ROMEARICA

Filed Under (The HELL You Say!) by admin on 07-12-2010

Approximately 40 years before the birth of Christ, the Roman orator Cicero said this: ” The budget should be balanced, public debt should be reduced, the treasury should be rebuilt, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and assistance to foreign hands should be curtailed, lest Rome fall.”

This particular quote has become very popular on the e-mail forwarding circuit, primarily because of its ironic relevance to what’s going on in our very own government and country today.

George Santayana said ” those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” So, consider this….. a recent poll of average American citizens revealed that 26% have no idea that the Fourth of July is to celebrate the breaking away from Great Britain……. 26%!!

So it’s no surprise, that an unsettlingly large number of Americans have absolutely no idea, that what we see threatening THIS country, should look very familiar. It is being played out as an encore performance in Washington DC, and throughout America.
It is the same script to a deadly drama that has been played out before – resulting in the destruction of one of the greatest testaments to man’s strengths and weaknesses, the world has ever seen……. the Roman Empire!

The common reference used by most everyone is ” the Roman Empire”. But few understand that the Roman Empire didn’t start out as an ” empire”. It started out like the United States….. as a Republic. In the beginning of the Roman Republic there was freedom, prosperity, self reliance, social unity……… things started out going pretty well.

Then Rome started to do what all prosperous and successful enterprises do…… expand. But when you try to outdrive your headlights – when you try to satisfy your own ambitions at all costs – the “payables” start stacking up pretty quickly.

The government in ancient Rome grew to a monstrous size… And that monstrosity was created for virtually the same reasons the United States government has ballooned to its present day Jabba the Hutt dimensions.

In a letter to Tiberius Caesar written by Pontius Pilate, to explain the blatant civil disobedience which accompanied the crucifixion of Christ, Pilate wrote: “. An insatiate thirst for conquest to extend our empire beyond the means of defending it I fear, will be the cause of the final overthrow of our whole government.”

But long before Christ, a Roman politician named Claudius was elected to public office on a platform of ” free wheat for the masses.” When Julius Caesar came to power, he found 320,000 people in Rome – a city of 1 million – on government grain relief – a full 32% of the Roman population! So I guess, some could argue that America’s 46 million (15%) on food stamps could always be worse. May be……………but we’re closing ground on ancient Rome RAPIDLY!

Another striking parallel: Emperor Nero once declared ” let us tax and tax again. Let us see to it that no one owns anything!!” And Nero may have actually been the original proponent of urban renewal. Because he burned large portions of Rome to make way for a number of his own personal construction projects.

Several years later Emperor Vitellius dabbled in agricultural manipulation and price control policy. To reduce production and raise the price of wine, he ordered the destruction of half of the vineyards in Rome’s provinces. For any of you who have read portions of the new Food Safety Bill – and its direct ties to agricultural supply giant Monsanto – even more similarities begin to appear.

The Roman government assumed vast responsibilities for providing the people with publicly funded entertainment and arts programs. Sound familiar again? One historian estimates the modern equivalent poured out yearly for Roman circuses, and gladiator duels alone, was in excess of $100 million in today’s money.

In A.D. 274, Emperor Aurelian took welfare to stratospheric heights. He not only radically boosted welfare benefits to Roman citizens, but actually made the right to welfare hereditary – if your father was on welfare YOU had a right to it as well, by virtue of your father getting it. At least we haven’t seen that in America………….. YET!

Independent Roman businesses were being absolutely brutalized by public opinion ” those evil business owners”. They were being pummeled relentlessly by excessive taxation. And businesses were being hamstrung at every turn by oppressive government regulation.

The masses in Roman society continued to cry out even more vehemently for their handouts. And to gladly accommodate them, the most productive in Roman society were forced to cough it up! And what was left of those businesses that were ultimately bled dry, was confiscated and nationalized!

ANY of this sounding vaguely familiar yet?! No? OK…..how about this………….

City administrations (think U.S. states) within the Empire spent the people’s money like drunken sailors on leave. Individual city debt became so overwhelming, that beginning with the Emperor Hadrian cities actually needed to be ” bailed out”, through ” federal revenue sharing” (think Stimulus) – which came with LOTS of strings attached!

