This is an article from 2006 by Michael Vlahos on the weakness of empire vs. the strength of republics. The United States has transitioned to empire while maintaining some of the framework of a Constitutional republic. The Constitution is eroding with the decadence of the American people which is demonstrated by our political instability. In Vlahos’ short article, he didn’t have time to discuss the 100-150 years of political instability and civil war that resulted from the collapse of the old republican order in Rome before finally stabilizing in the person of Octavian aka Caesar Augustus. Octavian had a long life and a long tenure as emperor. Succeeding emperors often had shorter tenures than many of our presidents and often died by murder. By the time of Marcus Aurelius, the political instability was marked by severe instability throughout the empire, eventually resulting in its final collapse with the sack of Rome in 420 AD. So, empires are definitely weak, unstable, and often violent. You could even argue they’re a judgment on both the rulers and the ruled.