In late January of the year 98 AD, after decades of turmoil, instability, inflation, and war, Romans welcomed a prominent solider named Trajan as their new Emperor.
Prior to Trajan, Romans had suffered immeasurably, from the madness of Nero to the ruthless autocracy of Domitian, to the chaos of 68-69 AD when, in the span of twelve months, Rome saw four separate emperors.
Trajan was welcome relief and was generally considered by his contemporaries to be among the finest emperors in Roman history.
Trajan’s successors included Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius, both of whom were also were also reputed as highly effective rulers.
But that was pretty much the end of Rome’s good luck.
The Roman Empire’s enlightened rulers may have been able to make some positive changes and delay the inevitable, but they could not prevent it.
Rome still had far too many systemic problems.
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In today’s version of the Roman Empire, the United States, we can see similar circumstances.
The debt level is now rapidly closing in on $20 trillion, well in excess of 100% of GDP.
And even under the government’s most optimistic estimates, this debt is growing at a far more rapid rate than the economy could ever hope to expand.
We can see a central bank that is nearly insolvent.
We can see a commercial banking system that, even in the opinion of its own regulators (most recently the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis), is still at significant risk to succumb to a major crisis.
We can see Civil Asset Forfeiture levels that have increased to astonishing rates.
These trends are pretty obvious, and they have been building for years.
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Perhaps Trump is our Trajan. As the above essay suggests, we also have far too many systemic problems, and the ability to hide them with lies is rapidly eroding.
"Radical Islam" may be our version of the "Germanic barbarians", but whatever the case I believe we are past our peak. We'll soon know for certain (or perhaps we'll keep lying to ourselves for a few more years).