There was so much government spending to satisfy all of the special interests and soaring debt, that the Roman government completely bastardized the national currency. It imposed wage and price controls. It seized the peoples gold holdings (TAKE NOTE!) – It took the silver out of the coinage and manufactured worthless money like there was no tomorrow!

“Kirshner’s First Law” states: ” When a self-governing people confer upon their government the power to take from some, and give it to others, the process will not stop until the last bone of the last taxpayer is picked bare.”

Everything you’ve just read is fact. Now I shall offer up my opinion:

Remember, that Rome failed in A.D. 476. In 31 BC the Emperor Octavian came to power. And I credit this man as playing a pivotoal role in putting Rome on the road to failure….. And here’s why: Before Octavian – even with all its problems, Rome was still a Republic. But Octavian is the guy who established the political structure that was the basis of what was to become the Roman Empire. It was the ” Roman Imperial government”. For the next four centuries major changes were going to be made.

The Roman Republic was falling apart, because it was being systematically dismantled – bit by bit. The people were crying out “We’ve got to have change!!” So I guess you could call Octavian the Emperor of “Hope and Change”. And boy did he give the people what they asked for – in spades! Octavian was a genius. He realized that the Roman people still truly loved the Republic. But the Roman Republic had been abused, corrupted, and crippled almost beyond recognition.

So rather than Octavian saying “Okay guys I know we’ve really screwed this up! But the only thing we can do to save our Republic, is to have a major reset! It’s going to be painful, but it will work!” – he gave the people what he knew they REALLY wanted – and what he thought they needed……… instead of abolishing cherished entitlement institutions and welfare systems, he continued them.

The populace felt all warm and comfy…. all reassured. The time of Hope and Change had arrived. And when the people looked around, they saw all the familiar trappings of their Republic………..They were still being represented. They were still electing their representatives. The assembly still gathered. The Senate still oversaw the provinces and advised Octavian. All of “NORMAL” was still there! What the people DIDN’T know, was that what they saw had NO substance or meaning.

Quoting one textbook on the Roman Empire “By maintaining the façade of the Republic, Octavian camouflaged his absolute power.”

We’ve all heard the sound bite last week of Sen. Michael Bennet when he didn’t know the microphone he was standing next to was live. Speaking to a female colleague on the floor of the Senate, during a vote, he was recorded as telling her….”Because – because….It’s all rigged. I mean the whole conversation is rigged. The fact that we don’t get to a discussion before the break about what we’re going to do in the lame duck, is just rigged. This stuff’s rigged!”.

And we’re seeing a clear demonstration just this week of how it’s “rigged” as the FCC goes completely around the Senate and pushes Net Neutrality…..EVEN AFTER it was opposed by the Senate.

And if we’re drawing parallels, here’s where it gets even scarier: How many remember Obama’s proposed National Civilian Domestic Security Force? Obama’s own private army.

Obama during his campaign: “We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to acheive the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve gotta have a CIVILIAN national security force, that’s just as powerful – just as strong – just as well funded……(as the military)”

Octavian’s control over the armed forces made any resistance to him futile. You couldn’t resist! He ruled with an iron hand. But to sooth the citizens and hedge against rebellion, Octavian successfully enhanced his image with the people. He refused to be called “Caesar”.

You see, Octavian was an adopted son of Caesar, and he used that non- royal family status to great advantage. He convinced the people that he was just as normal as they were. He took the title of princeps – which literally means “first citizen”. In essence, Octavian was telling the people “See everyone, I’m just like you! I’m just a citizen too!” And they bought it.

So what should America be learning from all of these comparisons and parallels? Simply this: the people of Rome went from being citizens of a Republic, to subjects of an Emperor – and it all happened without votes – without violence – and without fanfare…… and the most pathetic thing of it all is that they were happy with it. The people were bought and paid for…… and happy with it!

The people of Rome were marched tragically to the death of their own Republic. And they went like sheep………willingly – quietly – peacefully.

Comments:

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.