Society 4.0
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Society 4.0

The Cycle of Civilization

Showing Defining Characteristics for Each Phase of the Cycle

Early Greece was a perfect example of the Cycle of Civilization, as it rose to greatness and then fell.
“The first step in sociological wisdom is to recognize that the major advances in civilization are processes which all but wreck the societies in which they occur.” — Alfred North Whitehead. Photo of the Acropolis in Greece by Constantinos Kollias.

Mass Formation

“Mass formation is in essence, a kind of group hypnosis that destroys individuals ethical self-awareness and robs them of their ability to think critically. This process is insidious in nature. Populations fall prey to it unsuspectingly.” — Mattias Desmet

The Cycle of Civilization

“Frivolity, aestheticism, hedonism, cynicism, pessimism, narcissism, consumerism, materialism, nihilism, fatalism, fanaticism, and other negative attributes, attitudes, and behaviors suffuse the population… Rotten to the core, the society awaits collapse, with only the date remaining to be determined.” — William Ophuls, Immoderate Greatness (2012)

Cycle of Civilization Literature

Defining Characteristics of each Phase of The Cycle of Civilization

Cycle of Civilization Infographic

For sources and explanation, see Licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0 — share freely as long as this link is used as credit.



Society 4.0 is the emerging meta-society being nurtured into existence by a global network of self-directed thinkers, architects, builders, doers & supporters. We are all united by a vision of thriving, equitable, and sustainable communities within an ecologically healthy world.

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Michael Haupt

I cut through (and expose) ESG & sustainability greenwashing. Speaker | Writer | Social Artist | Architect of Transformation