A Modern Fall of Rome?


      What do Sodom, Pompeii, Rome, Greece, Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, and countless other ancient empires have in common? Each were immensely strong nations that conquered large areas and influenced history in countless ways. Each were what we would today deem as “superpowers.” Each gained extreme wealth, and began to live in luxury and vice. And yet, out of all of them, not one stands strong today; what history remembers them most for is their collapses.
      The Roman Empire is perhaps the most well documented of the ancient nations. Numerous Roman historians recorded insights into the way Romans lived. We know that in the decades preceding the fall of Rome, a few things happened. Agriculture in the areas surrounding Rome began to decline. This not only shrank the food supply, but fed an already bad unemployment problem. Reportedly, at least a hundred thousand people were being fed imported grain by the government. To do so, they raised taxes for those that were still working, and used less gold in new coins, but declared them of the same value- what we would now call inflation.
      An incredible amount of money was put into sports, in the form of the fights in the Colosseum. Both the wealthy and the poor attended the frequent “games” that essentially amounted to the slaughter of many lives. The people were quite distracted by the entertainment, and many were content to receive their food for no work, all because of the “generosity” of the Emperor. The Roman people lost the vigilant watchfulness they had once had. The barbarians to the north began encroaching on Roman land, but even more terrible was the Romans’ ignorance of the terrible corruption much closer to home.
      From year 186 to 286, 25 of 37 emperors were removed from office by assassination. Backstabbing, lying, and deceit were commonplace. However, terrible morals weren’t exclusive to the Roman government. Crime was rampant. The use of foul language was frequent. It is recorded that there was at one point over thirty thousand prostitutes within the walls of Rome. The virtue of the people was compromised. Without virtue and vigilance, it was only a matter of time before the Roman Empire crumbled.
      The men who wrote the Constitution studied the great nations of the past. They identified the causes of previous nations’ falls that I have just shared. James Madison firmly believed that America would be able to be different. He believed that if America headed too far down the path towards destruction, the virtuous and vigilant people of the states would rise up and call for a change. So far, we haven’t done so: We are falling into the exact same patterns our predecessors fell into. Sports, while not inherently bad, are distracting us in the same way they distracted the Romans. Many people could rattle off the names of dozens of football or basketball players, and yet don’t know their representatives in Congress. People are content to simply sit at home, receive a check from the government for simply existing, and wallow in self-pity for their lack of wealth. Sounds like the Romans and their free grain, huh? There is undeniably corruption in the government, and this can be attributed to our lack of vigilance.
      Even more concerning is our lack of virtue. It is an uncomfortable topic, but it is impossible to make change without addressing the true issues. It’s impossible to go to a supermarket without hearing vulgar language. Most terribly, the use of pornography has swept the population. We cannot expect to live in such moral filth and remain free. In innumerous ways, our liberty is slowly being taken away, just as it was from the Romans. The collapse of our beautiful country is imminent if we don’t change our course. History is repeating itself again. A lot more could be said on our flaws as a society, but it is sufficient to say that history is repeating itself. We are making the same mistakes as the Romans. If we don’t learn from their mistakes, a modern day fall of Rome can and will happen.
      James Madison believed that we could break that fatal cycle history has been shown to follow. I, too, believe that we can. It remains to be seen if we will.


2 thoughts on “A Modern Fall of Rome?

  1. Damian McKay Earl ll

    Whoever wrote this is a fantastic writer. I would like to interject on how to fix the “sports” issue: Why are people so informed on the subject of sports? why are they so illiterate with regards to national and international geopolitical atmosphere? Because people’s daily lives are comfortable, peaceful, and for the vast majority of the time, uninterrupted by the government.

    From my view, the only way to get people informed and interested in a personal way with regards to the political movements is to bring said movements into their lives. You make the people suffer and feel the brunt of the nation. Then they will wake up.

    I would also like to interject that only the people in the capitol of Rome attended the gruesome sports. Not the entire Empire.

    Another reason for the leviathan of an empire to collapse is for the fact that there were many different civil wars, and the Gauls, Visigoths, and other Barbarians realized how weak the mistress of the Mediterranean was. Those were just as crucial as the fact that the nation had no morals; I am convinced it never did have morals-at least none of its decisions.


    1. Satio

      Thanks for the comments Damian, I appreciate it! It’s nice to see people’s thoughts on this subject.
      I don’t think it is necessary to “make people suffer” in order fir them to wake up. Being educated is the first and most important step, which is the purpose of these articles.
      The Constitution ensures freedom if it is followed closely, and the result of moving away from it is less liberty, but seemingly more wealth. The issue doesn’t actually lie specifically in sports; sports can be and are great. I used that specific example because its easily understood as parallel to the Roman Empire. The actual problem is the constant distraction from much more real and pertinent issues, which comes in many forms.
      Additionally, thanks for pointing out the barbarians. While of course they had a large impact on the destruction of the Empire, my intention in the article was to show that the barbarians could have never effectively moved against the Romans if they hadn’t been torn apart from the inside first. The United States will similarly never be “blown down” by the winds of other nations unless we completely destroy the core of the tree.
      Again, thank you for your comments, and have a wonderful day!


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