Back in the ’70s, I used to expect the government to suffer a financial collapse at which time it would have to quit doing most of the things it’s doing because it would run out of money. That isn’t what has happened. Instead of cutting spending it has printed more money and tried to increase taxes on various things.
Like many things historical, there’s a precedent for this. There’s a proverbial saying that “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” but it didn’t collapse in a day either. Probably most of the Romans who lived as the Empire was collapsing didn’t realize that was what was happening, but plenty of them realized they weren’t living in the good old days.
Its original title was On The Present Judgment and it is well worth reading to see how things played out then and probably always will. His purpose was to show that the then current problems were caused by moral collapse, excessive taxation and a greedy and conniving landed class, not an abandonment of the old pagan religion. Julian the Apostate who had made the opposite argument 70 or so years before, had tried to re-institute paganism and even tried to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem, presumably because it wasn’t Christian and he liked practices such as animal sacrifice, but his efforts ended when he was killed in a war with the Persians after a short reign.