An empire on the verge of collapse, named after a main-sequence star. When a main-sequence star has burned through its hydrogen, it switches to helium and bloats into a red giant, though it's essentially being hollowed out inside. Eventually, because it has lost the mass that could sustain its volume, it collapses. If it was an average-sized star, into a white dwarf, or a black hole if above average.

Its sapped of all its strength but its military, and now its burning that. Like a red giant, its imperial swelling is a sign of decay, not health. And its unsustainable. Collapse is inevitable. Possibly, given its size, into a black hole, which will suck the whole world in after it.
Do you think America is a main-sequence empire that has reached the red giant stage, having burned through its resources, its economic and fiscal vitality, its moral capital?
by Ian December 09, 2004

Free Daily Email

Type your email address below to get our free Urban Word of the Day every morning!

Emails are sent from We'll never spam you.