The Nine Stages Of Civilization – We’re In The Seventh ~ Apathy


by Allen L Roland


A nation of apathetic and complacent spectators watch their world explode in between commercial breaks.

The United States is just over 230 years old and is now firmly entrenched in the seventh stage of all civilizations (Apathy) with only Dependence and eventually Bondage ahead of it. Apathy is the glove into which evil slips its eager hand


The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through a nine stage sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacence to apathy; from apathy to dependence; from dependency back again into bondage.

In our present Plutocracy we have just made the transition from complacency to national apathy ~ which will surely be followed by dependence on the state and eventually bondage by the state. As Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General, has said ~  ”We’re not a democracy. It’s a terrible misunderstanding and a slander to the idea of democracy to call us that. In reality, we’re a plutocracy: a government by the wealthy.” 

The obvious vehicle for this rapid shift in consciousness is FEAR and APATHY. FEAR, in actuality, is False Exaggerations Appearing Real (under the guise of National Security) but APATHY is a lack of interest and indifference and it has always been the Great American Sin.

Joseph Fort Newman, Atlantic Monthly, wrote about the Great American Sin of Apathy in October, 1922 ~ and it’s worth repeating now in March, 2012;

”What is the great American sin? Extravagance? Vice? Graft? No; it is a kind of half-humorous, good-natured indifference, a lack of “concentrated indignation” as my English friend calls it, which allows extravagance and vice to flourish. Trace most of our ills to their source, and it is found that they exist by virtue of an easy-going, fatalistic indifference which dislikes to have its comfort disturbed….The most shameless greed, the most sickening industrial atrocities, the most appalling public scandals are exposed, but a half-cynical and wholly indifferent public passes them by with hardly a shrug of the shoulders; and they are lost in the medley of events. This is the great American sin.”

Unless we as individuals, and then as a nation, conquer fear and apathy we are doomed to dependence and then bondage by a state ruled by the wealthy. That state of dependence is drawing near and only faith and the great courage of civil revolt and even civil disobedience can revitalize this nation ~ particularly with a major economic depression already underway.

Paul Fay, Real News, interviews Col. Lawrence Wilkerson on the fact that Obama, Panetta and Holder are undermining basic constitutional rights by justifying killing American citizens without judicial process and bypassing Congress in declaring war without congressional approval ~ and always under the guise of national security. Wilkerson expounds that the executive branch of the government has seized power contrary to the voice of the people which will eventually lead to tyranny ~ “The more power you accumulate, the more likely you will abuse it”   11 minute video:

And Tyranny and Dependence  is the eighth step in the fall of civilizations ~ only to be followed by Bondage. In many ways George Orwell’s Oceania has nothing on 2012 America as Paul Joseph Watson wrote last year in ~ Americans are now living in a society that in some cases is more draconian, more invasive and more Orwellian than the dystopian tyranny fictionalized in Orwell’s chilling classic Nineteen Eighty-Four. On almost every front, American citizens are under an equal or greater threat of abuse, control and more pervasive and high-tech surveillance than anything Winston Smith ever faced.”

And here’s the proof that Oceania is almost here ~ Wired magazine’s April cover story covers the current construction of the blandly named Utah Data Center ~ which  is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013…. It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration ~ an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy.”  Read full report ~

In other words, in just over one year, virtually anything one communicates through any traceable medium ~ which these days is virtually everything ~ will unofficially be property of the US government to deal with as it sees fit.

The codename of the project is  Stellar Wind.

As Wired says, “there is no doubt that NSA has transformed itself into the largest, most covert, and potentially most intrusive intelligence agency ever created.”

William Binney, a former NSA official as well as senior NSA crypto-mathematician largely responsible for automating the agency’s worldwide eavesdropping network, has gone on record (in Wired) to describe Stellar Wind, and offers the best summation of its consequences to all Americans ~ “We are, like, that far from a turnkey totalitarian state.”.

And thus the stage will soon be set for America’s shift from Apathy to the eighth stage of a civilization’s collapse, Dependence on the State which will be quickly followed by Bondage to the State and Orwell’s prophetic words will finally become a reality ~ “There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live ~ did live, from habit that became instinct ~ in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.”

If you’re not outraged, you’re on life support.

About the Author: Allen L Roland is a Freelance Alternative Press Online columnist. He is also a practicing psychotherapist, author and lecturer who also shares a daily political and social commentary on his web site at He also guest hosts a Truthtalk, a national radio show that airs monthly. He is available for comments, interviews, speaking engagements and private consultations via email at [email protected].



