Virtually every major civilization in human history has been a victim of the same pattern: rising up out of the ashes, throwing off the chains of tyranny from some other power, and ascending to greatness before crumbling under its own ruin.
For some civilizations, this death is a painfully slow process — the British Empire comes to mind. While the civilizing force once presided over territory so vast that its language became the standard for international relations, the United Kingdom was forced to give it all up after the Second World War. Before that, the Ottoman Empire was referred to as the “dying man of Europe” before it completely crumbled during the First World War.
These are only two examples — and all know what happened to the original European superpower. The Romans once held the Mediterranean world together. But, after generations of skyrocketing government spending, escalating taxation, and an overzealous military policy, the empire soon found itself besieged on all sides.
Today, the United States of America hangs on to its exceptional status by a thread. Unlike the Romans, the British, the Ottomans, and virtually all other great empires of the past, its legacy is only a few centuries old. In other words, this superpower status has always been fragile. However, it is already showing the hallmark signs of an imperial decline: a degenerating culture, violent political divisions, and an uncertain economic future.
Of course, there is still a chance for the country to recover and thrive into the new century. But one thing is clear: it’s going to take more than an unconventional presidency to make that happen.
Here’s Black Pidgeon Speaks with a history lesson we all need to hear.