Two Kinds of Societal Collapse

Running the model in dierent scenarios produces two kinds of collapses, either due to scarcity of labor (following an inequality-induced famine) or due to scarcity of Nature (depletion of natural resources). We categorize the former case as a Type-L (Disappearance of Labor) Collapse and the latter as a Type-N collapse (Exhaustion of Nature). In a Type-L collapse, growth of the Elite Population strains availability of resources for the Commoners. This causes decline of the Commoner Population (which does the labor), and consequently, decline of Wealth. Finally, Elite Population plummets since its source of subsistence, i.e., Wealth, has vanished. See gure 6a for an example of a Type-L collapse. This could represent a historical case such as the disappearance of the Mayan civilization in the Yucatan. Note that this type of collapse can only happen in an unequal society, because the major cause behind it is inequality.

A Type-N collapse, on the other hand, starts with an exhaustion of Nature, followed by a decline of Wealth that in turn, causes a fall of the Commoners and then the Elites. Depending on the depletion rate, Type-N collapses can be reversible" or irreversible". After a reversible collapse, regrowth of nature can trigger another cycle of prosperity, examples of which can be seen in gures 3c and 4c. This could represent historical cases such as the Greek and Roman collapses.

When depletion is pushed beyond a certain limit, Nature fully collapses and the whole system completely collapses after that. This is why we call an irreversible Type-N collapse a full" collapse. Examples of such collapses can be seen in gures 3d, 4d, and 6b. This could represent a historical case such as the exhaustion of Nature on Easter Island. Type-N collapses can arise because of excessive depletion only (gures 3d and 4d), or both excessive depletion and inequality (gure 6b).


Folksonomies: society modeling collapse

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Societal collapse (0.922100): dbpedia | freebase
Elite (0.822602): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Society (0.809557): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Civilization (0.749547): dbpedia | freebase
Decline of the Roman Empire (0.743898): dbpedia | freebase
Maya civilization (0.676104): dbpedia | freebase
Social disintegration (0.579944): dbpedia | freebase
Inequality (0.559441): dbpedia | opencyc

 Human and Nature Dynamics (HANDY): Modeling Inequality and Use of Resources in the Collapse or Sustainability of Societies
Periodicals>Journal Article:  Motesharrei, Rivas, Kalnay (March 18, 2014), Human and Nature Dynamics (HANDY): Modeling Inequality and Use of Resources in the Collapse or Sustainability of Societies, SESYNC: Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, Retrieved on 2014-08-09
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  • Folksonomies: society modeling collapse