Imagine a small agrarian republic that gradually grows into the world’s greatest military and cultural superpower. Over time, as public power is concentrated in the hands of a relatively small group of wealthy private citizens, that ruling elite falls increasingly out of touch with the world beyond its borders. Those borders, porous and steadily expanding, become ever more difficult to manage and defend. Faltering under the growing burden of policing them, the military is forced to recruit considerable mercenary support to handle conflicts that might arise, as well as those already under way. Eventually, losing its grip on power both internally and externally, the superpower enters a state of accelerating decline, ultimately fading into a shadow of its former glory.
quarta-feira, setembro 10, 2014
As the Romans Did por Cullen Murphy: