being somewhat forced to seek protection and alliance with the British invaders.

The golden age of Punjab in recorded history was when Sikhs ruled it as it had enough fiances, enough food, all religions had their people and places of worship respected. Punjab's Sikh lahore was seen as the paris of the east, but decadence had set in by the time European immigrants started to flock to the Sikh empire hoping to make their riches especially ex-army generals and soldiers from america and french battle hardened from Napoleonic wars.

Another reason for the fall of the Sikh empire was the army being over stretched in campaigns against the afghans in the north west, troops in ladkh to fight the chinese for tibet and troops in punjab to fight other kingdoms to the south. From what i read Military intelligence was non-existence whereas the british had various spies and moles within the lahore darbur itself and even probably had some of the european soldiers and generals under their service as double agents.

The failure of Sikh rulers not to implement polices to actively convert punjab to a majority Sikh population was also a mistake as people who follow your values/ideology/beliefs are far more likely to fight for your government and rule than someone who awaits the day his own ideologues/co-religionists rule the land. In the days of the 12 misls Sikhs would actively force convert mughul town populations from islam to Sikh and any who resisted were forced to flee or put to the sword. That revenge policy ment they were able to take various town and cities from the clutches of mughuls but also other fight Islamic invaders (afghans, persians) more effectively. Had they expanded that policy into kashmir and afghan they would been huge sikh populations there now n present times  and we wouldn't have no partition bloodshed and no pakistan there probably. Instead in its place there would be a huge khalistan/sikhistan bordering china and india to the east.

 

 

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