It should be noted that the great nations and civilizations of the classical world ended and the dark ages began largely if not entirely because the Romans lost the will or ability to continue to safeguard the roads which allowed trade rule of law and new ideas to spread to the known world at the time. Brigands once they saw there was no opportunity cost, began to hold travelers to ransom and ended the very system that made travel and trade lucrative even for them. Today the oceans of course are the roads and the US is the dominant force maintaining the very veins and arteries of civilization growth and peace by keeping the cost of piracy high and the value of trade high as a consequence.
In this spirit I offer you this most excellent essay from what appears at first read to be quite an exceptional blog. May take a bit of time to read, but well worth it and plenty of ammo lies within for those looking for points for understanding and arguing the dynamics of the modern and ancient systems which allowed civilization order and even the enforcement of anything like human rights to exist.
Eeyore for Vlad