reply to post by stumason
You're trying to shoehorn a comparison between Ancient Rome and the US which isn't there.
I think the comparison is valid. But before we come to that...
Rome was in decline long before it's actual collapse as a result of a wide variety of reasons... (its) peak was around the first century with a
steady decline thereafter.
Events move faster in a technologized world. The British Empire was, arguably, at its peak when Queen Victoria celebrated her Diamond Jubilee in 1897.
Fifty years later, the jewel in the crown was lost; another fifty years and Chris Patton was stepping aboard that ship in Hong Kong harbour, waving
goodbye to it all. It took exactly a hundred years for Britain to lose her empire.
I think we can expect to see a fairly rapid collapse of global, technological civilization, say within the next hundred years or so. As soon as we
lose the ability to generate electricity on a mass scale, it will happen.
It is also a misnomer that with the collapse of Rome, so did technology.
Are you sure? Could the post-Roman Britons build viaducts, or even maintain the ones they already had? The history of Britain in the aftermath of the
Roman withdrawal shows a steady regress of technology: no more centrally-heated homes, no paved roads, no Greek medicine or surgery. As the Empire
shrank, the civil and military technology on which it was founded decayed and Europe relapsed into barbarism. It was largely in the Middle East, where
the heart of the Roman Empire had lain in post-Constantinian times, that anything was preserved; that is why Renaissance Europe had to rediscover much
of the lost knowledge of Rome from Islamic sources.
On the flip side, one could argue that Roman culture also survived long after the fall of Rome, so much so that it could be said the last part
of the Roman Empire to fall was Gwynedd in 1284. It varied widely across the old Empire.
The Roman Empire ended with the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453.
To come onto your worries about the American "Empire", well, there is no such thing so I shouldn't worry about it's "collapse".
This is the statement that provoked me to respond to your post. Of course there is an American Empire! You live in it – as a 'proud Englishman', you
are one of its most favoured subjects.
America in the twentieth century discovered a new way to dominate the world. Rather than subduing other nations by force of arms, it has done so
through economic and cultural dominance, with the threat of overwhelming military force always in the background should the conquered prove unruly.
Within the American sphere of influence, which is truly global just as the British Empire was, no nation dares to do as it pleases if America pleases
otherwise. Who stopped the British and French, together with their Israeli allies, from marching into Egypt and seizing the Suez Canal? The
was the true finis
of the British Empire; since then,
Britain has been nothing but an American puppet in international affairs. If that touches a nerve in you as an Englishman, comfort yourself by
reflecting that the same goes for the
French, Germans, Japanese, Italians, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Belgians...
and yes, even the
...until wealth derived from that country's vast energy resources, plus a crumbling but terrifying nuclear arsenal, enabled it to shake off the
American yoke it briefly wore after the collapse of Communism in the 1980s.
America rules the world today, as it has since the end of the Second World War. Its empire will not be long-lived, unfortunately; empires held by
democracies never are, because of the glaring contradictions inherent in liberal self-government at home combined with coercive rule in the colonies.
Imperial Athens had much the same problems in the fourth century BCE
; read Thucydides and you will discover a wealth of similarities
between the Athenian decline then and that of America now.
It instead smacks quite a bit of American arrogance in thinking that the world will cease to be should the US "collapse".
Agreed. But shall we prognosticate a little? The American empire exists, and will soon collapse; the writing is quite clearly on the wall. See the
woes of Europe for what they really are; troubles similar to those experienced 1,600 years ago in Britain and Gaul when the Pax Romana
crumble. Since the 1970s, America has lost all the wars it has fought apart from Iraq and Grenada, and in the former it has clearly lost the peace. It
is over. China is not a contender for world empire; it is too insular and has too many other powerful opponents. We are on the threshold of a new Dark
Age, in which much of the world will relapse into barbarism or anarchy.
edit on 28/5/12 by Astyanax because: I got a date wrong. Twice.