American Empire – Is the World on the brink of the new Dark Age?
It is interesting how certain things just come together at one point in time. As I already mentioned it is really depressing for me to see that the majority of searches that land on the blog are “hate Russians” and “why Russians hate America”. This really made me think that I should go back and maybe rewrite some things to explain more clearly the point of view of 80%+ of Russian population in regards to expansion of NATO and general American politics in the last 20 years.
The comparison that came to my mind was that of Germanic and Gaelic tribes that experienced Roman expansion when it was at the peak of its power. Think about it. A large and powerful country comes your way and tries to impose the influence on the premise that it is “more advanced” and “a core of the civilized world”. Naturally the powerful country doesn’t give a damn about the “barbarian” countries that it tries to subjugate as they are inherently unworthy of their independence.
The first article that I’ve hit in google while searching for “roman invasion” http://www.britainexpress.com/History/Roman_invasion.htm caught me by surprise. I just couldn’t believe how close it reflects methods used by USA. Here are a few quotes.
“The Pretext. In 43 A.D. Claudius became Emperor of Rome. Needing a public relations coup to secure his tenuous position (nothing ever changes in politics, does it?) he decided to revive the dream of expanding the Empire to the British Isles. The pretext was conveniently provided by Caratacus, king of the Catavellauni tribe. Caratacus invaded the territories of the Atrebates, whose king, Verica, fled to Rome and appealed for help. Claudius was quite happy to respond. “
Replace the name of the rulers and countries (and the age) and it is exactly what Bush administration was doing for the last couple of decades.
“Client Kingdoms. The Romans followed the formula in Britain that had been so successful elsewhere; rather than try to conquer with force, they established “client kingdoms” on the borders of territory they directly controlled. Basically this meant that certain Celtic tribes, in return for not being overrun, agreed to ally themselves to Rome. Treaties with tribes in the north and in East Anglia created buffers on the frontiers while the process of mopping up resistance continued.
Is client kingdoms not exactly what USA was creating throughout the world over the last few decades? To Russians at least this is exactly what NATO’s expansion is all about.
“Dealing with the druids. Part of this mopping up took the form of eradicating the Druids. By the standards of their time the Romans could be tolerant of the religions of the peoples they conquered. However, the Druids represented not just a religious hierarchy, but real political and administrative authority among the Celts. And to give the Romans their due, they seem to have been genuinely horrified by what they considered the grisly and uncivilized practices of the Druids.”
The Romans were big on the benefits of the civilization they were bringing to the people they conquered. They saw themselves as on a mission to expand the Empire and bring the Roman way of life to all the poor souls bereft of its benefits. Curiously, this is the same attitude later employed by those who built the British Empire.”
I am not a supporter of Islamism, but it wouldn’t be that much of a threat if not for the latest political decisions. But anyway, the point here is the strong belief of the Romans and Americans that their system is actually making it better for other people. Now, don’t take me wrong, I am not saying that the system itself is evil, just that whoever is on top is always going to be in the win while the others will only get marginal benefits depending on how close they stand to the leader. And just think about the bigger picture here. This is written about Roman Empire! 2000+ years later USA politics is in many ways follows the same methods.
Here is another site: http://www.romans-in-britain.org.uk/his_roman_invasion.htm
The factors that Claudius took into account before the planned third invasion
- Rome had, up to this point, enjoyed useful political and trading relationships which they wanted to keep alive. – And so did USA
- Trade with was bringing in a good income, especially for the wine growers, the pottery factories and merchandise in general. – Replace trade items with Oil
- The Spanish silver mines, for which Rome depended to produce raw materials for the manufacture of it’s currency were running low. Shafts had to be dug deeper. This meant that less material was available and with deeper mines, the time and cost factor rose sharply. – ahem… Oil and resources again
- Information arrived from Rome that extensive surface deposits of argentiferous lead ore (galena) had been found in the South West region of Britain – umm… more Oil…
- This invasion would enable Claudius to deflect attention from his political battles with the Senate of Rome – internal economic issues in USA. Retarded Bush administration
- Iron was also available throughout Britain, which could be used to repair ships damaged in the invasions of 55 and 54 BC. – more Oil still
And here is something to ponder about.
“Taking these lands was a titanic struggle for the Romans. Over the next 200 years, the effort of holding onto these lands would be much harder…….”
I was expecting to find some similarity, but this in my eyes went far beyond that. So I went further trying to look for more and found this paper: http://www.roman-empire.net/articles/article-018.html. Mind you, this was before the Wall Street Meltdown happened… Now although I don’t have any illusions about the political agenda of US the last thing I would want to see is for USA to go down in flames. I think it will be a major stroke to the world as we know it and with global warming and all other issues the last thing we need now is more chaos and more violence. And this is exactly why this paper got me really worried.
It doesn’t take a genius to find parallels here:
” Roman advances were strengthened by the settlement of farmers on confiscated territory and a prudent treatment of conquered neighbours minimised the difficulties and dangers. Occasionally, subject communities were admitted to Roman citizenship. “
The only difference between Americans and Romans here is that America is using multinational corporations instead of farmers. Everything else matches quite well.
“The fundamental basis of ancient economic activity was significantly undermined but the system of exploitation was too well established now for it to be abolished. Perhaps if the institution of slavery had been challenged much earlier on then things would have been different but unfortunately even the most enlightened philosophers of the Republic seemed to support it.”
Current economic crisis in US has been predicted for more than decade now, but no one did anything to prevent it for very similar reasons.
