The Rise and Fall of Nations


On September 18, 1787, after Benjamin Franklin signed the Constitution in Philadelphia, a woman reportedly asked him: “Well, doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” To which Franklin replied: “A republic, if you can keep it.” And regarding maintaining that republic, Franklin is reported at another time to have said, “when the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” Even back then, the founders knew what brought about the rise and fall of nations.

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When I was a little girl reading biographies and historical fiction novels, I used to think to myself how cool it would be to live at a pivotal time in history as those people did – like, say, at America’s founding. I wondered, what would it feel like to be an eyewitness to history in the making?

Well, now that I’m older and considering the times we’re living in, I would say “Be careful what you wish for!” On the other hand, perhaps we, too, were born “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).

Cultures and civilizations go through cycles. Over time, many empires and nations have come and gone. Will ours be next? Hopefully not if we can help it, but we have to be ready for whatever may come.

Sociologists and anthropologists have described the stages of the world’s great civilizations.

The Tytler Cycle

The insights of Scottish philosopher Alexander Fraser Tytler of the University of Edinburg on the rise and fall of civilizations are particularly noteworthy. Tytler’s observations provide valuable perspective on historical patterns and provide a great deal of perspective to what we are currently experiencing.

Tytler identified eight stages that articulate well what history discloses:

  1. Bondage to Spiritual Faith: Societies begin in a state of dependence or bondage, often seeking solace in spiritual beliefs.
  2. Spiritual Faith to Great Courage: As faith strengthens, courage emerges, leading to bold actions and progress.
  3. Courage to Liberty: The courageous pursuit of freedom results in the establishment of liberty.
  4. Liberty to Abundance: With freedom comes prosperity and abundance.
  5. Abundance to Selfishness: As societies prosper, self-interest and selfishness can take hold.
  6. Selfishness to Complacency: Abundance can lead to complacency, where people become indifferent to challenges.
  7. Complacency to Apathy: Apathy sets in, eroding the drive for improvement.
  8. Apathy to Dependence: Finally, dependence returns, completing the cycle back to bondage.

In the Tytler Cycle, a democracy only lasts about 200 years from start to demise to rebirth and repeat. Will America break the cycle? What stage are we in now?

The Fate of Empires

Likewise, “The Fate of Empires” is an intriguing essay written by Sir John Bagot Glubb, a British military officer and historian. In his thought-provoking work, Glubb explores the life cycle of empires and identifies recurring patterns throughout history related to their rise and fall.

Sir John Glubb notes that most empires have lasted for approximately 250 years. The United States will be 248 years old this July.

Not all empires endured for a full lifespan. “The Babylonian Empire of Nebuchadnezzar, for example, was overthrown by Cyrus, after a life duration of only some seventy-four years.”

On the other hand, the Mameluke Empire in Egypt was “exceptional in that it began on one fixed day and ended on another, leaving no doubt of its precise duration, which was 267 years.”

Glubb states that all empires end at the stage he calls “decadence.” For example, “the wealth of the Mameluke Empire was fabulous, slowly leading to luxury, the relaxation of discipline and to decline, with ever more bitter internal political rivalries.”

Let’s delve into the key concepts from Glubb’s work:

Rise and Fall of Empires:

  • Glubb suggests that empires follow a predictable trajectory, progressing through
  • distinct phases.
  • These phases include the Age of Pioneers, the Age of Conquests, the Age of Commerce, the Age of Affluence, and finally, the Age of Decadence.
  • Each phase has its unique characteristics and challenges.

The Age of Pioneers:

  • During this phase, a society is characterized by adventure, exploration, and risk-taking.
  • Pioneers establish new territories, conquer lands, and build the foundations of the empire.

The Age of Conquests:

  • The empire expands rapidly through military conquests.
  • There is a strong sense of duty, discipline, and sacrifice among the people.
  • The military plays a central role in maintaining order.

