Skip to comments.HANSON: US Coasting On The Fumes Of Past Greatness, Following The Roman Road to Ruins
Posted on 06/30/2013 3:29:01 PM PDT by drewh
By A.D. 200, the Roman republic was a distant memory. Few citizens of the global Roman Empire even knew of their illustrious ancestors such as Scipio or Cicero. Millions no longer spoke Latin. Italian emperors were rare. There were no national elections.
Yet Rome endured as a global power for three more centuries. What held it together?
A stubborn common popular culture and the prosperity of Mediterranean-wide standardization kept things going. The Egyptian, the Numidian, the Iberian and the Greek assumed that everything from Roman clay lamps and glass to good roads and plentiful grain were available to millions throughout the Mediterranean.
As long as the sea was free of pirates, thieves cleared from the roads, and merchants allowed to profit, few cared whether the lawless Caracalla or the unhinged Elagabalus was emperor in distant Rome.
Something likewise both depressing and encouraging is happening to the United States. Few Americans seem to worry that our leaders have lied to or misled Congress and the American people without consequences.
Most young people cannot distinguish the First Amendment from the Fourth Amendment and do not worry that they cannot. Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln are mere names of grammar schools but otherwise unidentifiable to most.
Separatism is thought to bring dividends. In California, universities conduct separate graduation ceremonies predicated on race sometimes difficult given the increasingly mixed ancestry of Americans.
As in Rome, there is a vast disconnect between elites and the common people. Almost half of Americans receive some sort of public assistance, and half pay no federal income tax. About one-seventh of Americans are on food stamps.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
I’ve had that same basic thought myself. The US is living on past accomplishments: past strong credit worthiness, past strong currency, and accumulated wealth from past success under much more sound fiscal policy and trade policy.
And Europe is doing the same with a head start on the US.
History does repeat itself.
This is what Americans refuse to admit.
That “greatness” came from a lot of hard work, sacrifice, and faith in God.
An apt comparison. The decline of Rome can be attributed largely to the “Barbarian” invasions. How history repeats itself, eh?
Few Americans seem to worry that our leaders have lied to or misled Congress and the American people without consequences.
Seriously ? That must explain why Obama is going down in popularity and Congress is like at 15% approval. Most Americans are terrified or angry in equal measure but what to do is the rub, and where articles laying out the problems Ad nauseam are less then productive.
Actually, the decline of Rome is directly attributable to the devaluation of its currency.
It was always a corrupted place, and “barbarians” moved freely through it from the beginning.
The idea of the “fall” of Rome is quaint and inaccurate. It changed, from an aggressive Republic ruled by the rich to a crippled, oversized polyglottal plutocracy ruled...by the rich.
The barbarians are not only at the gates, they are manning the gates. I am sure this is done on purpose, by left leaning communists and 5th columnists, who hate their own country, and will do anything to hasten its demise. The rat bastar--
“This is what Americans refuse to admit. “
They don’t refuse to admit it. No one is telling them or they are being lied to.
The reason our government will eventually fall is not because of the politicians, but because of the media that chose to protect them. The minute our only oversight was removed from the equation our nation took a steep nose dive.
The barbarians only filled in the vacuum. Rome was an empty shell long before that.
The Roman Empire was struck by devastating plagues starting at the tail end of the 2nd century that devastated their legions. (Look up Antonine and cyprian plague).
It was much more difficult to stop Germanic incursions when you had much fewer troops.
Hanson should know this...
I believe there was very little to "admire" about the Romans. The system was predicated on using military superiority and ambitious elites to loot and enslave during the Republican period.
And then maintain the Empire by overburdening all provinces with taxes to support the Emperor's latest building projects and standing army.
America is being invaded from across the southern border — and is raising millions of home grown barbarians in its decaying urban cores.
Yet Italy exists...
I hear more and more people noticing the parallels between the death of societies/civilizations and their embrace of homosexuality. Cause and effect or just an evolutionary stage leading to its inevitable death?
Part of the problem is that even if we happen to get a good leader who wants to restore us to our former glory, we have mortgaged our future to the point that we may not be able to take advantage of opportunities.
The American Republic will endure until the dayAlexis de Tocqueville
Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with
the public's money.
Decline and fall bump.
I agree with the currency issue as a contributor, but still hold the barbarian invasion(s) were the largest nail. In Amorica, Gaul, and along the Danube, the Legions actually paid off the hordes and in a lot of cases, incorporated them in the army. In many cases they were brought in as officers. Thus, the dilution of the services led, in my opinion, to the Legion’s inability to defend the empire.
In he late 200’s, Diocletian(off all people) instituted a number of reforms that may have prolonged the Empire, but with continued invasions from Goths, Vandals, and the like, even his economic reforms couldn’t stop the decline.
No nation can survive under constant barbarian invasion, just look at the UK and Sweden..
The 2nd century empire was strong enough to defeat invasions.
Its not that the 5th century was much worse for invasions, it was that the Roman empire was much weaker and unable to resist the invasions.
Rome had many dozens of civil wars to help weaken and destroy them selves.
The Easter Empire lasted almost a 1000 years longer.
Who knows maybe that will be our fate.
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