When Empires Die

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(Jeff Thomas, LewRockwell.Com) Years ago, Doug Casey stated, “When empires die, they do so with surprising speed.”

At the time, that comment raised eyebrows, yet he was quite correct in his observation.

Ernest Hemingway made a similar comment when a character in his novel The Sun Also Rises was asked how he went bankrupt. The answer was, “Gradually, then suddenly.”

Again, this sounds cryptic, yet it’s accurate.

Any empire, at its peak, is all-powerful, but the fragility of an empire that’s in decline is hard to grasp, as the visuals tend not to reveal what’s soon to come.

Great countries are built upon traditional values – industriousness, self-reliance, honour, etc. But empires are distinctly different. Although it may seem to be a moot point, an empire is a great country whose traditional values have led it to become unusually prosperous. There are many countries, both large and small, that are “great” in their formative values, but only a few become empires.

Yes, the prosperity is brought about through traditional values, but a great country becomes an empire only when its prosperity is sufficient to allow it to branch out – to invade other lands – to plunder their assets and subjugate their peoples.

We tend to grasp, through hindsight, that this is…

When Empires Die – LewRockwell