The late Roman Empire and the United States

2:31 AM EST

Mr. Dionne seems to think that liberals vs. conservatives is a legitimate clash of honest ideas that results in some Hegelian goodness. Unfortunately, it isn’t. Politics is a criminal enterprise. It has been for many decades. Political issues are touted by our elected leaders as road signs to guide us on the path to righteousness. Hardly. They are quite simply fodder for the masses. A convenient way to divide and thereby “conquer” the clueless electorate. For the vast majority of those who make their living in politics, most notably those in Washington, it is nothing more than a path to personal riches. Our system is so completely dominated by moneyed interests there is no room for honest, decent people looking to improve things. In fact, when you enter politics, it is made clear that in order to succeed it is necessary to check your ethics at the door. You are admonished to follow the “rules” and above all else, make sure to meet or exceed your fundraising quotas. After all, it’s the money that matters.
Both Trump and Sanders are a small but interesting wake up call to all of us. People understand there is something about the system that is broken but aren’t sure exactly what. Hopefully we will come to understand that politics is not about representing the people but rather exploiting them. Perhaps that is worth considering the next time you are about to cast your vote for an incumbent.

First, some developments of the time, identified because they proved favorable to extortion and bribe-taking. They are the higher level of violence employed by government; the ambiguity of law; the greater number and intrusiveness of laws, as of government servants likewise; and the isolation of the emperor.


In [1988] 1990, Ramsay MacMullen, a distinguished Yale historian of Rome, published a book that took on one of the central questions of his field: Why did the greatest empire in the history of the world collapse in the 5th century? The root cause, he explained, was political corruption, which had become systemic in the late Roman Empire. What was once immoral became accepted as standard practice, and what was once illegal was celebrated as the new normal. Many decades from now, a historian looking at where America lost its way could use “This Town” as a primary source.


Our constitution does not copy the laws of neighbouring states; we are rather a pattern to others than imitators ourselves.
Its administration favours the many instead of the few; this is why it is called a democracy. If we look to the laws, they afford equal justice to all in their private differences; if no social standing, advancement in public life falls to reputation for capacity, class considerations not being allowed to interfere with merit; nor again does poverty bar the way, if a man is able to serve the state, he is not hindered by the obscurity of his condition. The freedom which we enjoy in our government extends also to our ordinary life. There, far from exercising a jealous surveillance over each other, we do not feel called upon to be angry with our neighbour for doing what he likes, or even to indulge in those injurious looks which cannot fail to be offensive, although they inflict no positive penalty. But all this ease in our private relations does not make us lawless as citizens. Against this fear is our chief safeguard, teaching us to obey the magistrates and the laws, particularly such as regard the protection of the injured, whether they are actually on the statute book, or belong to that code which, although unwritten, yet cannot be broken without acknowledged disgrace.

And Trump’s diagnosis of what is wrong with our politics — that the politicians are bought and paid for by special interests — is essentially correct. His supporters may disapprove of his extreme rhetoric, some of which is racially tinged, but still appreciate the fact that he is beholden to no one.

Where’s the beef?

Where’s the leadership?

Trump, like Reagan, is a major form with minor substance, the difference being, D. J. is the captain, not one of the crew…both are cultural icons.

Rubio: slacker – a self-seeking opportunist like Sarah Palin.

Cruz, like Obama, is a Harvard lawyer and a nominal American – televangelist.

Kasich: vice president.

Hill^Bill^ary is an instinctive liar and emminently corrupt – Col. Sanders, is out of touch with reality and an old fart…

Anyone with common sense can discern our country is in trouble.


There’s no leadership – Bush and Obama are flaming failures.

America is well on the road to Roman ruin…read and you will recognize the parallels because human nature has not changed.

Instructional Goal: Students will know the reasons for the fall of Rome and understand the implications of them as they pertain to modern times.

I. By 476 AD Germanic Invasions have totally destroyed the old Roman Empire in the west.

1. The Germanic tribes had been a constant source of pressure on the empire for centuries.

2. Many tribes had moved peacefully into the empire and had become citizens of Rome.

3. Britain was overrun by the Angles, Saxons and Jutes.

4. France, or Gaul, was overran by the Franks and Burgundians.

5. Spain was overthrown by the Vandals.

6. Italy was taken over by the Ostrogoths, Visigoths and Lombards.

II. While the Germanic invasions were the obvious causes for the fall of Rome, the underlying reasons were much more significant for historians.

III. The British historian, Gibbons, identified the primary reasons for the collapse in his “Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire”.

IV. Social Causes.

1. Slavery had weakened the moral fiber of the citizens and a large discontented mass of people had become disenfranchised.

2. There had been a decline in the traditional Roman citizenry.

3. Moral decay was evident as depicted in its literature, amusements, and lifestyles that often portrayed gratuitous sex and violence.

4. Patriotism declined as people lost their allegiance to the state.

5. Christianity challenged the traditional Roman character traits and caused people to neglect the state when they concentrated on personal salvation.

V. Economic Causes.

1. As productivity declined, the Roman empire became more dependent on foreign products.

2. A break-down in the labor force occurred as the traditional work ethic declined.

3. The infrastructure of the cities declined and began a steady decay.

4. A balance of trade deficit began to occur.

5. The cost of government, including the military and welfare, become burdensome.

6. Class economic warfare broke out between the rich and poor.

7. Parts of the empire were not taxed while others were overtaxed.

8. The small farm almost disappeared.

VI. Political Causes

1. The Romans never solved the problem of succession except during a brief period of time.

2 . The government of the empire was not designed to rule a large, polyglot empire and reform came to late.

3.The government became increasingly run by the rich and the military.

4. Citizens lost interest in government as it became distant from them.

5. The military became aloyal to the country–it became a job not a mission.

The man who seduced the 7th Fleet

6. Foreigners / foreign-born command military = Eric. S. and John S.

7. Debauched emperors = Clinton

8. Factory farms (Buckeye Egg) = large estates

9. Decline in literacy = crawlers (chirons)

10. Multi-national corps. lose loyalty to nation-state

11. Loss of control borders

Anyone with common sense can benefit from wisdom.

Courage is inseparable from wisdom


About Jerry Frey

Born 1953. Vietnam Veteran. Graduated Ohio State 1980. Have 5 published books. In the Woods Before Dawn; Grandpa's Gone; Longstreet's Assault; Pioneer of Salvation; Three Quarter Cadillac
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