Rome vs Current Society - Parallels

Posted by  $  blarman 1 month ago to Culture
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Spot on. The only thing remaining to be seen is whether or not we learn from Rome and take steps to prevent our fall. With a debt of $23 Trillion and moral degradation everywhere, I'd say we have a tough uphill climb if we're going to survive...
SOURCE URL: https://www.dailysignal.com/2019/05/20/the-similarities-between-declining-rome-and-the-modern-us/?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiWlRjd01EWmhOamN6T0dSbSIsInQiOiJvbUR2MllmVXlCaDVvN3duaEg4NUZNTVhLQXV2alJSbERJUHIyMjdnd1wvMVRTQk92c3llOTRnamZGdmVKdCs1a21BdDczRWkybVlyd29xMGk1NUhzc2Fha0s4bkdtR3ZVdVlHQ3labVQwWUt2ZkJOY0ZaTGJ1dVZPb0gxclF2M2kifQ%3D%3D


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  • Posted by Lucky 1 month ago
    Over 2,000 years ago, Cicero said:
    The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work instead of living on public assistance.
    Marcus Tullius Cicero Roman orator, politician, statesman.

    One of my favorite quotes from Cicero is:
    If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter

    I suspect these translations are far from literal.

    Rome managed to avoid racism and religious bigotry -tho' they insisted on open and empty minded tolerance in all their territories, eg. you can have any god you want but you worship all of ours as well.

    Emperors came from all over, Dacia, Britain, Africa, Iberia.. The military was the usual path and crass aggressive violent characters were the norm. There was a time when external threats were low, but military adventures became internal.
    The system of government was undoubtedly good, but the type of path to to the top led to psychopaths getting there, there was no philosophy on limiting government.
    The history of Rome has some good lessons for today, but on which part of history and how to learn from it, opinions differ.

    Books have been written about 'the Decline and Fall of Rome'.
    I will throw in another explanation - Climate Change! Severe cold weather to the north and east drove desperate starving tribes south and west. Earlier, a strong military and economy could have resisted, but as the article said, the culture and economy were weak, and the military was dominated by competing gangs.

    blarman- thanks for giving me an opening for a lecture!
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  • Posted by  $  25n56il4 1 month ago
    It's going to take all of us helping to get this wagon across the prairie! One horse alone won't make it. We have a good Leader in Trump but he needs a lot of help and your voices are your weapons.
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  • Posted by  $  mminnick 1 month ago
    There are many parallels. there are also many differences. The entire package (parallels and differences) must be considered in their entirety.
    One of the biggest differences is The lack of mobility of the classes. By that I mean the lack of movement from the lower classes to the higher . It was extremely difficult, nearly impossible, for a poor person to move up in Roman society. the only was to go to the provinces and amass a fortune there, outside of Rome, and then return. You wore then looked upas a rich but not of the higher classes. the stigma of low class birth was essentially permanent with in Roman society.

    +1
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    • Posted by  $  1 month ago
      There was another way to move up in Roman society: join the military. Once you had served a tour of duty (assuming you survived of course) you were automatically granted full Roman citizenship. If you became a Centurion or better, you basically could then draw military retirement pay the rest of your life.
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      • Posted by  $  mminnick 1 month ago
        In some respects the U.S. has the same policy. Immegrants (not holding U.S. Citizenship) may serve in the military and successful completion on enlistment tour shortens the wait time and (it used to, not sure about now) fully qualifies you for Citizenship.
        (Not sure if this option is still available or not. I know it brought in a lot of good people.)
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  • Posted by lrshultis 1 month ago
    http://www.peikoff.com/lr/home.htm

    I prefer Peikoff's Ominous Parallels for the way a non class structured country, as the USA, can and probably will destroy itself intellectually. Many conservatives will not like the ideas in the book, just as many do not like Rand's books.
    Rome did have some parallels with the US but they were of a minor level compared to today's anti-rationalism being taught in schools, churches, clubs, press, etc. A nation cannot survive when even the most intelligent have caved to believing nonsense.
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  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 1 month ago
    Ah...but because the ruless culture refuses to abide by history, they are doomed to make the same mistakes over and over again.

