Today, Clyde Lewis published an essay on the Iron Law of Oligarchy as it applies to the interval between 1914 and 2014. No video or audio here, so grab a cup and read it at the link given. (And stop being lazy; you'll never see a "TL/DR" here.)
One thing I do agree with Lewis on is that the next great disaster will, again, be created by Empire for its benefit. Unfortunately for us, this is due to Empire seeing that it's in a make-or-break position--the oligarchy is aware that its eternal destruction is possible, and it's freaking out trying to prevent that from happening--and as such it stands to go overboard in its scheme to make that happen.