The Age of Commerce


The “Fate Of Empires and Search For Survival” is an essay written by Sir John Glubb and published in 1977. Sadly, The Fate Of Empires is no longer in publication, but there are second hand copies on eBay and a free pdf version online.

The different ages in which empires change is remarkably similar. These are characterised by a series of interlinking events which led from one age to another. The ages in empires are the age of pioneers, the age of conquest, the age of commerce, the age of affluence, the age of intellect and the age of decadence. These ages come in the sequence denoted and often interlap with one another as time progresses.

The Age Of Commerce

“Let us now, however, return to the life-story of our typical empire. We have already considered the age of outburst, when a little regarded people suddenly outbursts on to the world stage with a wild courage and energy. Let us call it the Age of Pioneers.

Then we saw that these new conquerors acquired the sophisticated weapons of old empires, and adopted their regular systems of military organisation and training. A great period of military expansion ensued, which we may call the Age of Conquests. The conquests resulted in  the acquisition of vast territories under one government, thereby automatically giving rise to commercial prosperity. We may call this the Age of Commerce.”

With the conquest of vast areas of land or overseas domains, an emerging empire now has access to goods it did not have before.

“The conquest of vast areas of land and their subjection to one government automatically acts as a stimulant to commerce. Both merchants and goods can be exchanged over considerable distances. Moreover, if the empire be an extensive one, it will include a great variety of climates, producing extremely varied products, which the different areas will wish to exchange with one another.”

By means of trade and commerce, the conqueror people now accumulate wealth by the goods flowing through its borders.

“Even the savage and militaristic empires promoted commerce, whether or not they intended to do so. The Mongols were some of the most brutal military conquerors in history, massacring the entire populations of cities. Yet, in the thirteenth century, when their empire extended from Peking to Hungary, the caravan trade between China and Europe achieved a remarkable degree of prosperity – the whole journey was in the territory of one government.”

In the article “The Age of Conquests“, we saw how Genghis Khan united the tribes of the steppe; took on the mighty empire of China, and defeated them. For all the barbarism under his leadership, Khan wanted his people to benefit from his newly created empire. Thus Genghis Khan established trading and commerce.

The conquest of vast areas of land, or overseas territories, to one government automatically acts as a stimulant to commerce. Both merchants and goods can be exchanged over considerable distances. Moreover, if the empire is an extensive one, it will include a great variety of climates, producing extremely varied products, which the different areas will wish to exchange with one another.

During the time of Marcus Aurelius, Rome was importing and exporting goods from China (then under the Han Dynasty). The Weilue, by Yu Huan, is a Chinese account, detailing several aspects of Han China , including the trades between China and the Da Quin, which we know as the Romans.

silk road

However, commerce creates a problem.

“The Age of Conquests, of course, overlaps the Age of Commerce. The proud military traditions still hold sway and the great armies guard the frontiers, but gradually the desire to make money seem to gain hold of the public. During the military period, glory and honour were principal objects of ambition. To the merchant, such ideas are but empty words, which add nothing to the bank balance.”

It is at this stage that the great empire begins its decline by planting the seeds of its own destruction.

“The first half of the Age of Commerce appears to be particularly splendid. The ancient virtues of courage, patriotism and devotion to duty are still in evidence, The nation is proud, united and full of self-confidence.  Boys are still required, first of all, to be manly, to ride, shoot straight and to tell the truth.”

In the Roman empire, senators and their sons were forbidden from engaging in trade, and instructed instead to dedicate themselves in military training. When profit comes before the values of the empire, the people shift their priorities from the nation to themselves. Profit, and not honour become the aspiration of the new generation.

“There does not appear to be any doubt that money is the agent which causes the decline of this strong, brave and self-confident people. The decline of courage, enterprise and a sense of duty is, however, gradual.”

This self centered attitude marks the beginning of the end.

