Thursday, July 7, 2011


The U.S. is going the way of Rome

A subject this large would take many volumes. This post can only be a very general summary at best. These are only a few general subjects designed to stimulate thought.

I have noticed many similarities between the Roman republic and the United States. As with any comparison, many differences also exist. What I find most compelling is how human nature led the Roman evolution. So too the United States. One thing that does NOT change is Human nature.

Rome became the most rich and powerful government in the world at that time. Once it attained that stature, it began to turn upon itself. It began with the economic decline caused mainly by changing the fundamental economic principals that had been proven so successful. Priorities changed. People became less concerned about building and more concerned about protecting what they already had. The values that had proved vital to the building of the economy and army changed over time. We have all read about how the decadence in Rome became part of it’s undoing. Too much free time allows for deviant behavior. When it becomes acceptable, it becomes part of the problem.

One major difference between the U.S. today and Rome is that throughout it’s history, Rome protected the property owners. This is one of the reasons why it lasted for so long. The leadership understood where the source of economic strength originated and attempted to protect it. We are not doing so today. We are penalizing property owners at our economic peril. Rome did go though periods like this and many times these periods saw marked declines in economic and military power.

Exposure of babies on the mountainside was a preferred way of rid one of unwanted babies. Abortion provides us with a modern way to do this without having to go through childbirth. (Romans did not have the medical ability to do this without killing the woman.) The avoidance of responsibility in this most important human function was a contributing reason for the eventual decline and fall of the civilization. This was eventually outlawed, although it was common for long periods of time. The key here is the avoidance of responsibility for ones actions. After all, who really wants to pay for their mistakes? It is only natural to attempt to minimize the cost of any action that you take.

The Roman army became less and less Roman as time went on. In general, this was in step with avoiding responsibility as Romans paid others to do their work for them. This kept the numbers in the army up and maintained strength for a long time. A long-term problem is that like economics, if you have no skin in the game, your interests are different. Sometimes it was politically profitable to obtain a military defeat.

All civilizations evolve. They change over time and like everything alive, they eventually die. Civilizations like Rome come around only once in a while. While the United States is very different from the Roman republic, the thing that we share is that we are human.

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