I am big fan of Odd Lots, a podcast hosted by Tracy Alloway and Joe Wiesenthal. They are editors at Bloomberg.
Their latest episode is an interview with Arthur Demarest, an anthropologist at Vanderbilt who spends most of his time living in a tent at an archaeological site in central America.
Because he does what he does, Demarest has deep insights into what civilizations look like before they collapse.
One of his ideas is that florescence, which we see in the pyramids of the Maya, and in the art and architecture of the Renaissance, is often a sign of trouble, not health. Grand projects of this kind historically have preceded, and often contributed to, collapse. A related point of his is that even as highly specialized, hyper-connected economies create wealth, they are much more vulnerable to catastrophic disruption than simpler ones.
Demarest made similar points in an interview two years ago. So, no, this is not about politics.