All narratives eventually end. And when they end, someone picks up the story where it last left off.
At the start of the series Game of Thrones, Ned Stark stares over a crowd of on-lookers as he awaits judgement for treason and finds his youngest daughter, Aria, clinging to a statue, panicked and alone. Chaos ensues as a surprise announcement for retribution is called, despite the fact that his admission of guilt was a lie. Before the sword falls he looks back to the crowd and his daughter has disappeared.
In 60BC, Rome established political stability with the unity of three political leaders known as the Triumvirate (Pompey, Caesar, Crassus). By 53BC the consolidation of power was collapsing as Crassus was killed in a failed invasion, and instability within Rome was bringing about a civil war.
In 50BC, the Roman Senate ordered Caesar to disband his army because his governorship in the first Triumvirate (Pompey, Caesar, Crassus) had ended. On January 10th, 49BC Caesar crossed the Rubicon river and ignited a civil war against Pompey. According to Plutarch, Ceasar quoted the Greek playwright Menander, saying “The die is cast.”
Caesar defeated Pompey and was appointed dictator for life in Rome, however he resigned after just 11 days. But his resignation did not last and in 48BC he was reappointed dictator and began to expand his political powers and influence. In 47BC he appointed Senators, who granted him superfluous titles such as “Father of the Fatherland,” and “Prefect of the Morals.” Coins were minted in his image, and the Julian calendar was created in his name. According to Roman historian, Eutropius, around 60 men participated in the assassination of Julius Caesar and he was stabbed 23 times. This account is debated, as according to Suetonius there were only two stab wounds.
The story of Caesar stands in stark contrast to George Washington who commanded the Continental Army against the British in the American Revolutionary War. Following his victory against the British, Washington resigned completely once the Treaty of Paris was signed on September 3rd 1783. Washington gave a farewell address on November 2nd to the Continental Army and it was disbanded before advising to later create a national militia. Following his address, the British evacuated New York city on November 25th 1783.
During this time, Washington was quoted as saying:
“I consider it an indispensable duty to close this last solemn act of my official life by commending the interests of our dearest country to the protection of Almighty God, and those who have superintendence of them, to his holy keeping.”
This contrast between Caesar and Washington I believe is relevant today to the actions of the Federal Reserve Banking system. Once an institution or political leader has the ability to rescue, save or destroy something with impunity it has the responsibility to restore order and remove itself before it becomes worse than the problems that it was initially trying to solve. If power is not eventually relinquished back to where it belongs, it eventually collapses under its own weight like an inverted pyramid.
After the 2008 financial crisis, the Federal Reserve Banking system expanded it’s scope and influence to prevent systemic risk from completely destroying the economy. This was wise, as the risk was contained. However, the powers and influence enacted at the time have since expanded and have not been restrained.
The early founders of the United States knew that all power must have checks and balances, which is why we have an elected President, Senate, House of Representatives and Judicial System that all function independently and challenges itself to prevent power from consolidating down to the hands of a few.
In the Dune series, after Paul Atreides establishes peace and terraforms Arrakis into an oasis planet. He realizes that he has unleashed an unstoppable revolution to which was not his intention. After defeating conspirators within the Space Guild and Tleilaxu who have advanced a plot to remove the Atreides from power, Paul removes himself from the Fremen society who have now deified him. The story ends as he is seen walking into the desert alone to disappear forever.
The story next resumes as his twin children begin to come of age.
At the end of the movie Happy Gilmore, Happy is seen returning home after he has purchased his Grandmas house back. Above the house in the clouds are Chubbs Peterson, Abraham Lincoln and a one eyed Alligator all smiling and waving down at Happy.
“And I don’t know where I’m going.
I just want to be left alone.
Well, when this train ends I’ll try again.”
Tuesday’s Gone, Lynyrd Skynyrd.