 “The first direction in which wealth injures the nation is a moral one. Money replaces honour and adventure as the objective of the best young men. Moreover, men do not normally seek to make money for their country or their community, but for themselves…Education undergoes the same gradual transformation. No longer do schools aim at producing brave patriots ready to serve their country. Parents and students alike seek the educational qualifications which will command the highest salaries. The Arab moralist, Ghazali (1058-1111), complains in these very same words of the lowering of objectives in the decaying Arab world of his time. Students, he says, no longer attend college to acquire learning and virtue, but to obtain those qualifications which will enable them to grow rich. The same situation is everywhere evident amongst us in the West today.”


The Age of Commerce occurs as a result of the vast empire that the Age of Conquest brings to the conquerors. In an empire, commerce becomes unbound by passports, permits, customs, boycotts and political interference. Large empires can produce an assortment of goods.

The Age of Commerce brings unforetold wealth to the conquerors. However, wealth corrodes the spirit of men, and slowly eats away at the honour and courage of the people.

Read More: The Age Of Conquests

32 thoughts on “The Age of Commerce”

  1. I wanted to say I really like the article especially at the end. People in the manosphere need to start realizing that not feminism or cultural marxism blah blah blah destroys civilization, but wealth does. Wealth encourages a loosening of morals, it creates a situation in which the citizens of the empire no longer care to uphold standards. It’s not a conspiracy, it’s a combo knockout punch, wealth + pre-existing gynocentric society + urbanization + time = death.

    1. Exactly.
      It’s good to make money but fuckloads upon fuckloads of cash is bound to corrupt.

      1. It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. (Mat19)

    2. The problem with your assertion is that whenever people come forward with this “wealth will destroy you” line, it’s usually them wanting to take whatever you have and enrich themselves by force of law (pointing a gun at you, though the people holding the guns will have badges). So with all that redistribution of wealth and progressive taxation, we still have the rich getting richer (oh but that’s the OK vetted rich – “their” rich who will make “donations to all the right movements like feminism”). Nothing really changed beyond producers being robbed.
      So while you might have a point, this dog has been kicked too many times for there to be any trust. Anybody speaking of the evils of wealth I roll my eyes and move on.
      Besides, what are we going to do, be poor on purpose?
      The only reason why wealth is what it has become is due to the fiat money system (“printing out of thin air”) where the people at the top of the pyramid get dibs on it and are hooked into the system doing the printing. Wealth itself, as we know it, would be impossible if we have a real monetary system instead of this bankster run fiat system. The term you will hear in discussions about the Federal Reserve and their QE programs, loans, and bailouts is “moral hazard”, and that’s the real path to your point. If you just go on about wealth wealth wealth you come across as just another socialist with a dagger behind his back.

      1. I agree entirely and hate how it is misconstrued particularly for socialist redistribution programs. Which ironically only speed up the decline as it either is shitty or even if it could be successful, it will still bring the decline faster. But in a real sense wealth generally brings about a great level of security and extremely low amount of sacrifice and adversity. As this continues, birth rates lower and eventually the paradise crumbles away. I am not a fan of socialism but it seems as societies become the top dog and have tons of material wealth they peak and then decline rapidly.

      2. Agreed. Most so-called “Marxists” that I have encountered lately simply want to confiscate the wealth from those who presently possess it in order to stick their vile undeserving snouts into the trough that has been replenished by the blood and sweat of previous generations so that they may now dine freely at the reserved tables. Did they work hard in order to build up their own business? No. Did they toil away in some company in order to amass some sort of material security for themselves in their older years? No. Did they take up a challenging and difficult education in order to become competent in a much-needed profession for which they could then be duly compensated for their genuine social contributions back to society. Hell no. They simply arrive cap in hand wailing at the injustice of it all and demand that everything built up thus far be remitted to them right then and there on the spot. Why? Because “socialism”.
        Not to defend the fat cats or what they have done with the major concentration of wealth among the 0.1 % while simultaneously retrenching their position and literally hamstringing anybody who would like to partake in their success, but I am equally repulsed by those who amount to nothing more than thinly veiled thieves attempting to justify their outright robbery of the labor of others under the guise of “social justice” or some such other insulting claptrap. Wealth in and of itself is not the problem as long as it is the product of genuine work-based contributions to society where it acts as a deserving reward for those ready to pull up their arm sleeves and toil away in order to obtain something in this life. It is when it is truly ill-gotten and artificially preserved by way of the heavily slanted system that we have in place right now that serious questions regarding its legitimacy can really be asked. And even then, two wrongs don’t make a right.

