It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


8 striking parallels between the U.S. and the Roman Empire - History Repeats Itself

page: 1
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

+101 more 
posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 12:59 PM

Firstly, welcome to a new year and with it, a fresh perspective on where we are going.


1 — Staggering Increase in the Cost of Elections, with Dubious Campaign Funding Sources: Our 2012 election reportedly cost $3 billion. All of it was raised from private sources – often creating the appearance, or the reality, that our leaders are beholden to special interest groups. During the late Roman Republic, elections became staggeringly expensive, with equally deplorable results. Caesar reportedly borrowed so heavily for one political campaign, he feared he would be ruined, if not elected.

2 — Politics as the Road to Personal Wealth: During the late Roman Republic period, one of the main roads to wealth was holding public office, and exploiting such positions to accumulate personal wealth. As Lessig notes: Congressman, Senators and their staffs leverage their government service to move to private sector positions – that pay three to ten times their government compensation. Given this financial arrangement, “Their focus is therefore not so much on the people who sent them to Washington. Their focus is instead on those who will make them rich.” (Republic Lost)

3 — Continuous War: A national state of security arises, distracting attention from domestic challenges with foreign wars. Similar to the late Roman Republic, the US – for the past 100 years — has either been fighting a war, recovering from a war, or preparing for a new war: WW I (1917-18), WW II (1941-1945), Cold War (1947-1991), Korean War (1950-1953), Vietnam (1953-1975), Gulf War (1990-1991), Afghanistan (2001-ongoing), and Iraq (2003-2011). And, this list is far from complete.

4 — Foreign Powers Lavish Money/Attention on the Republic’s Leaders: Foreign wars lead to growing influence, by foreign powers and interests, on the Republic’s political leaders — true for Rome and true for us. In the past century, foreign embassies, agents and lobbyists have proliferated in our nation’s capital. As one specific example: A foreign businessman donated $100 million to Bill Clinton‘s various activities. Clinton “opened doors” for him, and sometimes acted in ways contrary to stated American interests and foreign policy.

5 — Profits Made Overseas Shape the Republic’s Internal Policies: As the fortunes of Rome’s aristocracy increasingly derived from foreign lands, Roman policy was shaped to facilitate these fortunes. American billionaires and corporations increasingly influence our elections. In many cases, they are only nominally American – with interests not aligned with those of the American public. For example, Fox News is part of international media group News Corp., with over $30 billion in revenues worldwide. Is Fox News’ jingoism a product of News Corp.’s non-U.S. interests?

6 — Collapse of the Middle Class: In the period just before the Roman Republic’s fall, the Roman middle class was crushed — destroyed by cheap overseas slave labor. In our own day, we’ve witnessed rising income inequality, a stagnating middle class, and the loss of American jobs to overseas workers who are paid less and have fewer rights.

7 — Gerrymandering: Rome’s late Republic used various methods to reduce the power of common citizens. The GOP has so effectively gerrymandered Congressional districts that, even though House Republican candidates received only about 48 percent of the popular vote in the 2012 election — they ended up with the majority (53 percent) of the seats.

8 — Loss of the Spirit of Compromise: The Roman Republic, like ours, relied on a system of checks and balances. Compromise is needed for this type of system to function. In the end, the Roman Republic lost that spirit of compromise, with politics increasingly polarized between Optimates (the rich, entrenched elites) and Populares (the common people). Sound familiar? Compromise is in noticeably short supply in our own time also. For example, “There were more filibusters between 2009 and 2010 than there were in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s combined.”

I remember years ago there was a video showing how close the US was becoming like Nazy Germany prior to WWII.

I think that comparision was flawed, this one IMO makes far more sense. The US is the largest empire on the planet right now and it has been extending it's reach. Slowly but surely, removing it's ability to deal with issues at home in an attempt to solidify power outside it's borders.

What say you ATS?

Is America, without the proper intervention, on the road to ruin?

edit on 1/1/2013 by tothetenthpower because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 01:08 PM
Very well written and true associations. The Roman Empire fell from within. The US will fall from within also. People may argue that the Roman Empire did not fall from within but they are not researching all the evidence. People need to completely open their eyes, not just look at the finish line in history to predict what the future holds.
edit on 1-1-2013 by rickymouse because: (no reason given)

+25 more 
posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 01:16 PM
Make that 9. Sports and media.

