America has never been an empire. We may be the only great power in history that had the chance, and refused – preferring greatness to power and justice to glory
George W. Bush
By Timothy Alexander Guzman
Source: Silent Crow News
America is the modern-day Rome. There are many lessons from the collapse of the Roman empire that America can learn from. The fiasco of Trump supporters and various agitators from the Democratic Party who charged into the US capital building to prevent Joe Biden’s stolen election win from getting certified is the latest sign of America’s societal collapse. The comparisons between the Roman Republic that became an empire, to America’s rise as a global super power is uncanny. On various levels from its endless wars for world domination to the creation of a domestic police state, in many ways, America fits the criteria of being an empire. Historical research suggests that Rome’s rise and their eventual downfall is the most accurate scenario that America is following.
Rome’s downfall was caused by a long chain of events. It had severe financial problems that was caused by their ongoing wars so they overtaxed its citizenry causing inflation, thus allowing many to escape tax authorities into the countryside. Then in the second century, there was a labor deficit when Rome’s expansion slowed down due to a shortage of imported slave labor they usually brought back from the lands they conquered resulting in the decline of agriculture and essential commercial production which had an impact on trade. Rome had rampant corruption and political instability with internal coups of sitting emperors carried out by the Praetorian Guard who were the bodyguards to the sitting emperor as they used their power to decide who would be emperor and who would be removed and sometimes even murdered for political reasons. All sounds similar to the Military-Industrial Complex and its power it holds within the American establishment. There was even a civil war within Rome around the third century when the emperor at the time, Alexander Severus had been assassinated by his own troops while at a meeting with his military cabinet so that Maximus Thrax can become the next Roman emperor. On a global scale, Rome had launched many wars against Britannia (England/Wales), Gaul (France), Hispania (Spain), Achaea (Greece), Judea (Middle East) and others as its army eventually faltered in the face of its perceived enemies which were many. Rome eventually collapsed under its own weight. After the fall of Rome, several major empires throughout history were born including Great Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, the Ottomans and others that followed the same path and all of them eventually collapsed.
Wars for Empire
Washington has committed numerous actions around the world to spread it’s form of democracy through wars of aggression, regime change, covert operations to interfere in foreign elections and economic warfare by using its dollar reserve status to impose sanctions on nations to maintain its global empire. The US military has troops stationed in more than 80 countries with proactive wars in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq. Now they have their sights on the oil-rich country of Venezuela and Iran. For sure, Washington is getting ready to re-adjust its sights on Syria and Russia if Biden is successfully inaugurated on January 20th. Today, the American empire has one of the largest military budgets in the world that has surpassed the next 10 countries combined. Trump’s signed a defense bill worth more than $738 billion for 2020. Rome also had an expensive military budget where emperors raised taxes that lead to inflation which put a strain on its economy.
Since World War II, the American citizenry became more patriotic especially during the Cold War against communism. Like America, Rome’s citizenry was also patriotic but it came with a price of high-taxation to fund Rome’s military adventures around the world. An interesting article from Smithsonian magazine ‘Lessons in the Decline of Democracy From the Ruined Roman Republic’ by Jason Daley explained how Rome became a hegemonic power, but it came with their share of consequences. Daley said that “the Roman people’s strong sense of patriotism was unique in the Mediterranean world. Like the United States after World War II, Rome, after winning the Second Punic War in 201 B.C. (the one with Hannibal and the elephants), became the world’s hegemon” and that “it lead to a massive increase in their military spending, a baby boom, and gave rise to a class of super-wealthy elites that were able to use their money to influence politics and push their own agendas” which sounds like what’s happening in Washington D.C. today. Wars of conquest and maintaining an army to defend its borders due to barbarian attacks put pressure on the Roman bureaucracy so it increased taxes on the people.
