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

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posted on Jan, 2 2013 @ 09:21 PM
People have been drawing likenesses to empire states and the U.S. for years and years. This is nothing new.

Although it's good that it comes to light every so often because many people go about their day with their glossy eyes never realizing what they are actually a part of. I was lucky enough to attend a speech some years ago in college about how the U.S. has become an empire and the speaker was very good. I think his name was Michael Parenti, or something..

Anyway, his whole point was that there is ONE defining feature of every well known empire in history: they ALL fall.

Dun dun dun. Only a matter of time.

posted on Jan, 2 2013 @ 09:44 PM
Great Thread.

I have long been interested in the history of the world and how it relates to here and now and think theres a lot to be learnt from the fall of the Roman Empire so much so that I looked into studying it in the UK. We have quite a legacy really, one in particular thats not too important but just what happened in Canterbury where I want to live one day. The Romans just left, like the US from Vietnam or Iraq. Court buildings became farmers barns. They really did leave us and it had a massive impact, order just vanished and we entered what is known as the dark ages.

However, thats something else. The main reason for my post is to bring reference to the concept of Complexity. I watched this You Tube video and became convinced that OUR modern world will collapse, not just the US, but all modern constructs, mainly because of complexity.

Complexity is all about the amount of effort we have to put in to get something worthwhile out. Its a very doomsday type video BUT its very academic and convincing.

Essentially the Roman Empire was too complex. By the end they had far too many civil servantrs and laws and taxes and had compromised on so much inflation that they just fell apart. Obviously the video says it better than me, but whilst the OPs points are valid, they are all symptons of complexity.

Just look at your house, you NEED electricity, telecoms, water, post, and all sorts of complex structures just to attach you to the real world. Each system is becoming more and more involved.

Lookl at the car. We used to walk everywhere, now we need a car, but cars are not as simple as they were, they need people to make them, to service them, tyo make parts for them. I know it might sound daft, but what if someone forgot to make any more spark plugs? That wont happen, BUT its a reasonable argument because we cant just fix cars now. You need specialist tools to take proprietry parts out. 50 years ago you had one set of spanners. In England they went from Imperial to metric, in the US you still have Imperial, but now you have alan keys, hex keys, star keys and all sorts of fasteners that having all the right tools is a 'complex' accomplishment. Further, you need CO2 monitors, spectrographic monitors, computer interfacing tools for microchip carburation setting. In short its so complex that mechanics cant do their job. Its fair enough to say we can teach them, BUT ther point is, not everyone wants to be a mechanic, and the people with the brains to do so choose to be rock stars or movie stars, and we end up with no car mechanics and no sewerage attendents and none of the basic skills to manage our ever increasing complex society.

Just look how Chicago is going.

I dont think that its fair to say the US is like Rome persay. I think there are higher concerns, such as complexity.

The video details how society has grown from one invention to the next. The agricultural revolution, the industrial revolution, the internet, but each new step is becoming more and more difficult to get to. The video from memory states that all the low hanging fruit has gone. I was reading Nortons History of Modern Europe today and it reffers to how Galileo revolutionised astonomy by using a brand new invention, the telescope. One man, and he 'reported' on the equivelent of the scientific journals of the time that the moon had surface features and WASNT LIGHTER THAN AIR as aristotle had described. The point is, that was an easy leap forward, we could all have done that research if we had a telescope. But what can one man do now? Nothing, its too complex. You need entire department laboratories working on very small single steps forward. You cant work on DNA in your greenhouse or gardenshed.

The point is that the amount of effort required to get to the next step is going top be not worth ther results and no one is going to pay for it.

Personally I think of of the issues of Rome and complexity as the course of its fall in the same way I do my own encroaching senality.

As a person I live a complex life. I get up, check my email, read some forums, pay bills, do some work, tend the garden. If I had kids id take them to school, fix the car, shop etc etc. As I get older, I cant do so much. Getting up and making coffe is all I can be bothered to do. I dont check my mail until later as its to complicated. It might sound odd (and im not actually that senile) but some of the things we take for granted become more difficult. We fail to do it all. Eventually we cant even go to the toilet, we do it in our pants.

To conclude, all im saying is that I think the issue of complexity makes it easier to understand why Western society will collapse like Rome. Hope that makes sense. It makes sense to me.

posted on Jan, 2 2013 @ 10:30 PM
reply to post by tothetenthpower

Excellent thread! Some have noted some smaller similarities, over the years, and warned that, were we not careful, we could fall like they did. Seems those were right. At this stage, it's hard to imagine a change that could preserve the nation.

posted on Jan, 2 2013 @ 11:10 PM
reply to post by tothetenthpower

It's an easy comparison to make, but without the context of the modern world...not a fair one.