...The Romans continued the practice, holding games roughly 10 to 12 times in an average year. Paid for by the emperor, the games were used to keep the poor and unemployed entertained and occupied. The emperor hoped to distract the poor from their poverty in the hopes that they would not revolt...


See also this

Ours may not be paid for by the emperor, but the effect is the same.
edit on 1/1/2013 by Klassified because: forgot text

posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 01:19 PM
On thing you forgot about the demise of the Roman Empire...

They poisoned themselves due to using Lead pipes and containers to carry water and wine.

Lead poison results in diminished mental capacity and insanity.

Lead in gasoline emissions springs to mind eh?
edit on 1-1-2013 by olaru12 because: (no reason given)

+20 more 
posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 01:24 PM
reply to post by Klassified

Yup, although I would suggest that Hollywood is the modern day incarnation of the games, not so much the Olympics.

They were around prior to the romans and were too infrequent to be considered real distraction.


posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 01:28 PM
reply to post by tothetenthpower

Happy New Year Tenth and to all. If I could leave myself open to a good
flaming later, the argument for an addenda to item 6 would be crushing
taxation funding most of the legislated and other nonsense. It's regularly
argued the taxes haven't been lighter on the middle class-- well hold on
to your hats when the monster programs kick in. And as an example of
how well the truly rich are insulated with shelters.. was that GE who didn't
pay a dime in taxes in 2010? And Soros' personal secretary paying more
than him in real dollars? Sign me up for that.
People seen to complain that 49% of us don't pay any income witholding...
maybe because of the present tax schedule we're TOO POOR to. As
Cicero said .., largesse from the public coffers" might not have been meant
as food stamps for more of us all the time who actually need them. I'd love
to have a decent paying job to make ends meet, instead of a supplemental
or complete dole out, but gee that'd make me somewhat self sufficient and
not as dependent as TPTB would prefer. Sorry about the rant..

posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 01:31 PM

Originally posted by tothetenthpower

I remember years ago there was a video showing how close the US was becoming like Nazy Germany prior to WWII.

Excellent post, thanks.

I'm not sure if this is the one you're thinking of, but there is a great documentary on this very subject called "The End of America."

You can check it out here:

posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 01:34 PM
First..........Happy New Year!!

Second, I do believe that Road Rome built, has traveled this way. Sad.

When Romans abandoned self-responsibility and self-reliance, and began to vote themselves benefits, to use government to rob Peter and pay Paul, to put their hands into other people’s pockets, to envy and covet the productive and their wealth, their fate was sealed.

As Dr. Howard E. Kershner puts it, "When a self-governing people confer upon their government the power to take from some and give to others, the process will not stop until the last bone of the last taxpayer is picked bare." The legalized plunder of the Roman Welfare State was undoubtedly sanctioned by people who wished to do good. But as Henry David Thoreau wrote, "If I knew for certain that a man was coming to my house to do me good, I would run for my life." Another person coined the phrase, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." Nothing but evil can come from a society bent upon coercion, the confiscation of property, and the degradation of the productive.

The Fall of Rome and Modern Parallels


posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 01:36 PM
reply to post by iwilliam

Can't watch teh video in my area, but it was this one I was referring to:

+3 more 
posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 01:37 PM
america is not like the roman empire it is an offshoot of the roman empire.

london, england was founded by rome. it brought with it "democracy", civilization, infrastructure, government and military.

fast forward about 1700 years and you get this roman colony offshoot jump to the new world.

this offshoot became the united states of america.

and now the roman empire is at it's highest it has ever been.

each manifestation, eliminates what failed and keeps what works. but at it's essence it is still the same, and is still capable of the same atrocities, i.e. iraq.

it will spread until it consumes it's latest victims and moves on to more fertile grounds were it can prosper, like an octopus spreading it's tentacles.

americans think they can tame this beast. history is littered with people who thought the same.

edit on 1-1-2013 by randomname because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 01:40 PM
You should be comparing the British Empire and not the Roman.
The British Empire began to shrink because of the debts they owed to the US after WW II.
The Roman Empire only covered 04.36% of The Earths land mass. The British Empire covered 22.63%

posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 01:58 PM
History teaches that all empires eventually fall.
Why should ours be different?
The paralells are telling.
edit on 1/1/2013 by lonegurkha because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 02:54 PM

Originally posted by tothetenthpower
reply to post by Klassified

Yup, although I would suggest that Hollywood is the modern day incarnation of the games, not so much the Olympics.

