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Post Reply 8 striking parallels between the U.S. and the Roman Empire!
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Posted 4/16/16
Lawrence Lessig’s Republic Lost documents the corrosive effect of money on our political process. Lessig persuasively makes the case that we are witnessing the loss of our republican form of government, as politicians increasingly represent those who fund their campaigns, rather than our citizens.

Anthony Everitt’s Rise of Rome is fascinating history and a great read. It tells the story of ancient Rome, from its founding (circa 750 BCE) to the fall of the Roman Republic (circa 45 BCE).

When read together, striking parallels emerge — between our failings and the failings that destroyed the Roman Republic. As with Rome just before the Republic’s fall, America has seen:

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.”

As Benjamin Franklin observed, we have a Republic — but only if we can keep it.
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Posted 4/16/16
Does that mean US are...

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Posted 4/16/16
Murcia! these can parallel more than one nation. The systematic governing style of the Roman Empire remains in multiple countries in certain ways(considering it's global impact), and I wouldn't be so happy about having such similarities in terms of economics, distribution and Politics. After all, some those were indirectly contributing to its fall.
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Posted 4/16/16 , edited 4/18/16
Well, Major Powers usually stay Major for about 250 years. We are nearing that. I've long said that no matter which side you look, Democrat or Republican, there is no such thing as "Making us Great Again" or "Keeping America Great". We need to be focused on grooming a successor. Looks to be China right now. Simply put, it would be best to take the Britain route of losing World Power status than taking the Rome route.
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Posted 4/16/16 , edited 4/23/16
Posted 4/17/16 , edited 4/17/16
Will the USA empire also fall?
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Posted 4/17/16

LaughedAtByTheGods wrote:

Will the USA empire also fall?


lmao, it's not an "Empire" , and the way it's going right now, it most likely won't anytime soon.
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Posted 4/17/16

ShittyRestaurant wrote:


LaughedAtByTheGods wrote:

Will the USA empire also fall?


lmao, it's not an "Empire" , and the way it's going right now, it most likely won't anytime soon.

Yes it is an Empire. Due to our technical conquest of the Native American Tribes, we are an Empire. An Empire is a Country which conquers and forcefully assimilates, eliminates, enslaves, or simply puts down other populations. So we are technically an Empire. And yes we will fall. Simply put, no Country can rule forever.
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Posted 4/17/16



Oh that's boring. Basic Plagerism without a source. Booooo.

Posted 4/17/16
Superbowl = Gladiators arena
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Posted 4/17/16

LaughedAtByTheGods wrote:

Superbowl = Gladiators arena


Heh I've brought up that comparison before. At the end of the day it's a sport, but put everyone in the audience in Togas and it looks remarkably similar, especially since Gladiators didn't always just fight. Entertainment for the masses and all that.

So y'all know, I love this discussion. A year away from my History Major (Switched from Physics), and I love talking about stuff like this. History repeats.
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Posted 4/17/16 , edited 4/17/16
England during the 18th and 19th century believed it was the Roman Empire, and bragged about it. To any colonist or East Indian that would listen.
Of course, it also helped that England was formed on ancient Roman rule, and knew what they were talking about.

Unlike delusional image-obsessed fanboys who bend everyone's ear about their fantasy worlds based on gaijin anime nobody ever saw.
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Posted 4/17/16

JanusCascade wrote:

Does that mean US are...



considering the US can't get its financial systems to help the poor survive and people goto college (college itself is way to pricy over in the US) and the healthcare system there is a joke.

Nope......not even close to surperior or the best
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Posted 4/17/16 , edited 4/17/16

nukemind wrote:


ShittyRestaurant wrote:


LaughedAtByTheGods wrote:

Will the USA empire also fall?


lmao, it's not an "Empire" , and the way it's going right now, it most likely won't anytime soon.

Yes it is an Empire. Due to our technical conquest of the Native American Tribes, we are an Empire. An Empire is a Country which conquers and forcefully assimilates, eliminates, enslaves, or simply puts down other populations. So we are technically an Empire. And yes we will fall. Simply put, no Country can rule forever.


"an extensive group of states or countries under a single supreme authority, formerly especially an emperor or empress."

Native tribes aren't considered countries, they didn't even know how big america was let alone rule over and have authority of it as a supreme republic/AE. Some of the land belonged to people, but it was by no means a country. Plus U.S does not(lmao currently at least, ignoring WW2)have any imperial desires, sure we occupied countries but we surrendered most of them with only territories.You may be right, at one point, it would perfectly fit the characteristics of an empire, but we no longer are.

And I said "Anytime soon", nothing lasts forever.
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Posted 4/17/16 , edited 4/17/16
For all the talk about how Rome fell, we might do well to remember that the Roman Empire lasted for around 500 years, preceded by the Roman Republic by another 500 years. Very few are those who can count them so lucky among countries. USA is still in the ring though and the bell tolled the end of the first round, just try keep yourself on your feet for another 4...
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