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  1. #1 Similarities between our decline and the Roman Empire 
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    On a lot of boards, both conservatives and even liberals say we're in a decline, and I've seen many on both sides compare our decline to the Roman Empire's. I'm not really keen on Roman history, I was wondering if anyone knowledgeable could feel me in on the similarities?
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  2. #2  
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    What do you say?
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    Power CUer FlaGator's Avatar
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    Moral decay, increasing dependence on foreign labor, reduction in military power, weakened economy, overvaluation of the individual in respect to what is good for society.

    I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
    C. S. Lewis
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  4. #4  
    The Romans had a pretty clear idea of what contributed to their own decline but they couldn't stop it. Essentially, they had over-extended themselves in a number of areas both at home and abroad. They could have actually fixed those problems alone but they also had cultural issues that tied their hands.

    The degenerate behavior that had always characterized some of the ruling class became widespread. The ruling classes were forced to buy civil peace through entitlements. Corruption in government became the norm. The traditional Roman attitude toward civic conduct decayed into wealth-protecting schemes at most levels.

    Add it all up and you've got an era in which the wealthy felt no real commitment to governing as a means of insuring stability and the poor were increasingly dependent on government and urban opportunities. Between the leaderless poor and the opportunistic rich, the system was ripe for exploitation.

    I think there are some similarities and a lot of differences between the two.
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  5. #5  
    Super Moderator BadCat's Avatar
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    Yes, but we are well on our way down that road.

    rm -rf obama*
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    Rome was never a particularly "moral" place to begin with - even in its best of times. The contribution of "moral decay" in the fall of Rome is largely mythical, or at the very least, hugely exaggerated.
    Last edited by wilbur; 11-23-2009 at 01:24 PM.
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    Power CUer FlaGator's Avatar
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    Rome was never a particularly "moral" place to begin with - even in its best of times. The contribution of "moral decay" in the fall of Rome is largely mythical, or at the very least, hugely exaggerated.
    Kind of like the contribution of man in respect to global warming.

    You are correct, they were not that moral to begin with when compared with the increased moral standards of the modern era. But you can't compare their early standards with, say, European standards of the 18th century. But using their earliest standards (as best we can determine them today) as a starting point historians tell us that they still became an even more corrupt and immoral society. Even though they were bad, the still had plenty of room to get wose. That is not hugely exaggerated.
    Last edited by FlaGator; 11-23-2009 at 05:13 PM.

    I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
    C. S. Lewis
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    Well, every Empire over-extends itself, has America?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldwater View Post
    Well, every Empire over-extends itself, has America?
    My personal opinions believes that we have. I think we've taken a path that it won't be easy to get off of and if we do we might not be America anymore.

    I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
    C. S. Lewis
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  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    Rome was never a particularly "moral" place to begin with - even in its best of times.
    Morality isn't all about sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll. The particular type of morality that the Romans abandoned had more to do with civic morality, justice, and their version of the social contract.
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