Historically speaking, this reminds me of the time, a bit over halfway through the history of the Roman Empire, in which the Romans went through a bunch of emperors in quick succession. Several were assassinated in their own palace by the Praetorian Guard.

Rome survived that episode, by two hundred years in the West and by more than a millennium in the East, but it was nonetheless at that point that the proverbial decline and fall set in. The empire had jumped the shark, and would never be the same again.

So it is, I think, now, with Australia in particular, and a number of other OECD countries in more general terms.

In the modern world countries seem to decline and fall quicker, once such a point of inflexion is reached, than in ancient times. The Soviet Union is a good example. On the other hand, modern societies also have more options for re-inventing themselves.

But only if the issues are faced. So, it’s either re-invention, now, or decline and fall. There’s certainly no more room for business as usual.

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I am an urban historian from New Zealand with a special interest in New World cities. Somewhere along the line I picked up a PhD on planning and economics.

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Chris Harris

Chris Harris

I am an urban historian from New Zealand with a special interest in New World cities. Somewhere along the line I picked up a PhD on planning and economics.