John Brody

The Decline of Rome and of America

The adage “Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it” is so amazingly common it’s practically become a cliche when brought up in articles and yet, in an article comparing Rome and America, I feel that it needs to be mentioned.

I’ve always been an avid student of history. From early childhood Something about the way people lived in the past fascinated me. As I grew older, I began to draw parallels, create diagrams in my head of how cause and effect lead to an outcome.

I was reading recently about the decline and fall of Rome when I was struck by an epiphany which made me compare the Fall of the Western Roman Empire with the current American situation.

I realize most people are not as interested by history as I am so I will try and be as brief as possible in my explanations

In 476 BC the last of the Western Roman emperors was overthrown and Rome, an empire that had lasted for nearly 500 years, through some of the harshest conditions collapsed.

At the time I imagine the fall of such a super power would have been unthinkable.

This is the part where comparisons start. (There is a link in the previous sentence for those who wish to learn more.)

What were the factors? What were the individual issues that brought about Romes fall and which I believe are bringing about a decline in America?

Most historians ascribe the fall of Rome to several different factors all acting in concert to bring about the fall.

  1. Economic troubles and over reliance on slave labor-in the case of America I would say that slave labor can be compared to the over-reliance on foreign labor and foreign imports. with the goods America needs to function available only in certain markets, a disaster there would mean a disaster in America.
  2. Military overspending-For Rome it was the constant need for conquest, for America it seems to be the insistence on spending nearly half of the annual budget on military spending.
  3. Corruption and Instability-Rome, in her final centuries, underwent coup after coup with different powers taking control and very often, running the country into an even worse position. Today, after 8 years of a mostly incompetent president America is faced between choosing a woman who seems incapable of telling the truth and a man incapable of not offending someone every time he speaks.
  4. Immigration — I don’t want to offend anyone with this statement but unchecked immigration is a serious problem for a country, to have hundreds of thousands of new individuals latch onto your countries benefits will severely tax your country.
  5. The Weakening of Foreign influence-Anyone who thinks that America today, is still considered the most important world power has a rude awakening coming. Whether it’s the decades of terrible foreign policy or decades of terrible internal policy, America has fallen in the eyes of the world and it is now seen by many as an impotent wealthy man, capable only of giving gifts in hope of receiving some return service.
  6. The Loss of Traditional values — With Rome, this was the introduction of Christianity. Today… Where to start?
    The issue of what gender now is? Black Lives Matter and their hypocrisy? The governments lack of accountability? The rampant anti-antisemitism? The issues on every College Campus? The PC culture has so corrupted peoples way of thinking that they can’t even express what they feel is wrong without crossing the line.

We’ve been watching America decline over the last half century. Republicans can blame the Democrats and Democrats can blame the Republicans but the facts remain. America is in decline, the empire is crumbling, how can such a divided, mislead and mismanaged state find its way back on track?

About the Author
John Brody is an avid amateur historian based in central Israel. He is deeply interested in history, both Jewish history and World history, literature, theology, and political science.