Civilizations in decline are consistently characterised by a tendency towards standardization and uniformity.
--Arnold Toynbee, historian (1889-1975)
(48:7.29) Progress demands development of individuality; mediocrity seeks perpetuation in standardization.
(195:3.9) Even a good religion could not save a great empire from the sure results of lack of individual participation in the affairs of government, from overmuch paternalism, overtaxation and gross collection abuses, unbalanced trade with the Levant which drained away the gold, amusement madness, Roman standardization, the degradation of woman, slavery and race decadence, physical plagues, and a state church which became institutionalized nearly to the point of spiritual barrenness.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee a British historian, a philosopher of history, an author of numerous books and a research professor of international history at the London School of Economics and King's College in the University of London. Toynbee in the 1918–1950 period was a leading specialist on international affairs.
He is best known for his 12-volume A Study of History (1934–1961). With his prodigious output of papers, articles, speeches and presentations, and numerous books translated into many languages, Toynbee was a widely read and discussed scholar in the 1940s and 1950s. However, by the 1960s his magnum opus had fallen out of favour among mainstream historians and his vast readership had faded. After 1960, Toynbee's ideas faded both in academia and the media, to the point of seldom being cited today. In general, historians pointed to his preference of myths, allegories, and religion over factual data. His critics argued that his conclusions are more those of a Christian moralist than of a historian.