The Rise of the Barbarian Kingdoms | Sovereign Man
The Rise of the Barbarian Kingdoms | Sovereign Man

The Rise of the Barbarian Kingdoms | Sovereign Man

In the year 1566, at the end of the reign of the legendary Suleiman the Magnificent, his Ottoman Empire was the world’s dominant superpower. Ottoman territory extend across three continents over nearly 2.3 million square kilometers. Its military was powerful… and feared. The economy was strong and the treasury plentiful. (View Highlight)

Subsequent Ottoman rulers became complacent. The government became bureaucratic. The military became softer. Society became decadent. (View Highlight)

As a whole, they lost the elements that made them strong and powerful to begin with, and the empire began to dwindle. (View Highlight)

It goes without saying that the United States is also in decline; that’s not intended to be an emotional or controversial statement. From a rational academic perspective, it’s very difficult to not see obvious and familiar signs of an empire in decay. (View Highlight)

The first are the Forces of Energy, both natural and political, which have created rising energy costs that are now bordering on an energy crisis. (View Highlight)

oil producer are having to burn more oil now to fuel their equipment, for every barrel of oil that they pump from the ground. (View Highlight)

This is a critical trend to watch; the past few centuries have proven a very clear link between energy and prosperity, and more expensive energy is a nasty, long-term barrier to economic growth. (View Highlight)

The second major category of forces causing decline in the US are the Forces of Society. We can see this every day in the social and political divisiveness, censorship, media manipulation, the appalling decline in trust, rising crime rates, popularity of socialism, wokeness, etc. (View Highlight)

The third category are Forces of Economy. Here we can see evidence in the absurd level of money printing, inflation, the national debt, rising taxes, multi-trillion dollar spending packages that “cost nothing”, etc. (View Highlight)

And the fourth category are the Forces of History. This is the inevitable course of empire– rise, peak, and decline, and it includes all the geopolitical events we’ve witnessed, from the debacle in Afghanistan to the war in Ukraine and rise of China. (View Highlight)

The widespread adoption of nuclear power, for example, could result in an economic bonanza in the US, which would keep the party going for quite some time. (View Highlight)

But for now, the trajectory of the US appears to be heading down. Again, that shouldn’t be a controversial statement, and I’d encourage anyone to look at the situation rationally and dispassionately, and not through the lens of patriotism or fear. (View Highlight)

And I’ve often thought that China is the answer… simply because it is the only viable power large enough to displace the US. But China has always been an imperfect answer. China has a mountain of its own problems too. Some are fixable, like its giant debt bubble. Others (like its demographic crisis) are not (View Highlight)

So my thinking has evolved… and I’m now considering a future world that looks more like Europe in the 600s. (View Highlight)

The Byzantine Empire was still relevant. But Europe had been taken over by several barbarian kingdoms– the Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Burgundians, Frisians, Franks. Plus the Middle East and North Africa were rapidly falling to the new Islamic Caliphate. (View Highlight)

No single power dominated the rest. And I think that may be the world we’re headed for– where China, Russia, Europe, India, and North America are like the Barbarian Kingdoms of the 600s. (View Highlight)

But in a world of Barbarian Kingdoms where no single superpower looms so large, there won’t be as much demand for US dollars. (View Highlight)