      3. Your anger on socialism is best redirected elsewhere; this isn’t a socialist position at all. There is nothing wrong with greed as long as it’s properly channeled. Greed is one of the drivers of economic success. The problem comes when people put money before everything, including helping their fellow man and fighting for a righteous cause.
        The problem isn’t even money per se; it’s just putting personal gain over the good of society. Especially, the problem is when culture devolves to a point where this is considered acceptable and normal. During WWI there were plenty of rich bankers who deliberately sabotaged the efforts of their own nations just to put a few more gold ingots in their vaults. That’s evil. And there’s nothing special about the fiat system that allows that.

        1. Then you should have no issue with those who self-identify as socialists. Nobody resents the fact that the Hero of Socialist Labour gets a bonus on top of the salary the other comrades get, or that he gets first dibs on new stuff arriving in the store.
          Resentment happens when the proles aren’t convinced that the rich guy actually got rich by contributing more to society, but think he got there by either being born into privilege or by exploiting others.

    3. The thing is simple yet deeper. The masculine elements are air (heaven, Father Sky) + fire (the sun, the eternal flame); the feminine elements are water (the temporary, the ever- changing) and earth (Mother Earth, remember). The first two resemble the immaterial (soul/spirit); the latter two the material (body). This is why women are mainly judged on their looks; they simply represent the material world (and they give a body to newborn souls coming into this world). This also explains why men need more than good looks; they need substance from within. The soul/spirit is to rule your body as the man is to rule the woman. The same principle applies to society at large. When earthly/material possessions become more important than inward/spiritual values, the people get corrupted. Lo and behold, this is exactly what’s happening during your lifetime.

  2. I can not wait for the next article in the series, I really enjoy your writing Mark. thanks for the posts.

    1. to parallel to our declining civilization, what would be the modern age of commerce that planted the seed for our decline?….anyone care to express their opinion?

      1. depends on which nation you are refering to, if its the US, then the 60’s appear to be mid age of commerce, 69 being the height of the age of intellect

        1. I think that’s right. The moon landing in 1969 is the pinnacle of American scientific and commercial achievement. The decline started right afterward, as pressures from sustaining the military industrial complex forced Nixon to take the US off the gold standard, thus setting up the country for an inflationary demise. It has been all downhill from there. As another poster once said on ROK, inventions such as the Internet and cell phones, while revolutionizing our lives in many ways, were the natural product of real technological achievements decades before. We have been living off the fumes of our past greatness for several decades and time of reckoning is coming.

  3. Great articles. I went and downloaded the PDF of the book-very short read but very interesting. It’s remarkable and scary how history keeps repeating itself. Not to mention this was from 1977 so imagine what Glubb would think of the USA now.

    1. History repeats itself because people refuse to open their eyes and ears, despite being warned time and time again.
      “Don’t worry! It’ll be different this time! We promise…”

  4. Great article but were is the solution for the individual? We can decry about the decline of honour and nobility all we want but ending the quote as ” the empire is failing” is of no help.
    What can we do as men, to ensure that we aren’t contributing to the decline?
    I offer my solution which really is outlined in the excellent book by jack Donovan ” the way of men”
    Have a gang, protect your tribe and your family.
    No I’m not talking about race, I mean like minded people who share similar values and similar ideals. Ultimately you have no real control over anyone but yourself.
    But you can inspire leadership in people willing to listen and you have a degree of control and authority over your immediate family.
    So the solution is not hyper individualism but movement towards tribalism. Then the cycle repeats