Washington always manages to find enough funds to support its Military-Industrial Complex and its continuous wars of destruction. They manage to bail out the billionaires, its American corporations and institutions through the Federal Reserve bank’s printing press who basically creates money out of thin air. The Federal Reserve and the government then puts the burden on the American people by raising taxes and creating inflation to support America’s wars abroad while poverty is increasing at home. Military spending was a priority for Rome who disregarded public housing for its citizens or abandoned the maintenance and upkeep of its crumbling roads and aqueducts as the ‘super-wealthy elites’ became more influential in politics. In America, there is crumbling infrastructure problem where airports, bridges, roads and subways such as the New York City mass transit system is practically falling apart.
As time went by, the citizens of Rome had lost faith in their government as the social and economic impact of being a hegemonic power became problematic so many chose not to defend the empire due to government mismanagement of resources. What is interesting is that Rome recruited solders from what was called “unemployed city mobs” or even foreigners who were looking for ways to earn money even if it meant going to war and risking their lives. Similarly, in America, there has been a “poverty draft”, meaning the military either drafted people up to the time of the Vietnam war or they recruited people from mostly impoverished neighborhoods while promising them a world of benefits and bonuses which most never do receive. The wealthy elites almost never join the US military as they recruit men from poor or middle class backgrounds and newly arrived immigrants with promises of citizenship and other benefits for them and their families if of course they come back home in one piece. There have been cases of immigrants who fought in U.S. wars abroad were still deported back to their countries of origin.
The Economics of Empire
During Rome’s last days, farming was literally done with forced slave labor on large estates called latifundia’s owned by ultra rich landowners. The average farmer in Rome had to pay workers, so they could not compete. Farmers could not produce the goods as cheaply and more efficiently as the rich landowners so they had to sell their farms and lay-off their workers creating massive unemployment levels because there were no jobs left. High levels of crime and corruption also took hold in Rome. Rome had depended on humans and animals for labor intensive purposes, but failed to find or even create new technologies to produce new goods efficiently.
In America, the automotive industry was once competitive, but today they cannot compete with Germany, Japan, South Korea and others who produce better quality cars. The closure of manufacturing companies that produced goods and services have been shipped to other countries including China, Indonesia and others has impacted the middle class who depended on those jobs have joined the ranks of the unemployed. With Washington’s thirst for war, high levels of unemployment and poverty are increasing across the nation where cities and towns are going bankrupt and breadlines are becoming the norm. Investments in crucial industries and reducing government taxes on small businesses and manufacturers will give American companies an opportunity to produce better products, to create jobs and to compete economically. But like Rome, America is interested in war and conquest, not in producing quality products such as televisions, appliances and cars it needs to compete internationally with the exception of its high tech companies such as Apple, Microsoft and others.
As the Federal Reserve Bank continues to print money to support the powers that be and give peanuts to the masses, they will cause inflation. The dollar will lose its value. Rome famously clipped coins adding less value to its purchasing power for its population causing inflationary prices in food and other necessities.
History Is Repeating Itself
Past empires usually destroyed themselves from within followed by fighting endless wars and imposing economic policies that impoverished its people leading to social and moral decay. In Rome, alcoholism was a major problem, America has an opioid problem killing tens of thousands of people annually since the problem began. Before the opioids crisis, they (America) had a heroin and crack epidemics that destroyed many communities.
Empires past and present should be thrown into the dustbins of history. Peace and prosperity with respect to cultural and political differences should be the norm between all nations, but the global elites or the world order is the problem. Rome collapsed due to its foreign and domestic wars that eventually lead to its social and moral decline while it slowly destroyed its own economy are the same policies that are pursued by Washington today.
The social turmoil between Democrat and Republican cultists in America will lead to some form of civil war coupled with a fragile economy followed by the consequences of the of Covid-19 lockdowns that will have a guaranteed policy of endless money printing no matter who sits at the White House. All will have a devastating impact on the American people for decades to come. There will also be a coming war on any of the following countries including Syria, Lebanon (Hezbollah) that will set the stage for a possible devastating wider war with Iran, Russia and China reflects on the reality that America resembles the Roman empire who chose the same path of self-destruction.