"The whole world can see, in what calls itself the richest country in the world, squalid, diseased, often rat-infested encampments of tens of thousands the homeless on the sidewalks of city after city: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Austin, on and on. In New York they live in subway stations, often on the trains. Forgotten diseases return. This must cause astonishment in civilized countries such as Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan..."Next, crime, levels of which constitute a measure of civilization. American lawlessness is a wonder of the world. Over seven hundred killed annually in Chicago, three hundred in Baltimore, with perhaps three times as many shot but not killed. Similar numbers per capita can be adduced for many other cities. Equally elevated figures exist for assault, rape, carjacking, mugging, shoplifting. To citizens of Taiwan or South Korea these numbers must look more appropriate to civil war in Sudan than a country that regards itself as an example to the world..."Public disaffection is rampant in America. Washington is so afraid of its citizens that it called in over twenty thousand soldiers to assure calm when Biden was inaugurated. The whole earth watched, some in shock, others in amusement, as infuriated citizens stormed the Capitol. During a recent trial in Minneapolis troops were needed to protect the proceedings from an angry population, with stores boarding up in fear of looting. Can anyone imagine this in Tokyo?"
"In Rome, the institutions evolved and degraded faster than people's ideas about them. Romans remembered their Old Republic with its rules and customs. They still thought that was the way the system was supposed to work long after a new system of consuetudo fraudium – habitual cheating – had taken hold..."As time went on, the empire came to resemble less and less the Old Republic that gave it birth. The old virtues were replaced with new vices."