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America and the Mirror of Rome

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posted on Mar, 20 2015 @ 10:22 AM
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I joined ATS several years ago. Throughout the years I have seen a tumult of ideology surge through different threads, ranging from outlandish topics declaring Hitler as a misunderstood good guy to bigfoot being an alien species.

One of my favorite subjects that I occasionally run across here deals with history.

As a history buff I have always found it interesting how past events can parallel the present era. As the old saying goes: Those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.

While this ominous warning is often taken very lightly by the majority of the population who believe history is something you learn in school and then forget, it’s near prophetic words are not to be ignored.

In a way this is my first conspiracy theory post, which I have pondered on for many years.

If you were to ask any good historian why the Roman Empire fell from power you would undoubtedly get several different responses, ranging from political turmoil to unsustainable power. But you would most certainly get several similar answers, which are undisputed by the majority of reputable historians throughout the world.


Reason One

The primary reason for the fall of Rome is hotly debated within historical circles. But it is agreed by many people that the most likely reason for the fall of such a powerful empire began from the degradation of one of the most fundamental foundations of any society: morality.

Because the morality of Rome became so undefined towards its end, a number of social structures were being affected – the number one being family life.

When the family began to break apart in Rome, defined ethics and morality began to decline with it.

Unarguably, when reflecting on American values the traditional family structure is clearly being broken apart by immorality and unethical behavior. Corruption on the highest levels of government are promoting this, while rewarding behavior that works against a well-structured society.


Reason Two

Political corruption is another reason for the fall of such a mighty empire. Political factions had their own agendas, serving their own needs while ignoring the will of the people.

This parallel is extremely obvious when observing American political leaders in office today – ranging from the run of the mill congressional servant to the highest levels of office.

A wise man once said a house divided cannot stand – a truth that speaks volumes.


Reason Three

Continuous wars began to take its toll on the Roman population. People were getting tired of it until their will to fight began to falter.

Over time Rome was stretched to its breaking point and the empire’s people were in a state of apathy. This allowed a super-power to be defeated by simple barbarians, who later would divide the empire completely.

America too has fought wars since its birth. Now the people are starting to become apathetic like the Roman citizens of old.


Reason Four

Because of cheap slave labor and cheap workers from foreign lands, the middle class of Rome began to be pushed into poverty – which is part of the reasons the family life began to degrade.

Eventually a middle class in Rome was virtually non-existent. Taxes stopped flowing in, the military began follow the coin where it was available, and the empire began to see its first fractures in its stability.

If we look at America today we can see a similar event happening. While we no longer have slave labor, employers are paying less and less, immigrants from foreign countries (legal and illegal) are bidding for jobs at much lower pay, while the middle class (the ones who arguably form the foundation of the country) are beginning to break apart.

Eventually only the elite were able to hold seats of power, which again is beginning to be paralleled in America. If you don’t have money to run for office, you might as well turn belly up and quit.


The Conspiracy

Natural disasters, mob mentality, and other reasons also lead to the fall of Rome. But none are more important that the primary four I have listed above.

It would appear to me that those in power today are very aware of the state of the American nation. But their selfish desires and non-compassionate views towards the people of this nation is leading towards America’s fall.

A lack of loyalty to the people of this nation allows our political leaders to sell us down river, while assuring their seats of power.

I cannot help but think these people know exactly what they are doing – and want to degrade the American people so much to the point where we are ready to break. This will ensure that we can never rise up in power to defend ourselves, or take back what belongs to us…. Freedom.

If we as a people continue to ignore the lessons of history, give in to our immoral urges, and don’t begin to use the voices we were given – then like Rome, we will fade into the ashes of history as another failed civilization….


edit on 20-3-2015 by MentorsRiddle because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 20 2015 @ 10:36 AM
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Interesting, Ive been thinking along these same lines. Great minds must think alike. lol www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Mar, 20 2015 @ 10:42 AM
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a reply to: misskat1

Nice


I find your comments about the barbarian's interesting. They were arguably unequal to the Roman military might, yet their knowledge of Roman tactics and holes in their society made it possible for them to be victorious.



posted on Mar, 20 2015 @ 10:43 AM
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a reply to: MentorsRiddle

This has been my favorite thread on ATS since I began lurking here almost 7 years ago.

The topic itself is the reason why this has been my favorite thread, but you also laid it out in an easy-to-read format and progression. You have some solid writing skills MentorsRiddle.

Never before has this topic been more appropriate - and I fear you are right in every aspect. Like Ancient Rome, we also have an arsenal of weaponry and military might, but what good is that if your military and political leaders are divided and have separate and distinct motives?

The financial state of our country as well - this echoes Ancient Rome and its demise.

Thank you for making this thread on a topic I am passionate and interested in. S & F and most importantly a "Thank You again" because I truly appreciated your thread.
I'm afraid the American empire is heading over the falls soon. Fighting the current may be useless at this point...



posted on Mar, 20 2015 @ 10:46 AM
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a reply to: FamCore

Thank you for your compliments.

I agree with you - all the military weapons in the world is good for nothing if there is no one to use them properly.

