Excellent article by Pete Kofod examining how empires rise up and then decline via the conflict between the economic and political classes, mediated by the praetorian class (paid for by the economic class and paid by the political class).
It’s an interesting twist on the usual libertarian class analysis that there are just two classes (the economic and the political, a.k.a. the tax payers and the tax eaters).
[This class analysis was of course stolen and distorted by Marx, with his own pathetic imitative distinction of bourgeoisie and proletariat, but like so much that Marx stole from the libertarians, he never acknowledges this anywhere in any of his dreary books, mostly written by the deeply-confused Engels of course, while the less-confused Marx was busy knocking up housemaids.]
The tax eaters can thus be divided into two major sub-divisions, with the praetorians eventually eating the politicals, sometimes quicker, sometimes slower, leading to the rise and then decline of empire as the digestion proceeds.
As Mr Spock would say, fascinating.