HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Good Reads (Forum) » Is Our Republic Ending? 8...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:07 PM

 

Is Our Republic Ending? 8 Striking Parallels Between the Fall of Rome and U.S.

http://www.alternet.org/economy/our-republic-ending-8-striking-parallels-between-fall-rome-and-us

1 -- Staggering Increase in the Cost of Elections, with Dubious Campaign Funding Sources:
2 -- Politics as the Road to Personal Wealth:
3 -- Continuous War: A national state of security arises, distracting attention from domestic challenges with foreign wars.
4 -- Foreign Powers Lavish Money/Attention on the Republic's Leaders:
5 -- Profits Made Overseas Shape the Republic's Internal Policies:
6 -- Collapse of the Middle Class:
7 -- Gerrymandering:
8 -- Loss of the Spirit of Compromise:

7 replies, 1334 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 7 replies Author Time Post
Reply Is Our Republic Ending? 8 Striking Parallels Between the Fall of Rome and U.S. (Original post)
just1voice Dec 2012 OP
Warpy Dec 2012 #1
yurbud Dec 2012 #2
Diclotican Dec 2012 #3
Democrats_win Dec 2012 #4
modrepub Dec 2012 #5
Politicub Dec 2012 #6
Odin2005 Dec 2012 #7

Response to just1voice (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:25 PM

1. We have no barbarian hordes at the gates to save us from our

upper class's corruption, so the parallel breaks down there.

However, we're going the way of every senescent empire, only we're doing it in far less time than it took most of them.

The only question to be answered is whether we cede Empire gracefully or have it wrested from us by the rest of the planet in a cataclysmic war.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to just1voice (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 05:00 PM

2. a small quibble: haven't the already wealthy always played a role in our politics?

what seems to have changed is we now have the wealthy themselves running instead of using meat puppets, and fairly nakedly pursuing their own economic self-interests.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to just1voice (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 10:07 PM

3. just1voice

just1voice

If you want to put a parallels between Ancient Rome and the US, I would say it resemble the end of the Republic - and the start of imperial Rome, where in the last 100 year before the Republic was kind of on its death bed, mighty politicians and mighty families was fighting for supremacy at all cost.. And it all ended in a civil war, where unknown numbers of people was killed, before the civil wars dust was settled - and Octavian, the late Octavian Augustus got the upper hand at Atticum - and was able to resolve the case of the civil war - and also made the Republic a Monarchy in disquise...

Hopefully your republic wil not go the same way as the old republican rome - at least americans of today can LEARN from their past - from Imperial Rome - if they shoose to..

But hey - the Imperial Rome existed for more than 400 years, and the Republic itself started 500 year before that - and if you add the Byzantine empire into the game, more than 1800 years in all....

Diclotican

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to just1voice (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 08:15 PM

4. Conservatives in the 1970s made the same comparison.

That doesn't mean this list isn't striking, it's just ironic that conservatives took what they saw as a mess and turned it into a different mess that's lead us even closer to the fall of the U.S. empire.

I can remember so distinctly those crazy conservatives of the 70s making the comparison. You betcha, they even had TV ads (maybe even their own book written int he 1970s). The popularity of this comparison comes from an old, yet famous six-volume text, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire written by English historian Edward Gibbon from 1776 to 1789.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_History_of_the_Decline_and_Fall_of_the_Roman_Empire

Many of the conservative's complaints from the 70s have literally been turned on their head to the point that it's the conservatives' abuses and weakening of America that is now leading us to decline--as this list demonstrates!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to just1voice (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 10:39 PM

5. What is it with dying empires that fascinates us?

Why are we so fixated on falling empires and relating them to the present day? I'm as guilty of it as much as the next person being a big fan of 5th and 6th century Roman history. There really is no comparison and to be honest with you most of the upper classes (like 2% of the population) at the time of the "Fall" of the Roman Empire didn't notice much of a difference in their fortunes because most of the "Barbarians" did their best to imitate Roman administration.

Before one bemoans the "fall" of the American Empire we should take stock of what we have. More people participate in the government than did at the time of our nation's founding (remember women and slaves did not vote). In general people live longer, eat better and are infinitely better educated than when the founders established the United States. Not to dismiss our problems but we've always managed to pull through hard times like the multiple depressions we experienced after the civil war.

It's the ability to adapt and accept change that makes any country or people able to survive and sometimes thrive. When we loose this ability, and we don't want to change then that's when we will not carry on (but someone else will).

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to modrepub (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 11:52 PM

6. Thanks for the moment of sanity

The op sounded like something from Seth or Nostradamus.

I agree with you - more people have representation in government than ever before. That's got to count for something. And there's something to be said for how our founding documents enable groups to claim their civil rights.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to just1voice (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 09:05 AM

7. I have made comparisons with the late Roman Republic a lot.

The Teabaggers are like the Optimate party, obstructing any reform that goes against aristocratic privilege.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread