"Take American empire seriously. It's the most complex artifact civilizations have thus far developed. Its grim, awe-filled beauty is that the very idea has always been more powerful than our tanks, carriers, nukes, legions, and the almighty dollar combined. Still, the age-old story of how empires rise and fall has only one iteration. Empires rise because they’re ambitious, then fall because their reach exceeds their grasp. What were once assets become liabilities. Unfortunately, it takes a long time for reality to settle in. We’re still badass. And I’d rather live in a real empire than a former empire like Great Britain or a fake empire like Russia. But no one I take seriously believes America is still rising. Indeed, it’s a significant feat for an empire to simply stay afloat at such a late stage after two world wars."