“Once upon a time, national entities and cultures aspired to build empires. The impulse was the erroneous assumption of being a superior civilization. It was about exporting an extensive set of aspirations, a culture, and a value system. Romans thought that bringing water through aqueducts and paved roads to the “savages” of the north were the selfless gift of a superior civilization. Much more recently, France’s empire built its colonial towns, such as Saigon and Algier, following exactly the architectural model of French towns of the XIX century. In what could be an indication that history is on an accelerated course, the life span of empires is getting shorter. For example, the Egyptian empire lasted more than 3,000 years; the Mayan empire survived 2,900; the Chinese empire more than 1,600; the Roman empire itself, as a united empire, remained for 500 years while the Eastern Roman empire or Byzantine empire lasted an extra 1,000 after the split from the Western Roman empire.”
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