I hope I am wrong in my assessment, especially since I live in America and don't want to be here if it goes belly up. Ha-Ha!



posted on Mar, 20 2015 @ 10:56 AM
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I've seen this reasoning before, in fact, you are just rehashing an argument that has been around for a while.
The Empire in the Mirror (2007)
Are Rome's Last Days a Distant Mirror for America? (2010)
16 Ways Rome is a Mirror of Current America – Oliver DeMille (2013)

So you aren't positing anything new here, but I have some concerns. First, the Roman Empire split apart into the Western Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire in the 4th century AD. The Eastern Roman Empire (or Byzantium) lasted for 1000 years after the Western Empire fell. Second, Rome didn't fall over night. It was more a of a long slow death. Third, you forgot to mention the chief cause of the Empire falling, constant invasions by barbarians that Rome couldn't keep out. This last point is key in understanding Rome's demise. They constantly whittled away at Rome's resources and strained the military. One could even argue that what made Rome so successful initially was that they continued to expand and it wasn't until they stopped expanding and tried to maintain their territories that they fell apart. Fourth, as the spoils of war dried up from not conquering new lands, maintaining Rome's army became more and more expensive. Eventually Rome started hiring mercenaries and other ill trained forces to supplement gaps in its ranks. This further weakened Rome's military.

While, yes, there are MANY similarities to America and the weakening Western Roman Empire, there are just as many inconsistencies that are overlooked when pushing your conclusion in the OP. Another thing to consider as well. America will likely end up sharing world dominance with another world power within a few decades. China. This is something that Rome never had to worry about as they were the dominate world power of their time throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa. Perhaps competition with another world power could stimulate the American base that has stagnated since the USSR fell.

I do agree that if you don't understand the past, you are doomed to repeat it; but that means you have to understand all the things that went into the past events, not just the ones that agree with your sought out conclusion.
edit on 20-3-2015 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 20 2015 @ 10:56 AM
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I'm totally in agreement with you. I have been saying this for years.

Outsourcing is, in my mind, perhaps more disastrous for us than cheap labor coming in with immigration, but the damage to the middle class remains the same.


Now we have the bread and circuses all by ourself at home in front of screens, which contributes to the degradation of family and human relational bonds.



posted on Mar, 20 2015 @ 10:59 AM
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Excellent thread.

I find the comparison quite obvious. Every reason you state has come to fruition in this country and it is apparent that apathy runs rampant among the masses.

One has to wonder what "barbarians" will come to pillage this nation? We have heard rumors of this country being divided into 10 separate sections. (search ATS) So the question is...

What will happen next?





posted on Mar, 20 2015 @ 10:59 AM
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a reply to: MentorsRiddle

I hope looking at this history will remind people that if we dont find better solutions, we are looking at the same fate as Rome.

I just watched another documentary about the Barbarians, I was amazed how unbarbaric they actually were. Their art was breath taking. They did have some pretty radical war tactics. I dont know what I would do if a huge, hairy, painted, half drunk, naked, junk waving, Barbarian came screaming at me with a huge sword in his hand. lol Rome really left an interesting account of the Barbarians. Written by the losers. I wonder what they were really like.

But, hey they kicked Rome's arse!



posted on Mar, 20 2015 @ 11:07 AM
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a reply to: MentorsRiddle

Good read. But was not the western empire Christian at the time of the fall? To question the number one reason given. The eastern empire continued to thrive after the west failed.



posted on Mar, 20 2015 @ 11:57 AM
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originally posted by: MOMof3
a reply to: MentorsRiddle

Good read. But was not the western empire Christian at the time of the fall? To question the number one reason given. The eastern empire continued to thrive after the west failed.




… the Roman Empire split apart into the Western Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire in the 4th century AD. The Eastern Roman Empire (or Byzantium) lasted for 1000 years after the Western Empire fell.


This is the case, but it was still not the mighty empire that it once was. Byzantium was a shadow of the former glory of Rome.


Rome didn't fall over night.


I never said it did fall over night.


you forgot to mention the chief cause of the Empire falling, constant invasions by barbarians that Rome couldn't keep out.


No – I did mention this. This was even discussed with another member in the comments to my post.


They constantly whittled away at Rome's resources and strained the military. One could even argue that what made Rome so successful initially was that they continued to expand and it wasn't until they stopped expanding and tried to maintain their territories that they fell apart. Fourth, as the spoils of war dried up from not conquering new lands, maintaining Rome's army became more and more expensive. Eventually Rome started hiring mercenaries and other ill trained forces to supplement gaps in its ranks. This further weakened Rome's military.


You are correct on this. Except I do not think the cessation of expansion resulted in the empire’s fall. I believe, as do most historians it was the reasons above. Rome hiring foreign warriors and mercenaries is an aspect that led to their demise. This is because these people were more loyal to their home countries and the plight of foreign lands than the success of Rome.


Another thing to consider as well. America will likely end up sharing world dominance with another world power within a few decades. China.


I agree. However if it is China or not remains to be seen. China’s economy is ballooned up by false market data, which is strictly controlled by the Chinese government. A lot of their economy is based off skewed figures. But then again – all countries do this to an extent. But I do know China is very bad about this – as I have worked at an investment bank and have a lot of good knowledge of the world economies.


