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THE GIST OF MODERN SUPERPOWER-DOM|
It's a Catch-22. You cannot afford to spend half of your budget on defense unless you print and use an international reserve currency by fiat. And you cannot print and use an international reserve currency by fiat unless you spend half of your budget on defense.
But, in nature, we know there are no eternal or infinite cycles. Finiteness defines reality. Friction prevents the so-called Law of Inertia from ruling the universe. Friction, and the heat it generates, in any system, leads to an increase in entropy, which ultimately prevents the next cycle from taking place on time or from finishing its task before ebbing. When that happens, the Catch-22 reverses in all its fury, and the collapse of the edifice can occur in the twinkling of an eye, for the same reason that a country that cannot print its own international reserve currency can no longer afford to spend half its budget on defense, and a country that cannot spend half of its budget on defense cannot continue to print its own international reserve currency by fiat.
It won't be the spear that pierces every shield which will pierce the shield that blocks every spear, but rather, the spear may just be flying at a slighter faster rate of speed and the shield bearer just a tad slower in raising it to block the spear, as when Achilles defeats Hector, or when the arrow of Paris cuts the heel cord of Achilles in two.
The universe turns on accidents, serendipities and ultimately, fate.