THE U.S.A. IS NOT THE ROMAN EMPIRE….

Time to put on my myth busting cap again.  This time, it looks like the USA is turning into Rome.  But probably not.  This is a comparison we almost always hear from hyperinflationists, those making ridiculous claims about the USA being bankrupt or those who are excessively worried about the influence of the government in the USA.  And maybe some of this is justified to a certain degree.  After all, it was largely government ineptitude that led to the decline of the Roman Empire.

Before any discussion about the Roman Empire begins, we should put things in perspective.  The rise and fall of Rome was a spectacular historical progression.  Although the fall of Rome is often described as some sort of event, the truth is that the rise and fall of Rome occurred over the course of 1,000 years with the final 200  years broadly being seen as the period of decline.   The USA has only existed for 235 years and has only been a superpower for about 100 of those years.  This doesn’t mean we have 765 years left to party, but some perspective is appropriate.  The tendency to view the fall of Rome as an event and not a gradual progression is highly misleading.

There are, in my opinion, three major differences between the Roman Empire and the USA.  They are:

    • The USA is not colonizing the world.
    • The USA is a very stable political environment.
    • The USA’s economic dominance continues.

Manifest Destiny is long gone….

The first point is one of the most important.   Any empire that overextends itself is bound to run into any multitude of problems trying to maintain stability outside of their direct sphere of influence.  At their peak, the Romans had conquered all of Eastern Europe, much of Western Europe, a large portion of northern Africa and much of the Middle East.  This was no small feat back in the days before cars, phones and internet.  Coordinating such a vast empire must have been a logistical nightmare.   And that’s exactly what it proved to be.  Not unlike the British Empire, this proved an impossible task as cultures clashed, coordination become increasingly difficult and authority from Rome diminished on the fringes.

Some people claim that the USA’s large military and policing of the world are somehow comparable to this.  But the reality is that we haven’t colonized any part of the world since 1959 when Hawaii became the 50th state.  It’s true that the USA went through a period of “manifest destiny” in which we essentially established what is now know as America, but those days are long gone.  We’re not in the business of colonizing the world or ruling foreign lands.  Yes, we are probably overextended on the military front and I am not sure why we often feel the need to police the world, but this is dramatically different than what the Roman Empire did through directly conquering and establishing their own leadership in other parts of the world and then attempting to maintain direct control over those regions.

Political Stability

The leading cause of the decline in the Roman Empire was political instability.  The Roman Empire was actually only one period of Roman prosperity.  Rome was many different styles of government over time with the Monarchy and then the Republic leading to its great rise and the Empire leading to its great decline.  The Empire led to considerable division within the Empire itself with the leadership, at times, being distributed across many different Emperors.  There was no real unification, but rather separate rulers as time went on.   The Roman Empire was generally fragmented between East and West and this lack of unification led to instability as time went on.

The United States is in no way comparable to the Empire of disunity or rule by Emperors.  We are and have always been a Constitutional Republic.  This form of government has proven remarkably stable with time.  And while we might see increasing disagreement among the various political parties within the USA, the foundation of our Republic is strong and stable.  There is no first or second triumvirate, no Brutus stabbing Caesar in the back, no overthrow of one government for another….There is only a stable progression of leadership chosen by the people and for the people.

Economic Prowess

I know it’s not popular to cite the continuing economic dominance of the USA, but the reality of the matter is that the USA is still the dominant economic power throughout the world.  Despite China’s incredible growth, the USA is still the largest economy in the world.  Our GDP per capita is almost 6 times China’s.  Nominal GDP is 23% of ALL world output.  If you combined ALL of the BRIC nations you’d still have an economy smaller than the USA’s.  We export more goods and services in the course of a year than the entire nominal GDP of Russia.

Now, clearly, the U.S. economy is in stall speed currently.  I am not trying to downplay the obvious rut the economy is in.  But let’s not be overly dramatic here.  The USA is still comprised of incredibly innovative and productive corporations and a people who seek the very best living standards in the world.  And while we might be a bit off track currently, I don’t see the trend in innovation and output collapsing any time soon.  I know it’s not popular to be optimistic about the future of this country, but let’s maintain a little perspective here.  The obvious direction from being #1 is becoming #2, but that doesn’t mean the American society is going to be overrun by vandals overnight to the point where it becomes a mere shadow of what it once was.