Unlike Rome, the US has many it's in a different setting. Also, unlike Rome, the US has maintained a relatively small "empire", whereas Rome simply got too big to be governed by the same ideals, with so many different peoples. There are parallels, but it's our differences that will keep us from "falling".

posted on Jan, 2 2013 @ 11:12 PM
reply to post by Gazrok

I don't know if I agree with that.

Rome had less competition because they steam rolled anybody who stood in their way.

Considering the foreign aid and military bases in 50 different countries around the world. The occupation of at least 2 middle eastern nations and the largest military budget in the world...

Sure things are different than they were then and the details certainly make a difference, but the US is falling into the " too big for it's own britches" trap that Rome did.

IMO ofcourse.

edit on 1/2/2013 by tothetenthpower because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 2 2013 @ 11:24 PM
it very nice post

posted on Jan, 2 2013 @ 11:25 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.


Could be, but then I think about Halo Black Ops, World of Warcraft, Assassin’s Creed III, Skyrim etc...
That would take care of the Circuses now the bread? Food Stamps lol

posted on Jan, 2 2013 @ 11:29 PM
reply to post by RedmoonMWC

The gaming industry is flooded with hollywood execs, advertisers etc..

Notice product placement in games these days?? I do.

Major studios are nothing but glorified hollywood film makers.


posted on Jan, 2 2013 @ 11:43 PM
reply to post by tothetenthpower

I was refering to bread and circuses (panis et circenses), another similarity of the U.S. to Rome.
and yes I do notice the product placements in movies.

posted on Jan, 2 2013 @ 11:44 PM
reply to post by RedmoonMWC

Ohh yes, I'm sory I didn't catch that.

Great comparison.

posted on Jan, 2 2013 @ 11:51 PM

I love ATS and the member dialog here. However, can someone point me to a solutions thread somewhere?
We have no problem identifying these deep complex issues and comparisons, yet when it comes to solutions, its definitely the ATS Achilles heal. Is it too damming to post solutions here knowing that there are prying eyes afoot?
Do we all just sit back and watch it happen? Is it better off failing and if so, can we stomach the last phase of crumbling empire? Do we all become preppers? Do we swap our passports? Do we sit around on Wallstreet until the bankers chase us off ? What? What do we do?

posted on Jan, 2 2013 @ 11:59 PM
reply to post by oldmeatwad

Cannot recruit on ATS
Organize locally

posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 12:09 AM
Roman Empire is typical of all Empires, America is not an empire in the old fashion term, much of America's dominance as the worlds number 1 power comes not from direct conflict, invasion or settlement on every bit of land across the planet, but through economic control through central bank, wars by proxy and sheer threat of military action by a country whose military bill is that of the next 49 countries in the top 50 list combined. As I have said, no single country can stand up to America and because of a fantastic global strategy of military and economic pressence, even entire continents would struggle in direct conflict with America.

However, its the military bill that sends America in to the realm of all empires, the cost of a global pressence. The Roman Empire had it, Britain had it and America has it.

There is no one solution, the fall of the Roman Empire was not simply down to one factor and should America fall, it will not be down to one factor. However, the corruption and decay of government where self interest is the agenda of all, society's desire to obtain material wealth and a decline in persuit of knowledge and discovery in an age of convenience, a lazy general population, an ever increasing mind set of low work ethic, high reward and an isolated lifestyle of individuals, families, communities while resources strain can all contribute to the fall of a country.

Britain, in my mind, has always been typical of an old empire in the state of self destruction and in my mind, Britain could well fall before America in terms of a total collapse of social order. America is still America, Britain is more like a UN refugee camp.

As I have said before, we as individuals need to change or we cannot expect anyone else to change, let alone an entire nation. Be the change that you want to see, but never be naive.

posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 02:06 AM
I was under the impression that the United States was and still is registered in France to the vatican.

The United States of America is done away with by the president who was responsible for registering the United States in France.
edit on 3-1-2013 by fireyaguns because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 02:12 AM
From another article about Rome's Optimates:

"The optimates ("Best Men," singular optimas; also known as boni, "Good Men") were the traditionalist majority of the late Roman Republic. They wished to limit the power of the popular assemblies and the Tribunes of the Plebs (elected officials), and to extend the power of the Senate, which was viewed as more dedicated to the interests of the aristocrats who held the reins of power. In particular, they were concerned with the rise of individual generals who, backed by the tribunate (elected officials), the assemblies and their own soldiers, could shift power from the Senate and aristocracy. They were opposed by the populares."

"Many members of this faction were so classified because they used the backing of the aristocracy and the senate to achieve personal goals, not necessarily because they favored the aristocracy over the lower classes. Similarly, the populares did not necessarily champion the lower classes, but often used their support to achieve personal goals."


