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8 striking parallels between the U.S. and the Roman Empire

 
Anonymous Coward
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01/02/2013 05:21 PM
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8 striking parallels between the U.S. and the Roman Empire
[link to www.blacklistednews.com]

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.”


I think we all know what happened to the Roman Empire...
Anonymous Coward
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01/02/2013 05:24 PM
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Re: 8 striking parallels between the U.S. and the Roman Empire
When discussing USA decline with friends/acquaintances, I often (if not always) compare the Roman Empire.. I get blank looks.. People need wake up

Its all over but the crying and the zombies
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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01/02/2013 05:25 PM
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Re: 8 striking parallels between the U.S. and the Roman Empire
When discussing USA decline with friends/acquaintances, I often (if not always) compare the Roman Empire.. I get blank looks.. People need wake up

Its all over but the crying and the zombies
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 17552394


I've always thought there were similarities between the two, this site pretty much sums it up neatly.
Anonymous Coward
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01/02/2013 05:26 PM
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Re: 8 striking parallels between the U.S. and the Roman Empire
Many similarities with pre- WW2 Germany as well.
Anonymous Coward
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01/02/2013 05:30 PM
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Re: 8 striking parallels between the U.S. and the Roman Empire
They also finded those weird buildings of concrete in the mexican jungles.
Anonymous Coward
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01/02/2013 05:30 PM
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Re: 8 striking parallels between the U.S. and the Roman Empire
9. The proliferation of war bands at the empire's border with an increase of incursions, illegal activity and control of black markets.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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01/02/2013 05:32 PM
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Re: 8 striking parallels between the U.S. and the Roman Empire
9. The proliferation of war bands at the empire's border with an increase of incursions, illegal activity and control of black markets.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 30647034


Nice, would be great for people to include some of their own points.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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01/02/2013 05:32 PM
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Re: 8 striking parallels between the U.S. and the Roman Empire
bumpbumpbumpbumpbump
Anonymous Coward
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01/02/2013 05:36 PM
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Re: 8 striking parallels between the U.S. and the Roman Empire
9. The proliferation of war bands at the empire's border with an increase of incursions, illegal activity and control of black markets.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 30647034


Nice, would be great for people to include some of their own points.
 Quoting: Botanator


In 375 A.D it was the Visigoths and Vandals.

In 2013 it is __________ fill in the blank?
Moking-shit

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01/02/2013 06:14 PM
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Re: 8 striking parallels between the U.S. and the Roman Empire
And ad to this... that you can compare Egypt of the times of Moses with current day Europe... History is repeating itself...

Rome got destroyed by the Vandalusian and Egypt by the Wrath of God... And Moses led his people out of Egypt to the promised land.

Last Edited by Moking-shit on 01/02/2013 06:15 PM
Anonymous Coward
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01/02/2013 06:24 PM
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Re: 8 striking parallels between the U.S. and the Roman Empire
[link to www.blacklistednews.com]

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.”


I think we all know what happened to the Roman Empire...
 Quoting: Botanator


openly gay military
belle71

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01/02/2013 06:32 PM
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Re: 8 striking parallels between the U.S. and the Roman Empire
Many of my posts on topix I end with "Goodbye Rome"

Pre WWII Germany all over again as well.

Last Edited by belle71 on 01/02/2013 06:33 PM
belle71
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Re: 8 striking parallels between the U.S. and the Roman Empire
And ad to this... that you can compare Egypt of the times of Moses with current day Europe... History is repeating itself...

Rome got destroyed by the Vandalusian and Egypt by the Wrath of God... And Moses led his people out of Egypt to the promised land.
 Quoting: Moking-shit


And ad to this... that you can compare Egypt of the times of Moses with current day Europe... History is repeating itself...

Rome got destroyed by the Vandalusian and Egypt by the Wrath of God... And Moses led his people out of Egypt to the promised land.
 Quoting: Moking-shit


Yes, it repeats itself because of unregenerate man. It took four hundred years for the Amorites inequities to reach "fullness". Fullness signifies "friendly"....they'd made "friends" with their sin. When were the first colonies settled in America? Nearly four hundred years ago. Are we not coding sin into law? Our entertainment consists of violence and bloodshed on tv, crassness, lies, untruths....The epitome of becoming "friendly" with sin. Books and movies like the "Hunger Games" fuelling the acceptability of bloodlust like the days of the Roman circus.

News