In short, the USA might be on decline (though I don’t really think so).   But one thing we’re not is the Roman Empire.  The comparisons are apples and oranges.

 

Cullen Roche

Mr. Roche is the Founder of Orcam Financial Group, LLC. Orcam is a financial services firm offering research, private advisory, institutional consulting and educational services.

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Comments

  1. Here we go again.

    Cullen, you really need to understand these two concepts:

    Triffin Dilemma

    Exorbitant Privilege

    In the mid 1980s, the US economy was over 50% of global gdp. Today, it is about 20%. Factor in exporbitant privivlege and the Triffin Dilemma, and you will better understand what is happening right in front of us.

    Another interesting view is held by Joseph Tainter. All civilizations, let me repeat, all civilizations go through a cycle. Complexity is the curse. Just look back at history. Where are the Aztecs? The Mayans? The Ancient Athenians? Yet somehow we believe this time is different. So did they.

    This time is different is the most historically arrogant view that most hold, even when the trend is obvious.

    It’s common, I guess. It’s difficult to see a trend when you are living thru it. A human lifespan is a blip in the grand sweep of history.

    Pax Americana was/is a wonderful thing for most (not all) of the world. In the grand scheme of things, it produced a stable world post WWII, a mere 70 some years ago. My, how fast things change since ancient times. Yet we are still blind to it.

    As for colonialization – proxy wars, and proxy governments, (think Shah replacing Mossadegh in Iran), accomplish the same thing as colonialism. Cheap resources. Better to pay off a ruling family than an entire country.

    Cullen, it’s easy to pick on the hyperinflationists and say they are the counter argument. What you’re doing is picking a losing opposing argument that somehow makes yours more valid. You need to read more. Read Tainter, read Triffin, read Middle East history, etc…

    I am not judging, just observing history. I’ll be the first to admit the world suffers worse when a global hegemon is missing. Better to live while there is a king of the hill, than during an episode when the king of the hill is yet to be determined. We call that global war.

  2. There are, in my opinion, three major differences between the Roman Empire and the USA. They are:

    The USA is not colonizing the world.
    The USA is a very stable political environment.
    The USA’s economic dominance continues.

    I’m not saying that the USA is like the Roman Empire, but it is an Empire.
    Simply on those 3 points:

    The USA is not colonizing the world:
    Yes, it has and it is still trying. What confuses people is that it isn’t done in the old fashioned way by physically occupying a country, but instead by waging economic warfare or coherting political leaders in those countries. There are many examples of that, the most compelling one is probably depicted by John Perkins in his book “economic hitman”.

    The USA is a very stable political environment:
    I agree on this one. Left and right political leaders are equally corrupt in this country. In fact it doesn’t matter for which party you vote anymore. The only disagreements between the 2 parties are made up to divert attention from the media (what’s the main topic of the presidential debates lately? Contraception? Really?). It is actually the collusion between these 2 parties that will ultimately bring the political system down for lack of check and balances.

    The USA’s economic dominance continues:
    Yes it does, but the very reason for its dominance gets eroded.
    Reason number 1: the USD is the main reserve currency. Many central banks, mainly in Asia prefer to diversify (gold), cut back on USD reserves (China) or put direct currency swaps in place.
    Reason number 2: oil is traded in USD. Here too, this is an enormous advantage for the USA and now another country (Iran) is threatening with trading its oil in something else than USD. This comes after the attempt of Iraq and lybia of doing that in 2001 and 2010. We all know how it ended. It will be difficult to get the population behind an invasion of Iran since most americans are getting tired with those never-ending wars. Furthermore, we past peak oil somewhere around 2005.

