One explanation for the fall of the Western Roman Empire was higher and higher taxes and ever-expanding bureaucracy. Another factor was internal faction and what might be called party politics. Although there were barbarian incursions and invasions, they were prefaced by internal weaknesses.
If the American Empire falls, it will likely be caused by higher taxes, more government bureaucracy, a creaking, overloaded economy, and factional politics where seizing power becomes more important than serving the country.
The American constitution enables a certain resiliency in the face of partisan politics, but there is presumably a limit, which we have already seen tested under clinton and his scumbag supporters. There's no assurance that another clinton may not rise to power. There were certainly more than enough bad Roman emperors.
posted on 02/01/2003 9:47:50 AM PST
It will be faction. The authors of The Federalist Papers saw faction as a leading threat. (I forget which particular author). We are becoming like Czechoslovakia. What a mess!
posted on 02/01/2003 9:58:50 AM PST
by AEMILIUS PAULUS
(Further, the statement assumed)
One explanation for the fall of the Western Roman Empire was higher and higher taxes and ever-expanding bureaucracy.
There was also the stratification of society where the decadent super-rich acquired most of wealth while being exempt from taxation. The impoverished majority had to carry the burden of taxation and of growing bureaucracy so the barbarians were often more preferable. The poor got some break and redistribution of property.
posted on 02/01/2003 12:30:02 PM PST
by A. Pole
To: Cicero; FateAmenableToChange
FATC: "The changing identification analysis as an explanation for the fall of the empire raises intriguing questions for the potential of the American "empire" (i.e., the diverse conglomerations of cultures that live in the U.S.) to do the same."
Cicero: "One explanation for the fall of the Western Roman Empire was higher and higher taxes and ever-expanding bureaucracy. Another factor was internal faction and what might be called party politics."
Add a dash of Hayek and we might have a synthesis. Small government with few laws and few taxes requires at least a minimal level of cultural homogeneity, so that most laws are by and large voluntarily obeyed, and, perhaps more importantly, never articulated as written law at all. Without common culture -- without tacit rules of behavior which we can assume that most will follow most of the time -- the need for articulation increases, as does the desire to use the state to impose by force one set of rules upon all.
posted on 02/01/2003 3:15:27 PM PST
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