Nero played his fiddle, Obama shot baskets and Trump twittered while their empires burned.
What makes empire decay and what makes empires expand has everything to do with their relations between rulers and the ruled. Several factors are decisive. These include: (1) rent, land and housing, (2) the direction of living standards, (3) the rise or fall of mortality rate, (4) decline or rise of families.
Throughout history rising empires incorporate their population to the task of empire by distributing a portion of their plunder to their masses, by providing them with land, low rents and housing. Large scale landlords facing returning young war veterans reduced excessive land concentration to avoid domestic unrest.
Rising empires raised living standards, as salaried employees, workers and artisans, merchants and scribes found employment as the oligarchies expanding conspicuous consumption and expanded the state bureaucracy running the empire.
A prosperous empire is cause and consequence…
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