The striking features in the pageant of empire are, according to Glubb:
(a) the extraordinary exactitude with which these stages have followed one another, in empire after empire, over centuries or even millennia; and
(b) the fact that the successive changes seem to represent mere changes in popular fashion — new fads and fancies which sweep away public opinion without logical reason. At first, popular enthusiasm is devoted to military glory, then to the accumulation of wealth and later to the acquisition of academic fame.
Why could not all these legitimate, and indeed beneficent, activities be carried on simultaneously, each of them in due moderation? Yet this never seemed to happen.