“They were against any form of economic improvement which threatened their power and so their actions tended to maintain senatorial authority but at the huge price of economic retardation.”
I guess this is true for any system in similar situation.
“The need to create new markets was one of the factors that lead to the continued drive for expansion. The lack of good communications lead to industry increasingly moving out to the peripheries to be closer to their markets. The growing need to find fresh supplies of slaves was also a factor that contributed to the shifting of industry to the peripheral areas such as Gaul where was a better supply. Backward areas such as these therefore gained what Rome had lost, a surrounding area inhabited by peasants. This process of decentralisation was also linked to the lack of technology within the Empire. In modern industry the effective use of technology reduces overheads significantly but there was not really a tendency to do this in the Roman Empire. Increasing slave concentrations did not reduce the overheads and therefore there was no incentive to carry on developing old centres as it was more profitable to move to new areas under this system.”
The reasons might be different but the results are the same. Most of American manufacture has been outsourced to Asia leaving only financial institutions, IT and farming etc. Leaving behind this http://www.white-history.com/hwrdet.htm
“Under Trajan the empire reached it furthest extension but because of the weaknesses within the empire, its resources were pushed to breaking point. The empire found itself in a catch-22 situation in which there no solution to the problem. On the one hand there was the ever growing need to expand and on the other the ever diminishing capacity to carry it through. If the empire continued to expand it would have been disastrous but if it stopped then there would still be the problem of the lack of a deep internal market. The expansion of the empire only brought greater extension, not greater depth. This was not a progressive forward-looking policy, it was an essentially blind process When Hadrian came to power he stopped this policy of relentless expansionism but by this time it was too late”
I am not saying this is the case. But it may be… It feels like all these “Resource wars” that USA is waging in order to stay on top of the world actually weaken it more. Could that be already too late now?
“Alongside this growth of the large estates was the shrinkage of the towns and a decline in the quality and extent of ancient civilisation. The cities began to wither away and urbanisation slowed down as the empire became more and more based around a decentralised structure. Politically the implications of decentralisation were very damaging as it lead to situation of widespread political autarky among the peripheries and therefore, political decomposition thus weakening the political centre. It meant that Rome gradually ceased to be Rome. Being spread out to the borders of a vast empire enfeebled it and Italy therefore surrendered its pride of place to the provinces and the peripheries.”
Do you know what the situation is with literacy in USA now-days? Have a look here:http://www.edu-cyberpg.com/Literacy/stats.asp and here http://www.igesl.org/Read%20&%20Lead%20workshop%20resources/Literacy%20Statistics.doc
People believe in creationism and trying to push it in school. Majority of white colar workers are immigrants from Europe and Asia.
“Despite the considerable contraction of the population and resources this was not accompanied by a corresponding reduction in the price of imperial administration. The maintenance costs of the empire were huge and continued to expand all the time. Taxes had to be collected, frontiers defended; the empire had to be policed and the imperial post had to maintained. The upholding of the Roman standard of culture meant huge amounts had to be spent to provide an adequate supply of the amenities that were considered essential to the full life or a Roman citizen…
… Seneca estimated that it cost Rome five million dollars a year to import its luxuries from the east. Another area in which Rome spent huge amounts of money was the army. An important implication of the Roman peace was that the army changed its economic role. Whereas previously it had been an important source of plunder it was now mainly used as a peaceful garrison force. The army became an economic liability, as there were more than 400,000 mouths to feed and nothing for them to do. Of course, even in peace the army was essential to the security of the empire but the cost of it more than doubled between 96 and 180 AD. The empire was over-spending by epic proportions yet the economic structure meant that nothing could be done to counter-act this.”
Does that ring the bell? I am telling you it is scary how close it comes to what we have now!
“The over-consumption and pampering of the Roman citizens during the imperial period also created other problems. It has often been suggested that the increasingly materialistic and greedy lifestyles that many Romans lead began to affect them ‘spiritually’ and intellectually. A sense of futility seemed to be permeating society. The Roman ‘spirit’ which had conquered the world was becoming increasingly lethargic. During the “pax romana” it seemed that peace, comfort and security took priority above political freedom and trying to solve the problems which were blighting their civilisation. Many historians mention the change in racial stock as a reason for this. Others say that plague and malaria were also possible causes. One suspects that the real reason was the ‘disease of materialism’ or the ‘affluent society’. We need not look solely to Rome for this tendency, it is happening in the west today. The price that western society seems to be paying for the considerable wealth and comfort of most of its inhabitants is a corresponding rise in apathy, complacency and unreflective consumerism/indulgence. The modern industrialised west seems to share several of the characteristics which predominated during the “golden era” of the Roman Empire. The growing sense of negativity exists now and then, as does the obsession with violence (blood-sports in Rome, Hollywood films and video games now), sex, and indulgences. Another interesting parallel is the growth of oriental religions which appeared in Rome in an attempt to fill the spiritual vacuum and the growth of new-ageism now. The increasing popularity of mystical religions is also a sign of the influence which the lower classes were increasingly having on the upper classes and therefore represented a sort of “barbarisation” of culture.
I don’t think a comment is needed here. This says it all.
So, the rhetorical question is: Are we about to hit another Dark Age? Islam is on the rise, West is divided, USA is fighting “war for Oil” while slowly loosing in Afghanistan and sinking into a Stock Market black hole. Russia is being alienated and made into a scare crow. And you just wait for the fight for Arctic resources to start. Now that will make it even more crazy. Will Pax America hold to this pressure? Will the world hold? I sincerely hope so…