    Seems just as plausible that we are vulnerable to the cycles of universe, just as in Noah's time and every 12 years before and going forward until conscious man rules the roost.
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  • Posted by  $  25n56il4 1 month ago
    If the Democrats block our efforts to lift the debt ceiling we won't have to worry about our measly $23T vs China's $40T debt. We will all be filling our pantries against something worse than the Great Depression my parents as teenagers suffered through. I heard stories of 14 women cooking for their families by sharing food to make stew!
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  • Posted by  $  allosaur 1 month ago
    We've all heard it said that learning from history is the way not to repeat the mistakes of the past.
    But who teaches what passes for "history" these days when its being taught at all?
    Wonder what passed for "history" in Rome around 60 AD.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 1 month ago
    This comparison has been drawn so many times for good reason.

    The solution to problems of decadence, though, cannot and should not be solved by de-industrializing and going back to an agrarian economy.

    As a modern "citizen of the world", I do wish people who want a provincial existence could have their own country. Borrowing from the characteristics in the article:
    Region A could have trading, scheming, investment, academic research, porn, transgenderism, delayed marriage, lower fertility rates, wealth, fear of aging, materialism, fancy clothes, exotic food, pluralism, multiculturalism, urbanism, cosmotpolitianism, multilingualism.
    Region B could have shopkeepers, legionaries, simple/sturdy down-to earth folks, parochialism, traditions, customs, noble and unique agrarianism, nationalism, patriotism, unity, traditional marriage, higher fertility, unambiguous education, staying one place, working with hands, postponing gratification.

    This split alone would not stop the decadence. The same factors that lead to corruption, debt, and so one would continue. But at least public discourse wouldn’t stupidly debate these things. It would benefit both regions because Region B wouldn’t have to use as much force to make people live traditional lives. The freaks of Region B could just head to Region A and be accepted. The price would be putting up with all the good and bad that comes from living in a wealth pluralistic society.
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    • Posted by  $  1 month ago
      Self-segregation would solve all the problems, I agree. Because people would be forced to face their bad decisions and or reap the rewards of their good decisions. The problem we have in today's world is that a minority of people can pretty much wreck things for everyone else.
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      • Posted by CircuitGuy 1 month ago
        I live solidly in Region A, but when I travel in Region B I'm amazed at how strangers still come together and help one another in little ways. I rarely see people take advantage of the situation. I think that's why the world is getting more prosperous and free.
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  • Posted by  $  exceller 1 month ago
    "The only thing remaining to be seen is whether or not we learn from Rome and take steps to prevent our fall."

    Blair, you are fully aware that we never learn. No society ever learned from past mistakes in humankind's history. Not that I know of, but would be happy to consider examples if there are any.

    The reason is politics. Politicians are not mindful of history. They have an attention span of 10 min. The result is decline, moving from the productive to the unproductive, and chaotic... (first law of Thermodynamics, enthalpy).

    This idea of drawing parallels between the ancient Roman empire and the US pops up every decade or so, with the same conclusion that decline is inevitable.

    It probably is but the US is not the only entity subjected to it.

    It is a global phenomenon. With the world increasingly connected through economic, trade, social and financial ties, it is not possible for the US to change the tide singlehandedly, although we play a substantial role.

    I think the clash is increasingly between global and national interests. The only course of action for the latter is to stay the course and don't yield an inch.
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    • Posted by  $  1 month ago
      I think we as individuals learn. The challenge is that individuals die and their learning and experience go with them. That leaves the next generation to learn the same things. Any learning obtained by experience, however, can't be passed down to the next generation, so ego and ignorance tend to relegate that wisdom to the dust heap of the ages - and more's the pity because if we learned from others' experiences (i.e. history) we wouldn't have to repeat the same mistakes umpteen times throughout history.

      Ah, the arrogance of man...
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      • Posted by  $  exceller 1 month ago
        Yes, and many other aspects.

        After I posted to your entry, I was thinking that the relevance of past history as a base for learning is not a good way of being prepared for the future.

        Yes, there is the wise slogan that those who don't know history will repeat it. But we repeat it even if we know it because history is only one of the components in the equation We do not have all the variables.

        History is a good teacher to present patterns of critical thinking however, provides no tools for implementation.

        Take the example of Germany. After WW2 the Germans were ruthlessly brainwashed to the extent that now they have no self defense mechanism left. Predictably, they are now steadily marching toward self destruction by inviting a totally alien culture to their homeland that is gradually destroying them and in the absence of any sane defense and survival instinct, they will become history.

        But they learned the lesson well, didn't they?

