As you watch the madness that is our American government unfold around you, do you ever get the feeling that the story is too damned real and you are standing on the tracks of an onrushing freight train called The American Apocalypse? Do you also get the feeling that the people around you seem ambivalent, or just too stupid to see the train? Great empires come and go, and when they fall, they fall hard. The fall of an empire is always accompanied by several common denominators. Let’s take a trip down memory lane where we can identify the parallels between the two greatest empires and their likely demise.
The Roman Empire is generally accepted as the greatest empire in Earth’s history, to date. Stretching from the Atlantic to Mesopotamia, the Roman republic was a beacon of hope in a barbaric world. The Romans were classy and civilized, at least to the extent that people could be classy and civilized in antiquity. They sported vast wealth, a powerful senate and indomitable armies. Sounds very similar to a current country we love, right? Yet, with so much power, strength, wealth and forward thinking, the Roman Empire crumbled under it’s own weight. Unfortunately, this also sounds all too familiar.
Historians generally agree that the top reasons for the fall of the Roman Empire were: Overexpansion, government corruption, war incited migration and economic downturn. Let’s examine these one by one.
Overexpansion: The Roman Empire had conquered and controlled such large portions of the world that it was impossible to defend such a huge territory. They simply could not produce soldiers quickly enough to protect their vast holdings, which left their legions thin and vulnerable to attack and defeat on all fronts. The military, trying to keep it’s strength, was draining the public funds that were earmarked for infrastructure maintenance and repair. The once stunning empire eroded into a decaying confines. With the American military spread thinly about the world, and the wars and proxy wars that we have been fighting since the 1950’s, the untold American wealth, treasure and blood that has been spent in these fights, wealth that should have been spent on our crumbling infrastructure and social programs, the parallels with Rome are crystal clear.
Government Corruption: Widespread corruption and incompetence, from the Emperor to the Senate, the Praetorian Guard to the various local leaders, took a toll on the citizens of Rome who could no longer trust their leadership. Assassinations, political instability and civil war ensued, further weakening the empire. While America has yet to reach the assassination and civil war plateau, we’ve got the government corruption, political instability and lack of trust in leadership all wrapped up in a pretty little bow. The threat of civil war can occasionally be seen peeking over the horizon.
War Incited Migration: The Huns invasion of northern Europe caused the mostly Germanic barbarian tribes of the region to migrate or be slaughtered. In exchange for their children, who would become Roman slaves, the Germanic tribes were eventually allowed to occupy diminutive pieces of Roman territory where they would be afforded protection from the Huns. As the Roman Empire weakened, the Germanic tribes were able to gain more territory, eventually controlling large portions of the Roman Empire, namely Britain, Spain and North Africa. The biggest problem America and the world faces today is war incited migration. Take a look at the millions from Syria alone.
Economic Downturn: Rome was under constant attack on many fronts. It costs a lot of money to fight a war, whether it be the 4th century or the 21st. Government overspending and inflation had created a great chasm between the rich and poor. The Roman armies were no longer able to plunder the wealth and slave labor of other societies causing an enormous decline in the Roman economy as well as commercial and agricultural production. Eventually, the economy collapsed and the empire succumbed to a not so civil war. America has been under constant attack by air, land, sea and cyber for decades. Inflation has been out of control since that peanut farmer took office and government overspending has landed us a $20 trillion deficit. The gap between the rich and the poor widens daily in America. We’re sending our slave labor back across the border from whence they came and Americans are too spoiled to work the fields.
Hope is a great thing. Maybe the greatest of things. We can all hope that these significant parallels are nothing more than coincidence, or we can get to work and take control of the government that has squandered our integrity, our wealth and, quite possibly, our sovereignty. The collapse is very near and the power brokers in Washington know it. That is why they try to distract you with shiny things, bold rhetoric, rumors, fabulist news events and fear tactics. They have big bunkers, filled with food and water, to hide in when the not so civil war breaks out, and when the Russians and Chinese invade our soil.
George Santayana famously said, “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Coincidentally to this narrative, George Santayana died in Rome.