    • I despise the vision that applied MMR/MMT can fix anything. You can’t deficit spend your way out of trouble. We have two big examples of MMT in action causing calamities:
      a) USA, neoconservative nuts start their ‘war on freedom’ (imperial wars, btw) using MMT (deficit to finance war), in the process they get wealthier and destroy an HUGE amount of capital and resources.
      b) China goes MMT on steroids propelling their bubble to astronomical levels in a record time period. Not only that misallocation of capital is produced, but they continue to inflate it away by paper shifting and financial shenanigans (using MMT).

      These two cases demonstrate how a crooked system will only get worse. All the ‘we aren’t that bad’ complacency is good for the status quo, until it blows up because is no longer sustainable because an endless net of complexity and inefficiency is created to hold dead structures of power and wealth which no longer are sustainable by the population.

  3. “The USA is not colonizing the world.”

    REALLY???

    We’re just promoting peace and freedom in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran? And its a pittance in cost, and is made up for by the declining cost of oil?

  4. While your points are fair regarding the analogy, I think you’re overlooking a couple things:

    1) In a globalized, interconnected world, things happen much faster. Kind of a obvious point to make, but it’s not relevant to compare the age of the Roman empire to the U.S.

    2) America’s plutocracy is at odds with the general interest of the nation. Being educated and wealthy leads to overconfidence, and they are missing the rammifications of their actions. I don’t expect an abrupt downfall, but there will be a reckoning.

  5. What’s the point of having the largest economy in the world if half of the adults who live in your country are so low-income that they’re not even asked to pay the federal income tax?

  6. I suspect that many powerful Romans had similar views when the empire was already in decline.

    Don’t believe America is not ruling other countries ? Lets say that the Iraqi leader said that they want the US to leave and hand over that huge compound that is supposed to be an embassy to China, you think the response will be: “we respect your sovereignty”, it will be more like “your days are numbered”. Or the recent bullying of SWIFT to become a pawn in their bullying of Iran.

    It stinks like Imperialism, perhaps it really is Imperialism.

  7. Indeed they defer. The Romans came from primitivism, obtained a high degree of civilization in a second phase to become absolutely corrupt in a third an final phase. The US went from phase 1 directly to phase 3 and skipping the minor detail of phase 2.

    • Phase 2 for the USA was going from 13 colonies to the largest economic powerhouse on the planet. Phase 3 for the USA will be continuing to be the largest economic powerhouse on the planet.

      If you’re short the USA over the next 20-50 years, I’ll take the other side of that bet.

  8. Right on!

    People, we are just not an Empire. We’re not. The closest we ever came was during the Cold War, when we had many puppet governments around the world (to combat the Soviet Union and their puppet governments, rightly or wrongly). But that has been unwinding for twenty years. And even then we did not control those governments, we did not have an American governor for them as the Brits did in their Empire. We did not conquer them. The U.S. has been far from perfect, far, far from perfect, but is the most benevolent superpower the world has ever known, on a relative basis, and it is not an Empire. I don’t care what Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky and all the people who feel smart because they have read them say. Not an empire. If you think the U.S. is an empire, you do not know what an empire actually is. You are converting the definition to have a different and much broader meaning, for ideological reasons.

    Of course, just because we are not an empire, that does not mean we cannot decline. But decline I think is not measured so entirely by economic changes, as much as it is by procedural changes made for the sake of political expediency, which then weaken our political structure. Examples would be FDR’s attempt to pack the Supreme Court, or Newt Gingrich’s recent calls to give Congress the right to override Supreme Court decisions. Such populist measures, if enacted, would be vastly more dangerous to our Republic than a recession is, or than a depression or falling to #2 in GDP/capita would be, especially if that fall simply comes from another country growing faster than we are growing. FDR was probably actually the most dangerous President the U.S. has ever had, even though I strongly support Social Security, for example. Between the court-packing and the four terms, he almost severely changed the system. But the system reacted by putting a constitutional term limit on the Presidency, and there have been no serious threats to the system since then. Our so-called hyper-partisanship is just noise. It has always existed.