I do agree that if you don't understand the past, you are doomed to repeat it; but that means you have to understand all the things that went into the past events, not just the ones that agree with your sought out conclusion.


I do try to take into account all factors I can when forming opinions – and I don’t just look for things that support my viewpoints.



posted on Mar, 20 2015 @ 11:58 AM
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a reply to: MOMof3

Yes you are correct. They did continue to thrive - but only as a shadow of what they once were.



posted on Mar, 20 2015 @ 12:43 PM
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Comparing Rome to the US is fun but, when you that have drasticaly different cultures, governments, resources, economies, global power levels, borders, enemies, technology, histories. stratgic positions etc. It really has no basis other than something fun to do.



posted on Mar, 20 2015 @ 12:51 PM
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There is also the theory of lead water pipes leading to madness, plus the elite used to boil the wine down in lead cauldrons, that might have added more madness to the elites.



posted on Mar, 20 2015 @ 12:53 PM
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a reply to: MrSpad

Maybe.

But even Aesop's Fables can teach a lesson in the year 2015.

If we can't learn from the past or if it's all so irrelevant or untranslatable, why do so many western military types still read Art of War? I mean talk about technological, economical, historical, geographical and cultural differences...
edit on 3/20/2015 by kosmicjack because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 20 2015 @ 01:22 PM
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originally posted by: MrSpad
Comparing Rome to the US is fun but, when you that have drasticaly different cultures, governments, resources, economies, global power levels, borders, enemies, technology, histories. stratgic positions etc. It really has no basis other than something fun to do.


I disagree.

the culture, government, resources, economies, power levels, etc. might be different - but in comparative history people felt the same about their bodies of power and influence as people do today.

Just because there is a difference of semantics doesn't mean you cannot compare the two. These differences aren't so great as to not be able to draw a parallel for today's era.



posted on Mar, 20 2015 @ 01:22 PM
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originally posted by: kosmicjack
a reply to: MrSpad

Maybe.

But even Aesop's Fables can teach a lesson in the year 2015.

If we can't learn from the past or if it's all so irrelevant or untranslatable, why do so many western military types still read Art of War? I mean talk about technological, economical, historical, geographical and cultural differences...


Well said.



posted on Mar, 20 2015 @ 01:31 PM
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a reply to: MentorsRiddle

Well consider this. The USA doesn't control foreign territory like Rome did. America is contained within its borders and its military mostly patrols the world. The only two neighbors USA has are Canada and Mexico. Canada and the US are basically bffs and Mexico has become cartel land. The cartels need America's drug market to sustain themselves though. Therefore there is no real threat to the USA from foreign invaders. All other countries would have to cross an ocean to get to us.

This means that there is no threat to us losing territory and most importantly, natural resources. Right now, we have global hegemony and try to spread the economics around through free trade, but at any moment we could return to isolationism and live off of our native natural resources.

Rome on the other hand gathered its resources from conquering foreign lands. Rome being a city really didn't have any natural resources to begin with. So it was more exposed to foreign invaders.

To me, this suggests that the US' world dominance isn't going to go the way of the Roman Empire, but probably more along the lines of the British Empire. Where we slowly lose relevance throughout the world while still being a country. But further still America is truly in a unique situation since it is so isolated from old world threats. America's waning relevancy as a number 1 world power may be something not seen on the planet in a long time. We may end up staying relevant for centuries because of our unique spot on the planet.
edit on 20-3-2015 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 20 2015 @ 01:35 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

You make very valid points and your ideas of this topic are well founded.

But I still think a lot of the threats to the United States of America aren't from some foreign invader, I believe the main threats come from within.

Political factors, economic factors, and ethical/moral factors is the main threat in my opinion.



posted on Mar, 20 2015 @ 01:53 PM
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a reply to: MentorsRiddle

I agree. Don't get me wrong, I am not dismissing many of the things that you highlighted as mere coincidence either. This theory of yours could well still turn out to be true. The fall of the Eastern Roman Empire certainly is a good case study when analyzing how future empires fall, but do keep in mind, many more empires rose and fell since the ERE fell. The causes of their downfalls should also be analyzed and compared to America's current situation.

For instance, one of the things that cements the USA's place as the number one country in the world right now is our Navy. Our control of the seas allows us to contain any external threats to within their own borders. We got this tactic from the empires that preceded us. The British, being an island nation, saw relevance through naval dominance of the world, but again Britain has few resources of its own. So when it began to lose its territories (starting with us), it began to lose its relevancy.

To be honest, I think we really should watch China in the coming years to see how they behave. China has many of the same advantages that we do when it comes to isolationism and natural resources. You claim their economy is propped up on lies, well so is every other economy in the world. Yet somehow they all still manage to run. But if China can overcome these problems it has and get its full workforce going, it could use the very advantages that the US has wielded so irresponsibly against us. China has been a country FAR longer than us. It is one of the oldest countries in the world. They have WAY more experience than we do when it comes to running things. As a student of history yourself, you should look into China. Then maybe you wouldn't write them off so quickly economically.




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