WASHINGTON, DC – According to Voltaire, the Roman Empire fell “because all things fall.” It is hard to argue with this as a general statement about decline: nothing lasts forever. But it is also not very useful. In thinking, for example, about American predominance in the world today, it would be nice to know when it will decline, and whether the United States can do anything to postpone the inevitable.
Contemporary commenters despaired of the Roman Empire for several hundred years before it finally collapsed. Could America find its way to a similar extension?