      Many in the precious metals community are eagerly anticipating a complete systemic collapse of the financial system because as “preppers”, they expect to not only survive, but to prosper in a SHTF scenario. We suspect however that the following MUST READaccount of surviving the Bosnian war in the midst of a complete collapse of the grid will be eye-opening in just how difficult it is to survive a full-on Mad Max scenario, even if one has spent years preparing for it.
      I am from Bosnia. You know, between 1992 and 1995, it was hell. For one year, I lived and survived in a city with 6,000 people without water, electricity, gasoline, medical help, civil defense, distribution service, any kind of traditional service or centralized rule.
      Today, me and my family are well-prepared, I am well-armed. I have experience.
      It does not matter what will happen: an earthquake, a war, a tsunami, aliens, terrorists, economic collapse, uprising. The important part is that something will happen.
      Our city was blockaded by the army; and for one year, life in the city turned into total crap. We had no army, no police. We only had armed groups; those armed protected their homes and families.
      When it all started, some of us were better prepared. But most of the neighbors’ families had enough food only for a few days. Some had pistols; a few had AK-47s or shotguns.
      After a month or two, gangs started operating, destroying everything. Hospitals, for example, turned into slaughterhouses. There was no more police. About 80 percent of the hospital staff were gone. I got lucky. My family at the time was fairly large (15 people in a large house, six pistols, three AKs), and we survived (most of us, at least).

      1. Money soon became worthless. We returned to an exchange. For a tin can of tushonka (think Soviet spam), you could have a woman. (It is hard to speak of it, but it is true.) Most of the women who sold themselves were desperate mothers.
        Arms, ammunition, candles, lighters, antibiotics, gasoline, batteries and food. We fought for these things like animals. In these situations, it all changes. Men become monsters. It was disgusting.

      2. I assume after what you’ve experienced, you’d probably never, ever want to watch the Mad Max movies.

  5. Real wealth is sexual value. A womans sexual value is her tender. Who’s worth more, a man with a million greenbacks who is beta or less and posesses no woman but is likely controlled by them, or the man with pocket change who is a master of his women usurping their sexual value? (excluding pimps)But a man who is director and grand architect of his family. War torn environments are the peskiest nuiscance for family order. The fratricide of war is beyond reptoid, it’s damn INSECTOID which is hive based matriarchy. Nothing tribal or pack masculine about it. Only the bee or ant species is truly matriarchal with a queen egg sack that has lifelong fertility, and pawns its smaller worker and warrior beta males. OUR females on the other hand LOSE FERTILITY at half life and then tend towards becoming hive shadow queens. We are tribal homosapienus erectus and are NOT matriarchal and CANNOT serve any counterfeit queen. YOU HEAR THAT BEATRIX? LIZ? How many men must die like ant soldiers serving ANY counterfeit queen? We’re not damned insects – WE’RE MEN !

  6. “The Consolations of Philosophy” by Boethius is the finest hand guide on how to survive the end of any 250-year, cultural/historical cycle. The used Loeb edition can be had for cheap on amazon.

  7. It’s not just the wealth itself that “corrodes the spirit of men, and slowly eats away at the honour and courage of the people.” It is the government institutions erected during this phase of an empire.
    Whether they are catering to greedy aristocrats or the mob (or both like the Romans tried to do during the late Empire), the growth of government starts to accelerate until it is eating up vast amounts of wealth while sapping the strength of the people.
    There isn’t much notice at first because everyone’s getting rich. But when the turn to decline comes, big government sinks the empire like a lead weight.

  8. Thank you for sharing the free PDF. This article is good. History is repeating itself. I can’t wait for the coming revolutions. Now the US govt. is legalizing cannabis in the hopes of keeping American citizens under control as they take their guns away.
    But their policies will backfire on them.
    Cannabis will show us the path to individual freedom as long as the pot-smoking Americans do not mix it with other legal drugs such as tobacco, alcohol, cocaine, pharmaceutical drugs, etc…
    Free your mind
    Happiness is for free

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