How does everyone feel about cyclical theories of nations? I sometimes wonder a bit given where we are. Reading a few late imperial Roman history books at the moment and the parallels are striking, not to sound too much like Ben Sasse (ugh)

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This seems pretty applicable

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I do think the flip side to all of this is the irrational conflation of “strength” turning into authoritarianism, which simply isn’t a productive outlet. There’s definitely the resilient, libertarian agrarian fantasy here too (which the romans had re: republic farmer too), which isnt also terribly applicable but it’s interesting to think about.

Even as a liberal, you do have to wonder re: fitness, basic human skills, reading, functioning in the real world, participation in civil society, etc. obviously the GOP represents the worst of the no-nothings in contemporary American society, but it’s a bipartisan issue to some extent. This is typically about where I fantasize about a national service idea for a while.

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You can thank John Steinbeck:

“We now face the danger, which in the past has been the most destructive to the humans: Success, plenty, comfort and ever-increasing leisure.
No dynamic people has ever survived these dangers."

Obviously there has to be an optimal point (greatest benefit for the most people while minimizing disincentives to reduce productivity) but usually giving people money is a pretty efficient mechanism, it would seem. Fighting our lethargic societal tendencies is more to do with other structural changes.

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Are you saying Biden is Romulus Augustulus ?

No. That’s an insulting and irrelevant comparison.

My HS social studies always said, every empire in history has eventually met its demise and the US cannot be any different.

I don’t think it’s a matter of when but more of what will it look like? The US is such an integral member of the global economy so realistically would the “fall” even be so far? Do we just continue to shift to a more global outlook, and if that’s the case then you can argue the US already hedged for this in the 70s with the onset of global liberalism and their status today is more figurative than anything really now.

I wonder also if climate will also be a precipitating factor. I hope not, but I worry.

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