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Allen L Roland, PhD is a Freelance Alternative Press Online columnist. He is also a heart centered spiritual consultant, author and lecturer who also shares a weekly political and social commentary on his web site at He also guest hosts Truthtalk, a national radio show that airs monthly. He is available for comments, interviews, speaking engagements as well as private consultations via email at [email protected].Roland is a twin who was born in Boston, Massachusetts, survived a dysfunctional family, pursued and lived his dreams, including becoming a Navy supersonic carrier pilot, finding himself by fully opening his heart, writing three books, siring four children ~ and is still living his ultimate dream by making a difference from a place of love, celebration and service.His Ph.D dissertation THE UNIFIED FIELD was chosen by Common Boundary and Noetic Science Institute, in their 1998 national dissertation contest, as one of the top three finalists for combining spirituality and psychology. His ongoing heart centered work as a consultant with veterans with PTSD, is the most satisfying work of his life. Allen's online newsletter, columns and radio broadcasts are committed to the truth ~ as he sees it ~ for only the truth is revolutionary.


  1. I stand corrected. I did read four at one time but as logic would dictate it takes six pallbearers. I only wish I could be as half as eloquent!

  2. Correction, Gerry ~ Only six people attended his funeral as he had been ostracized for his ridicule of Christianity.The Age of Reason gave ample excuse for the religiously devout to dislike him, and the Federalists attacked him for his ideas of government stated in Common Sense, for his association with the French Revolution, and for his friendship with President Jefferson.

    In late 1776 Paine published The Crisis pamphlet series, to inspire the Americans in their battles against the British army. He juxtaposed the conflict between the good American devoted to civic virtue and the selfish provincial man.To inspire his soldiers, General George Washington had The American Crisis, first Crisis pamphlet, read aloud to them as it should be read to all Americans today ~ It begins:

    These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.

    Amen !

  3. Thank you Allen. Unfortunately for Thomas Paine when he spoke truth to the nature of religion, the great voice that could rouse men to fight for freedom on both sides of the Atlantic was villified as a heritic. Only 4 people attended his funeral. But his spirt lives on and his inspiration is timeless.

  4. Well said, Gerry ~ Thomas Paine also knew the power and inevitability of the truth ~ ” But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants is the liberty of appearing.”

  5. I think the point of the 9 stages is that we must hit the bottom before we’ll find the courage to rid ourselves of the parasitic class that has inflicted itself upon us for millennia. The fact that we have been through the same routine over and over may offer evidence of our collective insanity. For I have little doubt that even if we are to prevail in this endeavor it would be only a generation before the same sociopathic mindset would begin it’s inexorable quest for control. Jefferson certainly knew of what he spoke! I agree with Allen that 911 is the keystone issue. I’m one who by noon on 9/11/01 was telling anyone who would listen that what they were telling you in the lame stream media was BS. I have since of course alienated myself from many old friends, but have seen the bonds with those who have had the truth set them free grow irrevocably. We are nearing the point of critical mass right now. I’m proud of you Allen, Jim, Gordon and everyone here at VT who has placed themselves at the point of the spear in our hour of greatest need. Stand fast gentlemen it’s only going to get worse before it gets better. But better it will get!

    Thank God for the information revolution that is shining the light of truth on those in shadows who would enslave us if they could.

  6. Thanks, Allen. Americans are apathetic for sure, but the apathy is ominously complemented by a morally diseased fanaticism when it comes to a significant number of wild-eyed, professed Christians who support genocide against Muslims, bizarrely under the notion of fighting tyranny and bringing them the liberty and rights being tyrannically extinguished here. This fanatical support of Israel is more bizarre yet when ancient Talmudic law, recently reaffirmed by one of Israel’s chief rabbis, Ovadia Yosef, calls for the extermination of Christians except some number needed to serve the Jews. Gary Bauer has some anti-Ron Paul ad out which assumes anyone who isn’t loyal to Israel can’t be loyal to America. To the extent this level of insanity sells, I’d say there’s a morally and spiritually diseased element of our population that deserves enslavement, a general principle the Prophets of their beloved Israel made clear.

    I just watched an anti-Ron Paul ad made by Israel featuring Gary Bauer, which assumes that the US exists to serve Israel and Ron Paul doesn’t, so he’s a bad guy. It’s incredible, really, and does seem like there are forces in heaven and earth far beyond our comprehension that will reduce America

  7. I lived a LONG time in Seattle. We’re not talking geniuses, here. Just a different flavor of idiot, as far as I’m concerned.

