A ROMAN RANT

While I’m still thinking about Rome,   this issue keeps coming to mind.   As a historian, I understand the process.  As an American, I just…don’t.

(Remember your  Roman history from  high school?)

It took about 200 years after the formation of the Roman Empire for the Romans to forget what a unique and precious identity they had as Romans.     The Empire was made of various religious and ethnic groups, of course,  but the citizens were all Romans, sharing a history, a culture and a language.    Even their borders….you were in the Roman Empire – or you were outside of the Roman Empire.   And the borders were protected.

But the Empire worked only so long as there was an awareness and a bit of pride in being Roman, and only so long as the Romans felt it important to uphold standards of morality and social responsibility.

  No,  they weren’t a perfect, puritan-like, sinless society.   I’m merely talking about shared values which include civic pride,  civic duty, civic responsiblity, and an understanding of natural law by which to rule society in society’s best interest.

 

What happened within 200 years back then in Rome?   Things went quite well.   They were safe, secure, and relatively prosperous.    But then there were those who wanted to be even stronger, more secure, powerful, and way, way more prosperous – even at the expense of those old-fashioned values.

As the population let go of high moral and civic standards  and as the economy began to falter under the corruption and greed of those officials who promised everything and those who elected those officials who promised everything,  the whole internal structure of the Empire began to fail.    The Roman sense of officium  became associated with the word “officials”  that we know about today;   government officials;  bureaucrats.

So where do you go for more help?  for more money?   for more political support?   Surely you don’t want to reform.  Surely you don’t want to return to those old, sterner social values.  No, you go outside the borders and you hire foreign workers,  you employ mercenaries to guard your interests, and you pay foreign leaders to be your friends.

Seems our own newspapers are repeating Roman history.  From recent newspaper articles:     The Germans have a military base in the United States.   The Danish have a military base in the United States.    The Russians have a base in Tennessee.    Of course, the Chinese are being granted 50 square miles of American soil in Idaho to build their own private city.    And now, this week – Presidential Executive Order #23954:

 By the stroke of this pen the Japanese are now authorized to build a military base in Marysville, Ohio, complete with 2,500 Japanese soldiers,  armored personnel carriers,  tanks,  and armaments…..The base will be, legally, by international law, Japanese soil.     Not American soil.    As with all those other foreign bases within our borders.

Back to the days of Rome:

Foreigners don’t care about being Roman.    Foreigners would rather the Roman Empire not be so strong and powerful.

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2 Comments on “A ROMAN RANT”

  1. loisontheweb Says:

    Your data on foreign countries having “bases” here are astounding … why isn’t this being talked about more? The “Fall of the Roman Empire” didn’t take but 200 years … something to think about.
    LOIS


  2. History was taken away from American students about forty years ago. What has resulted is a dangerous ignorance. The citizenry has no facts to think with.


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