I just finished Book I of the Florentine Histories by Niccolo Machiavelli. I do recommend the New Translation by Banfield. It makes reading much more enjoyable.
Book I was primarily just a meta view of all the barbarians and changing of power within Italy. Toward the end of Book I, there was mention of a time when there were three competing Popes! Despite how crazy that sounds, it is nothing compared to Protestants, where essentially each Pastor is their own mini-Pope. I'll take three Popes any day versus the millions of mini-Popes of false teaching.
Speaking of which, I think it's time an anti-Pope arises to compete against the current Pope. I do not know how that would work exactly, but it would still be very entertaining to watch the anti-Pope call out the current Pope.
Book II begins specifically with the history of Florence and its founding. The intense rivalry between the Guelfs and Ghibellines (each made up of numerous families), began with a slighted marriage proposal. Basically, the other family "stole" a betrothed from the other family with their exceptionally beautiful daughter. As revenge, the now-married husband, was murdered.
The constant back and forth between the sides, essentially kicking out the other party from the city was quite enlightening, including the various forms of government they would attempt. They would call outside help from the Pope and local Kings.
It's a big mess that I will not claim I follow along 100%. There are so many "characters" that it's hard to tell which ones are important later in the story.
Somewhere in all this are the "people" who are caught up in the middle of this blood feud.
It is unsettling to read the constant back and forth. It goes in stark contrast to the relative stability that has been seen in the United States. And the concerning part is that I don't think the Guelfs and Ghibellines saw each other as different races or cultures. They all considered themselves native to Florence.
Exile by race and nation seems to be what is in store for America's diverse cities. You definitely don't want to be living in any major cities, which will most likely turn into some sort of City State like Florentine once the Empire crumbles.
How would City States of Portland, Seattle, and Los Angeles be governed when they don't have a Federal Government keeping them in check?
Mayors gone wild.
For certain cities that make up such a large section of the population of certain States, it is unlikely that Governors may have that much power. In more rural States, yes. But in States where the Mayors have much more power, you will most likely see that many National Guardsmen and State Troopers are entirely uninterested in risking their lives to bring back to order the cities.
At least in States like Washington, Oregon, and California, the rural parts have always been wanting to be independent from the cities which dictate State policy. They could finally be autonomous. I don't know why the rural portions would want to die to maintain a rotting, shit holes the cities will become.
If anything, people will be fleeing out of the cities into the rural areas just as we have seen with Coronavirus, but in a much larger degree.
States that have more unity between the rural and city portions will see a more unified response with the National Guard.