        Regarding your point of learning on the individual level: that is the only way of learning. But for the individual to effectively use that knowledge he/she must be a force on the national level, which comes from parents teaching their children and not to delegate that responsibility to the schools.

        Also we should not forget that applying knowledge learned form history one on one to current times is the worst thing that can be done. Circumstances change and it takes a high level of intelligence how to project from the past and what course of action should be taken.
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        • Posted by  $  1 month ago
          "the relevance of past history as a base for learning is not a good way of being prepared for the future... We do not have all the variables."

          I don't believe that the missing variables are important because that which needs to be taught are the proper principles of a healthy society. The principle of freedom wasn't any different in 1776 than it is in 2019. The principle of personal responsibility was no different from 400 AD to modern times. Teach principles and allow people to apply the principles to their challenges and things will be fine. I believe our biggest problem is in not teaching the proper principles in the first place.

          "which comes from parents teaching their children and not to delegate that responsibility to the schools."

          With which I agree wholeheartedly. Parents must be engaged personally in the education of their children. Of course, that also presupposes that the parents are both there and themselves both examples of the principles to be taught. There is no more poignant instructor than the hypocrite!

          "Also we should not forget that applying knowledge learned form history one on one to current times is the worst thing that can be done. Circumstances change and it takes a high level of intelligence how to project from the past and what course of action should be taken."

          Again - only if one thinks in terms of implementation rather than principle. If you start with principles, the implementation can be flexible to the situation. It won't matter if it is a Hitler, Stalin, Nero, Che, Ghengis Khan, Karl Marx, or any other tyrant: the principles of individual freedom and natural rights properly applied will relegate such an one to the sidenotes of obscurity rather than place them on the headlines of history.
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          • Posted by  $  exceller 1 month ago
            "Teach principles and allow people to apply the principles to their challenges"

            That is exactly what I am implying. I doubt that people in general are capable of applying those principles to current times.

            "If you start with principles, the implementation can be flexible to the situation."

            It did not work on the national level for Germans. Applying principles to situations is more challenging than thought. Perhaps in addition to teaching principles people also should be thought of the means of implementation to changed conditions.
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            • Posted by  $  1 month ago
              "I doubt that people in general are capable of applying those principles to current times." "Applying principles to situations is more challenging than thought."

              They certainly can't apply what they haven't been taught. But what is the alternative to choice? Tyranny. That is what comes from a fatalistic outcome: the overreaching arm of government because people can't be trusted to make their own decisions.
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              • Posted by  $  exceller 1 month ago
                I agree with you and I am not advising to sit back and do nothing.

                But that is what a large swath of the population resorts to and "trusts" the propaganda they are being fed.

                We know why the left is hell bent to keep masses in the dark. It is a herculean task to lift them out of ignorance. It is impossible not only for the sheer effort but their unwillingness to left themselves out. Live on handouts in the state of a Neanderthal, that is their ultimate heaven.

                It is also counterproductive for the left: a population capable of thinking and making decisions would never go for the self destructive "plans" they are pushing.
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                • Posted by  $  1 month ago
                  "It is a herculean task to lift them out of ignorance."

                  Only if one looks at it from an aggregate perspective. I think we get despondent because we think we need to change the entire world at once. It's really hard to admit that it went downhill one person at a time and that one person at a time is how we're going to have to fix it. Take it one person at a time. This is one of the reasons whole and intact family units are so important: the education of the next generation.

                  Learning is power. Information is power. It always has been and always will be.
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                  • Posted by  $  exceller 1 month ago
                    Well, I do not want to sound pessimistic because pessimism is a negative concept and never led to anything productive.

                    Yes, there is such as thing as lifting a population, or an entire nation out of subservience.

                    You may take the Central European countries as examples. During communism they were bludgeoned into slavery, sustaining themselves on propaganda that the majority did not align with.

                    Then came the change in the 1990s. I saw interviews with people on the street as they were asked what do they do to change their lives? Most answers came back as: "What can I do? I am not in the position to change the system".

                    But they changed thanks to leaders who encouraged and facilitated the conversion to a new path. These countries are now constantly being attacked and vilified as they dare to challenge the push of the globalist left to "join" on the suicidal path they want to implement.

                    So yes, it is possible. But it takes a leader like Trump or Orban in Hungary to make it happen. The power of the individual can manifest on the national level only if there is a positive unifying force behind it.
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