They were around prior to the romans and were too infrequent to be considered real distraction.


My original post was, of course, in a thread regarding the Olympics. In this case, I was absolutely thinking of Hollywood, and professional sports, such as football, baseball, hockey, and so on.

Not that you needed a 9th. The first 8 were more than enough to prove your point. S&F sir.

posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 02:56 PM
reply to post by tothetenthpower

History doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes?

Something about the guage of rail road tracks and the Roman chariot...


The Colosseum or stadium, the Senate, Capital dome. Of course we are an Empire. The worst yet. Bigger than all the ones preceding it, combined.

And the bigger they are...

posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 03:08 PM
reply to post by Klassified

Oh it's 100% valid and the confusing and lies told my our media entertainment complex should certainly fit the bill as #9!


posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 03:08 PM
There is some controversy as to whether or not Tyler actually authored this, but nevertheless it fits our national situation today so closely as to be scary.

Alexander Fraser Tyler, Cycle Of Democracy (1770)

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury.

From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over lousy fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.

The average of the world's great civilizations before they decline has been 200 years. These nations have progressed in this sequence:

From bondage to spiritual faith

from faith to great courage

from courage to liberty

from liberty to abundance

from abundance to selfishness

from selfishness to Complacency

from complacency to apathy

from apathy to dependency

from dependency back again to bondage.

posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 03:20 PM
reply to post by tothetenthpower

What say you ATS?

I say spot on, although we were set on the road to ruin from the very beginning.


" ... These violent partisans are for having the people gulp down the gilded pill blindfolded, whole, and without any qualification whatever. These consist generally, of the NOBLE order of C[incinnatu]s, holders of public securities, men of great wealth and expectations of public office, B[an]k[er]s and L[aw]y[er]s: these with their train of dependents form the Aristocratick combination. The Lawyers in particular, keep up an incessant declamation for its adoption; like greedy gudgeons they long to satiate their voracious stomachs with the golden bait. The numerous tribunals to be erected by the new plan of consolidated empire, will find employment for ten times their present numbers; these are the LOAVES AND FISHES for which they hunger.

Antifederalist No. 18-20 WHAT DOES HISTORY TEACH? (PART 1)

It is beyond a doubt that the new federal constitution, if adopted, will in a great measure destroy, if it does not totally annihilate, the separate governments of the several states. We shall, in effect, become one great republic. Every measure of any importance will be continental. What will be the consequence of this? One thing is evident-that no republic of so great magnitude ever did or ever can exist. But a few years elapsed, from the time in which ancient Rome extended her dominions beyond the bounds of Italy, until the downfall of her republic. And all political writers agree, that a republican government can exist only in a narrow territory. But a confederacy of different republics has, in many instances, existed and flourished for a long time together.

posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 03:50 PM
Moviedom is not all dumb when it comes to Empires. The world outside and inside Hollywood has given us some Gems which enlighten our minds about the dangers...

Scene from Fritz Lang's 1927 Cult Classic "Metropolis" --rescored

A receipt for your Husband... from "Brazil" (not the original movie title)

"Castle Keep"... War in any century.

posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 04:26 PM
Don't forget this 1936 British SciFi classic, "Things to Come", starring Raymond Massey. The inspiration for the Paul McCartney "Wings" band and initial album cover came from this movie and the group of people in the movie who called themselves "Wings Over the World".

posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 06:58 PM

Originally posted by happykat39
Don't forget this 1936 British SciFi classic, "Things to Come", starring Raymond Massey. The inspiration for the Paul McCartney "Wings" band and initial album cover came from this movie and the group of people in the movie who called themselves "Wings Over the World".

Very interesting connection. Can you please tell me where you got this info?

I googled something like "wings mccartney 'things to come' " and the only relevant link I noticed was this:

Which does seem to have a speculative tone.

Also-- to which album are you referring? Wikipedia says their first album was "Wild Life" and the cover depicts the band in a stream, so I'm confused. Interestingly, the link I gave above also mentions the album cover thing. Elaboration would be appreciated.


edit on 1-1-2013 by iwilliam because: (no reason given)

edit on 1-1-2013 by iwilliam because: (no reason given)

<<   2  3  4 >>

log in