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Difference between Empire and Civilisation

The Chinese want to be an empire and that too in a hurry. In their desperation they

have pushed the world to the brink.

There is only one empire at the present time and that is United States of America and it is under assault by the People's Republic of China who have openly declared to replace America as the world's leading superpower at all cost.

With cunning and ruthlessness China was well on track. It might have become a global empire within another 20 to 30 years.

However in their desperation and over eagerness, China it seems has overplayed its hand on many fronts. Now, by triggering, concealing and manipulating a pandemic, China has not only made its dream of empire untenable, it will probably destroy China.

The world needs civilisations not empires. Ancient China was a great civilisation but its adoption of Communism has all but destroyed its civilisational wealth.

This raises a question, 'What exactly is the difference between empire and civilisation?

As per experts at UNESCO, of the 46 great and notable civilisations that have existed in known history, India is the only surviving one. So I use this example to explain.

The terms 'empire' and a 'civilisation' are often used interchangeably even though there is a vast difference between them. An empire is the control and the power exercised by a monarch or a group of people over a large number of states and people. Power and wealth is concentrated in the hands of a small group of 'elites'. Empires are always founded by violent means and maintained by inducing fear in the people. Subjugation, of the masses is achieved by the frequent use of force and highly visible brutality. Empires always cause widespread misery by the extensive exploitation of the vast majority of people to benefit a relatively small group of privileged persons. Empires are top down societies, they impose their will on the people.

In empires, the people tend to be greedy, self centred, disrespectful, intolerant, aggressive, suspicious and frustrated. A civilisation on the other hand is a society which reaches an advanced state of social organisation and development, based on widespread individual liberty and dignity. Where creativity, innovation, science, technology art, literature, music, philosophy, and spirituality blossom.

A civilisation delivers benefits of health, safety, education, freedom, liberty, to all the people. In a civilisation education and knowledge evolves continuously to benefit its members, who live in harmony with the environment. Civilisations are bottom up societies, that reflect the genuine aspirations of the people. In civilisations people usually have a noble, friendly, respectful, compassionate and harmonious character. Rising and crashing like waves, empires come and go. Empires face constant mutinies, uprisings and rebellions. History reveals to us the examples of all empires, be they Roman, Ottoman, Mughal, Mongol, Spanish, British etc. will eventually perish. Even if it takes hundreds of years. Empires are unsustainable and eventually die out. To keep the people in check, rulers of empires have to always use violence and continuously induce fear. But this also plants the seeds of corruption and revolutions, which weaken and finally destroy the empire.

Religious fundamentalism and intolerance as part of state policy are key strategies that are used to control and subjugate people. Eventually the people who have nothing more to lose and will pay any price to change the status quo then empires become irreparably toxic and begin to crumble.

A 1000 years of brutalisation, genocide, widespread destruction and depravation, foreign invaders who occupied vast parts of India have been unable to destroy Indian civilisation. Even today, India remains largely Sanatana 86% (Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Sikh).

The 45 civilisations that perished sought to be empires. Empires eventually consume themselves. The Mongols and the Huns, are two brutal empires, that immediately come to mind.

It seems the Communist Chinese empire is going to end even before it has begun.


Ref: G0583

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