..does sound familiar.
edit on 3-1-2013 by nOraKat because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 02:29 AM

Originally posted by oldmeatwad

I love ATS and the member dialog here. However, can someone point me to a solutions thread somewhere?
We have no problem identifying these deep complex issues and comparisons, yet when it comes to solutions, its definitely the ATS Achilles heal. Is it too damming to post solutions here knowing that there are prying eyes afoot?
Do we all just sit back and watch it happen? Is it better off failing and if so, can we stomach the last phase of crumbling empire? Do we all become preppers? Do we swap our passports? Do we sit around on Wallstreet until the bankers chase us off ? What? What do we do?

Personally in this instance I dont want a solution. I want the evil tyrants that rule our world to collapse with their policeforces and social controls.

From the Fall Of Rome Site

The end came, rather anti-climactically, in 476, when the German chieftain, Odovacer, pushed aside the Roman emperor and made himself the new authority. Some say that Rome fell because of the attack by these tribes. But such a claim overlooks what the Romans had done to themselves. When the Vandals, Goths, Huns and others reached Rome, many citizens actually welcomed them in the belief that anything was better than their own tax collectors and regulators. I think it is accurate to say that Rome committed suicide. First she lost her freedom, then she lost her life. Read more:

I would welcome the fall of the UK. So much so that today I was thinking of ways to encourage the Dutch to invade us as they did in 1688.

see Glorius Revolution

The book im reading, Nortons History Of Modern Europe says something like, from memory, The Dutch were not asked to invade England, just to come over with 50000 troops and help restore freedom from evil tyrants, or words to that effect. They were not stopped.

From Wikipedia:

So Russel put the Prince to explain himself what he intended to do. The Prince answered, that, if he was invited by some men of the best interest, and the most valued in the nation, who should both in their own name, and in the name of others who trusted them, invite him to come and rescue the nation and the religion, he believed he could be ready by the end of September to come over.

I think you Americans are too proud to envisage your country being run by someone else. Well, im not. Id rather be ruled by the Dutch. Or while were at it, the Polynesians or Arabs. I dont care.

Its the same as Rome. Taxes are so high and yet people dont stir from their slumber. Houses cost more than people earn in their lifetime and their still going up. Inflation is rampant. I have always said, we would have revolted years ago but the Government disarmed us.

So in short, im not laying solutions on the table.

I live for the day when govt agents are ashamed to walk the streets because their names are mud and everyone despises them.

A bloodless revolution is not impossible. But pretty unlikely. Which is why im doing what I can to leave.

Heres a picture of the Dutch conquering England, the greatest day in our history. To bad they went home again.

edit on 3-1-2013 by brookster18 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 02:46 AM

Originally posted by daaskapital
The definition of Empire is:

An empire is a state with politico-military dominion of populations who are culturally and ethnically distinct from the imperial (ruling) ethnic group and its culture

In this sense, the USA is a pretty poor excuse for an Empire..

I think whats very unique in our case is that the USA is not an empire, like in the sense of - we are here, and you are there.

The USA is run by a multinational conglomerate of individuals which include individuals from Europe, the UK and other places; probably with multiple residences.

It is not an encapsulated 'national' entity.

posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 08:32 AM

Originally posted by tothetenthpower
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?


Dear Tenth,
Nice post and interesting subject matter. S&F for that. The above quote though irks me. The US is not the largest empire, never has been, and I highly doubt it ever will be.

1an extensive group of states or countries ruled over by a single monarch, an oligarchy, or a sovereign state:
[in names]:
the Roman Empire
[mass noun] supreme political power over several countries when exercised by a single authority:
he encouraged the Greeks in their dream of empire in Asia Minor
2an extensive sphere of activity controlled by one person or group:
the kitchen had once been the school dinner ladies' empire
a large commercial organization owned or controlled by one person or group:
her business empire grew

I understand what you're trying to say, but I think the terminology used is wrong and when you compare the Roman, Napoleonic, British, Alexandrian etc.. Empires to the United States of America, well I can only really chuckle. I am confident that you weren't actually making that kind of comparison, I would hope not anyway!

Regarding the subject matter, there are some similarities and yes the US is doomed. I think we all are in the West.


posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 12:49 PM

Originally posted by olaru12

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.

You mean, like fluoridated water?

Flouride in water has been proven to 'dumb people down' in several tests.

Makes you wonder, doesn't it?

posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 02:57 PM
reply to post by tothetenthpower

When money and currency are the only tools being employed to create community, invariably community will crumble because newer tools were available that those holding the 'rights' to the old tools refused to allow use of because it requires them to think 'out of the box' on how they can dominate with it.

Time Travel. Alternate Reality travel. It's while you'll never have anything. And why society has to descend to chaos.

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