  8. Well put. I remember being so disturbed, pissed off and ashamed of G.W. Bush’s “pre-emptive war” on people who did us no harm, I couldn’t sleep. Then, Obama came along and gave us the same crap re the Taliban and why he needed to ramp up the Afghanistan conflict. At that point, I realized there were some things I couldn’t change, at least in this lifetime, although I’ll gladly die trying. I guess I’m OK with the fact that we’re all gonna die and all that really matters is what you did to defend what you see as right, while you’re here.

  9. Mr. Roland,
    It may be that apathy runs with fear and doubt and the purveyors of both run for the prozac every chance they get, but I can say truthfully that I am not apathetic. Where I am personally is the point of recognizing that our leadership is made up of craven cowards and perverts. There is nothing that can be done to give these sellouts backbone. There is nothing one can do to push them to do right. After all, they are cowards and perverts, not people of honor.
    Society tells us to address these types carefully and respectfully and await their action. Haven’t we already had enough? Haven’t we already seen enough of where this respect to those who don’t deserve it gets us?
    I should mention that I have been down the road of appealing to the cowardly perverts in charge.
    I am heartened by the actions of people in Seattle, who took over from the perverts and cowards to finally make sure that votes were counted and Dr. Paul got his share. Part of me believes that America needs WARRIORS now, and by this I don’t means soldiers, I mean courageous people from all walks of life who understand that the shitstem must be returned to the people. We need more Seattles, not fewer.
    A quote from Krishnamurti-
    Seamless integration into a sick society is no measure of mental health.
    From Walt Whitman-
    Resist much, obey little.

  10. Quite true, Gerry ~ Two centuries ago, a somewhat obscure Scotsman named Tytler made this profound observation: “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.”

  11. That’s precisely the action I meant, Dave ~ sharing your truth with others, even if they don’t agree. The faith I’m alluding to is faith in yourself versus doubting yourself or your impact on others.

  12. I agree, but isn’t it possible that our actions should be directed inwards toward accomplishing personal goals, with the attendant personal risks and letting “the big stuff” sort itself out? The only thing we can change is ourselves, everything else is a direct consequence of that. I don’t know the answer, but I think a lot of the reason we don’t see much “action” may be because people realize this intuitively, if nothing else.

    In the meantime, I’ll do what I can trying to wake up those who will listen. That’s always been my nature and I’ll accept that responsibility even though it’s not my first choice of how I’d like to spend my time. I’ll do my part, like you’re doing with your writing.

    As for the word “faith” I think it’s meaningless. The only thing I have “faith” in is that things will follow the natural cause-and-effect laws of the universe. I’ll try to change what I can, but I’m still a small part of the total and if the world doesn’t bend to my will, that’s just the way it goes!

  13. Allen, the first time I saw those nine stages of civilization was over 25 years ago. It was given to me by a friend who was also a psychotherapist and coincidently also a former combat pilot only for the IDF, and as well as a class 3 firearms dealer. When in his waiting room it was interesting trying to guess who were the gun nutz or just plain nutz or both! It has been attributed to a fellow named Alexander Tytler a 17th century Scottish laywer although that has never been verified as far as know. I still have the zerox copy he handed out. I’d have to disagree and say we are between dependence and bondage at this point. But then I’m someone who considers Murphy an optimist.


  14. Dave, Apathy feeds on fear as does Depression. The only antidote for both apathy and depression is Action . Action changes knowlege into wisdom and Action always involves risk. There is no change without Action ~ and doubt is a fear too lonely to know that faith is its twin brother. Even Buddha would agree with that ~

  15. I wonder how much of it is apathy and how much is the simple realization that, we’re REALLY screwed and there’s not a lot we can do about it, right now. Some problems are SO big that it’s hard to wrap our minds around, let alone turn around.

    Worse, a very large percentage of the evil we face is perpetrated by a fairly small minority of people. It makes one think that maybe, just maybe, the planet is due for an enema, very soon! All the religions speak of it. Maybe this is just a LOT bigger than WE are.

    Buddha said, “What is, is right.” I tend to agree with him, in spite of doubtful moments. This is all happening for a reason and I suspect that for goodhearted people, “it’s gonna be OK.”

  16. Comfortable in their denial, comfort, indifference and apathy, Americans do not realize that their house has been robbed, their social security has been stolen, their money devalued, their moral character degraded and their freedom dramatically curtailed and now its almost too late to do anything about it ~ for the price of apathy is tyranny and eventually fascism ~ and America is already beyond that tipping point.

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