Rome v. America: when nations die

Julius Caesar said if you offer bread and entertainment, you can do anything.
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It is said that those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. While listening to the details about Congress’ latest financial deal, along with all the hype regarding the Newtown tragedies, several similarities between ancient Rome and these United States came to mind. I then decided to do a little research into the reasons Rome fell – thinking that the similarities between the gladiator games and our violent entertainment, along with our out-of-touch bureaucrats and Rome’s notoriously out-of-touch Senate would take center stage. I was not prepared for what I found. The list of similarities nearly knocked me off of my chair.

St. Peter's Square, Vatican City (within Rome)

St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City. Wide-angle view. Photo: Francois Milan. CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported License

The debate about all the issues that lead to the collapse of Rome is still going on and probably will be for some time. The truth is that there were many issues that contributed to the fall of Rome. The ones listed below are the ones that most historians agree with and the ones that bear disturbing similarities to conditions in America today. Read them and weep – or get mad and do something to change the road we’re on. Everett Hale once said: “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, I should do and, with the help of God, I will do!”

Table: Parallels between ancient Rome and modern America

Factors that contributed to the fall of Rome

Similar factors that exist in America today

Antagonism between the Senate and the Emperor Antagonism between the President and Congress, as well as between our two major Parties
Economic factors included:

  • Trade deficits
  • Inflation
  • Poor management by government
  • Poor leadership in government
Economic factors include:

  • Trade deficits
  • Inflation
  • Poor management by government
  • Poor leadership in government
Decline in morals – especially in the rich upper class. Decline in morals – especially within the entertainment and sports industries.
Political corruption was rampant Political corruption is rampant
Constant Wars Constant Wars
High unemployment within the working class, resulting in increasing dependency on government Rising unemployment within the working class, resulting in increasing dependency on government programs.
High cost of the “Dole” which was government supplied bread and entertainment for the non-working poor. High cost of government dole, including food stamps, Medicaid, extended unemployment insurance and other government entitlement programs.
Unrestricted trade agreements with foreign nations, resulting in Roman citizens not being able to compete with foreign trade. Free trade agreements that have resulted in loss of American jobs, since Americans cannot compete with foreign low wages.
Class warfare between the rich and the poor. Government inspired class warfare between the rich and the poor.
Increased government subsidies enabled citizens to live comfortably without working. Increased government entitlements allow citizens to live comfortably without working.
The mob and the cost of games – the roman government provided circuses for the unemployed. Government now supplies cell phones and many perks for those living below the poverty line.
Decline in ethics and values – the decline in Roman ethics and values is well-known and needs no further explanation America has experienced a decline in ethics and values that cannot be argued and needs no further explanation.
Decline in morals led to the destruction of families. It was not common to have two parent households. Decline in morals is leading to the destruction of families. It is now common to have single parent households.
Barbarian Invasion For America, this can be considered to be Islamic terrorists.
Expansion of government – Ralph Martin Novak, author of “Christianity and the Roman Empire,” stated:“…whereas at the start of the third century A.D. the Roman emperors employed only about 300 to 350 full-time individuals in administering the Empire, by 300 A.D. this number had grown to some 30,000 or 35,000 people.” Expansion of government. It has been said that today you will work for the government one way or another.
High taxes were instituted to fund growing government and its programs. High taxes are being instituted to fund growing government and its programs.
Government ceased being the servant of the people and became its nanny. The Nanny State is increasing exponentially.
Practices of infanticide were justified and legal. Abortion is justified and legal.
Gladiator games, chariot races, and forms of violence were considered entertaining. Violent games of all kinds are considered entertaining.
Paganism and religious tolerance ruled – except for Christianity. Religious tolerance rules – except for Christianity.
Decline of the military and reduced incentives to join, including lack of respectable leadership. Attempts to disrespect and underfund the military have thankfully been unsuccessful.
Citizenship granted to foreigners Amnesty and disregard for immigration laws.
Romans became globalists instead of nationalists. Americans are encouraged to become globalists, abandoning patriotism.
Decline in education, which had previously been conducted privately within homes. Prosperous Roman families began to hire Greeks to teach their children. The Greeks taught humanistic and godless philosophies. Decline in education by government-run schools. Our government-run schools teach secular humanism and evolution, which portends that supernatural creation did not occur.

Resources:

http://ancienthistory.about.com/cs/romefallarticles/a/fallofrome_3.htm

http://www.roman-colosseum.info/roman-empire/reason-why-the-roman-empire-fell.htm

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/column.php?n=1907