[H]uman nature abhors a spiritual vacuum. If the
house from which an unclean spirit has gone out is
left empty, swept, and garnished, the momentarily
banished possessor will sooner or later enter in
again with a retinue of other spirits more wicked
than himself, and the last state of that man will be
worse than the first.
- Arnold Toynbee, War and Civilization
My lifelong interest in human history has led me to the conclusion that civilizations are created by individuals; they are destroyed by collectives. When you think of the major scientific discoveries; the poetry and other great literature; the speculative philosophies and religious inquiries; the important inventions; the explorations of previously unknown territories; the music, paintings, and other works of artistic expression; most of us are inclined to associate these creative works with the names of individuals.