The Age of Commerce:

  • Economic prosperity becomes paramount.
  • The merchant class thrives, and trade networks expand.
  • Materialism and consumerism rise.

The Age of Affluence:

  • The empire enjoys unprecedented wealth and luxury.
  • The focus shifts from duty and service to personal comfort and pleasure.
  • Intellectual pursuits decline, and cultural decadence sets in.

The Age of Decadence:

  • Moral decay, corruption, and internal strife become prevalent.
  • The empire becomes vulnerable to external threats.
  • Leadership loses sight of long-term sustainability.

The Search for Survival:

  • Glubb emphasizes that empires rarely recover from the Age of Decadence.
  • They either collapse due to external invasions or disintegrate from within.
  • The search for survival involves rediscovering the values of duty, discipline, and sacrifice.

In summary, Glubb’s theory highlights the cyclical nature of empires and the importance of maintaining a sense of purpose, duty, and service throughout their existence, even as they rise and fall.

Remember, history often provides valuable lessons for our own present and future!

The Great Transformation

What did you think Barack Obama meant when he promised before his election: “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” As a fan of the Founding Fathers, that sounded pretty ominous to me!

I believe when major events take place that alter the destiny of certain nations, the entire world is effected. We’ve certainly seen that with Biden in office!

Ted Flynn’s thought-provoking book, The Great Transformation: Finding Peace of Soul in Troubled Times, argues that we are currently at a critical juncture due to a confluence of events across major global indices. The book provides spiritual insights and answers for finding peace amidst the tumultuous changes we face. It outlines a blueprint and prescription for maintaining composure as institutions crumble and unprecedented events unfold. If you’re interested in understanding the challenges of our times and seeking inner peace to help you get through it, this book offers valuable perspectives.

Here are some key points from The Great Transformation: Finding Peace of Soul in Troubled Times by Ted Flynn:

  1. Historical Context: The book explores significant historical events that have shaped the world, emphasizing their impact on nations and individuals.
  2. Current Challenges: Flynn argues that we are at a critical juncture due to global events across various indices (political, economic, social, etc.).
  3. Spiritual Insights: The book provides spiritual perspectives and answers for finding inner peace amidst chaos and uncertainty.
  4. Blueprint for Composure: Flynn outlines a prescription for maintaining composure as institutions crumble and unprecedented events unfold.
  5. Destiny and Peace: The book encourages readers to seek peace of soul even in troubled times, offering hope and guidance.

Just so you know, The Great Transformation is a Catholic book so it refers to mystics, apparitions, Our Lady of Fatima, the Blessed Mother, the Pope, etc., but overall it’s still worth a read.


America’s clock is ticking down. The nation is broke, the government is corrupt, the culture is decadent, and cities like San Francisco seem to be on the verge of total collapse. The states are united in name only. History shows that empires fall due to two main factors – internal conflicts and external invasions.

Today we have the internal conflict of the left vs the right AND the external invasion of millions of people crossing over the border from who knows where. Obviously this isn’t sustainable. Moreover, we are being lied to by our leaders on a regular basis, and these miscreants don’t even seem to mind when we catch them in a lie anymore!

A nation that will deliberately chose ignorance of its history and of its foundational government – with leaders that do nothing but manufacture propaganda – has a fate that’s totally predictable. It’s about time Americans pull together and re-create America as its original founders intended, so we can bring its decline to an end, reclaim our Republic, and start the timeline over again.

S.A. McCarthy, news writer at The Washington Stand, believes it can be done. “To do so, we must mount a crusade of virtue, we must model ourselves after the citizens of Heaven, we must become again a moral and religious people. We may very well, as Augustine warned and as our Founders themselves experienced, live for a time under the rule of the unjust, of the vicious and licentious, but if we keep our eyes fixed upon God and the Heavenly City, such trials will serve as ‘the test of virtue’ and will become for us a strength. The nation is not lost, so long as we keep alive virtue in our hearts.”

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