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A lesson from the collapse of the Roman Empire for today's West


The Roman Empire of the first and second centuries A.D. was a superpower. It stretched from the moors of Scotland out to the Tigris and Euphrates River valleys of Iraq today, and from the North Seas of Germany to the sands of the Sahara.
If you were going to take a trip through the Roman Empire in the second century A.D., you would start off in the United Kingdom, cross over to Belgium and Holland, through Germany and France, on down to Switzerland and Austria, and to Hungry and Romania and Bulgaria, down through what was Yugoslavia and to Greece and then on to Turkey, through Syria, Lebanon, into Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Egypt. We would pass on into Libya, into Tunisia, Algeria, and up into Morocco and then on up into Spain.
If you were to take that journey today, even in the day of the Euro, you would need to change your money at least a dozen times
Lastl so vast was its rule there would be many  places you would not want to go.  That is how enormous it was and how far the long arm of its power and dominion stretched.

 Once you have become such a power, you cannot step back from it; you have aroused too much hatred. You must follow that path to the end, and the Romans chose to follow it to the end

Rome was called the 'Eternal City' think of the hubris in that?  USA USA USA 'let's make American great again' One thinks of Trump rallies as smacking of Nuremberg, in no way am I indicating

they had any of that facsictic content but they were such swells of people, such devout congregations it was clearly evident that that the people 'das volk' were hungry for the 'new'.

As post Trump/Brexit landscape emerges - the danger of empire is the inability to see yourself as others see you. The world is filled with examples of imperial nations, like France, that were convinced they were bringing liberal ideas to areas that simply did not want them. That hubris of being so sure that your ideas are right for everyone is one of the greatest of dangers - the outrageous arrogance of thinking you were wise when you are not wise. 

A Roma Seaator with the hubris of  Icarus  migHt ave stifibl claied , "We ought to rule the whole world now. We've got the chance" No. -+You will end up becoming slaves of others. Let us stay home and govern ourselves well. There seems to to be a message there

The 'educated' classes in the Roman Empire led to low birthrates and this was one of the factors that led to the collapse of the Empire. It is of interest that 
Hillary Clinton has one child wheras with Trump there are kids all over the place.
Thinking of the middle class and their pathological restraint in the bed, one thinks of Lear
were Edmund rails agains the injustice of beig tarred as a 'bastard' ...he mocks the creation
of so called civilised begetting ...'got between  sleep and wake... a .whole tribe of fops.'
 the Bastard was begot in the lusty stealth of nature whereas you, were 'got between sleep and wake'.  Compare and contrast the lusty stealth of nature to an afterthought.

Back to the Romans:  the illiterate Germans (the Huns) chose to have many children. This difference helped the Germanic peoples to overwhelm Rome by sheer numbers.

Europe, and the United States to a lesser extent, is facing a similar problem today. High birthrates and less desire to assimilate into European cultures by immigrants signal an ominous trend. Secular people, no matter what background, have fewer children than religious people. So if the trend continues, the future belongs to the staunchly religious.  'We will out birth you' is not a threat but a coming fact for today's Roman Empire the West and Western culture 

Each person's religious and philosophical worldviews have a major impact on how they deal with the pressures of life. Pessimism, materialism and hedonism start with anti-religious skepticism. Like so many of today's intellectuals, ancient pagan Rome's scholars had no infinite God or way to relate their lives to having true meaning or an ultimate purpose.
By contrast, the Bible/Koran  revelation gives people an integrated view of life. Faith and reason, purpose and pleasure, the infinite and the finite, general universal values and particular human lives are all reconciled. The Bible/Koran total-life knowledge and values bring meaning to individual lives.
America and Britain share in a culture based mostly on ancient Greco-Roman culture and the Judeo-Christian religion. But Rome's scholars didn't believe in their gods anymore, many of today's highly educated people have lost faith in their traditional faiths of Judaism and Christianity.
Few academics believe in the true God or take the Bible seriously anymore. Many are secular humanists who think man is the measure of all things. 
Over the past two and a half centuries since the rough mid-point of the Enlightenment (ca. 1745), their faith in human reason's effectiveness declined nearly as quickly as their faith in God's existence
 Ideas Have Consequences. The huge upswing in the West's interest in eastern religions, the occult, reincarnation and “New Age” ideas is proof that empty, atheistic modern thought just doesn't meet most people's needs. The ideology of multiculturalism, which ultimately stands for no values other than accepting all ideas as equally valid, reflects Western intellectuals' philosophical bankruptcy. Such self-contradictory clichés as “All is relative” and “There are no absolutes” ultimately prove to be empty and meaningless
By contrast, many of the Muslim immigrants who are flooding Europe uphold a dogmatic certainty about their faith. They see no need to apologize for their imperialist, jihadist past. Like their medieval ancestors, many of today's Islamists believe they are obligated to force their beliefs and values on others.
There's a serious ideological battle between skeptical, uncertain secularists and devout, dogmatic Islamists. History inevitably favors the latter over the former. When people lose confidence in their own civilization's values and virtues, it's been seen that they won't fight strongly to prevent their own collapse. It happened with Rome, and it's happening today to the West, and to the United States and Britain in particular.
By the time of the late Roman Empire the economy was largely dependent on slave labor for both skilled and unskilled work. Slaves are estimated to have constituted around 20% of the Roman Empire's population at this time and 40% in the city of Rome, soon the cry from the slaves was not 
stoicism but you can't do that to me; that is a violation of my civil rights as a Roman.
Is there not warning signs here for the West as they continue to seek out cheap imported labour for the purposes of making more and quicker money?


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