    All best,

    DTAF

    • US is most definitely an empire. Why else would it have military bases half way across the world and talk about Phillipines being an area of strategic interest, for example. And don’t even start me on the Middle East. It might not sack and loot its conquests, as I said earlier, but the nature of US influence in the world is clear to everyone except for those in willful denial.

    • Here’s Webster’s definition of empire (noun)
      (1) : a major political unit having a territory of great extent or a number of territories or peoples under a single sovereign authority; especially : one having an emperor as chief of state (2) : the territory of such a political unit
      If we can now agree that we know what an empire is, I would argue that the U.S. meets this definition as evidenced by it’s behavior toward states and peoples who do not act according to the interests of the American ruling class. To wit, Chile, Iraq, Panama, Iran, Vietnam, etc. In all these countries the U.S. intervened to protect what it saw as it’s strategic or commercial (often the same thing) interests. If a government can not make political decisions that threaten American designs without fear of military intervention, then that government is under the authority (noun: a : power to influence or command thought, opinion, or behavior) of the U.S. government.
      I hate to harp on this, but it’s an important point. We seem to only be blind to the morality of our own actions. The U.S. is not a benevolent power. It acts to serve it’s own interests (mainly those of business). If these interests coincide with those of another country, great, if they don’t, too bad. We look at past behaviors, like native american genocide, or slavery and rationalize them away by saying “well, that was a long time ago and we don’t do that anymore”. Current behavior we simply don’t look at. We’ll look at it later when we can say it was a long time ago and we don’t do that anymore.
      I don’t mean to say that the U.S. is evil either. It is neither evil nor benevolent. It is a political entity that is used to express the will of those who control it. Like every other country in the world. If U.S. policy were more in line with the wishes of it’s people things would probably be a lot better.
      So, is the U.S. like Rome? Sort of. I think we’re kind of over extended right now, and this is a waste of resources. Will it fall like Rome? Probably not, as it is clear that Rome didn’t exactly fall. It seems true that if we view having the ability and right to dictate to others what they may and may not do as the natural state of America, then we will most certainly see this decline over time. It’s pretty inevitable. However, if you believe that all people have the right to self determination then this is not a decline at all, but an opportunity to use our resources to improve our economy, and to strengthen our democracy at home.

  9. Thanks also for your question about the CB of the Philippines. Many countries have to borrow dollars for both internal and external purposes. If their currencies are not freely convertible currencies and/or are not accepted by the other party or parties in payment for goods or services, the country has to borrow dollars to meet such obligations. If the country generates dollars, euros, yen, sterling, swiss francs, etc. from its exports, then it may not need as much in borrowings as those who do not. A good example is virtually any oil based economy. They generate huge amounts of dollars that are then used for infrastructure projects lie roads, dams, power plants, housing, etc. These projects are predominantly undertaken by foreign contractors and they want to be paid in dollars or yen, etc.

    At the same time, countries have to have foreign exchange available to meet the demands of their corporate and to a much lesser degree their populations. When a company needs to buy product or raw materials or pay for services rendered that are priced in dollars, they need to buy that foreign currency from their local banks who in turn, have to buy from the Central Bank or another bank that will buy the local currency against the foreign currency.

    Now the Philippines was an exporter of rice, textiles, furniture, labor (loads of maids, nannies, construction workers and ship crews to other parts of Asia and the Middle East), etc. which generated dollars but not enough to pay for all the projects undertaken by an expanding Lesser Developed Country (LDC). Same was true and remains true for most developing countries today. So they need to go out and borrow Balance of Payments or Infrastructure loans from the IMF, the World Bank, the private market (like the international bank markets and the bond markets) to source their foreign exchange.

    • Jim, on your twitty benevolent comment, you are either illiterate or you choose to ignore my “on a relative basis” qualifier. That is all. DTAF

      • I read this: “…but is the most benevolent superpower the world has ever known, on a relative basis, and it is not an Empire. I don’t care what Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky and all the people who feel smart because they have read them say.”
        ==============

        I simply disagreed with it. That does not mean illiteracy. When you make sweeping “literate” statement like “the world has ever known,” and “on a relative basis,” you should provide just a little more evidence than the hot air of opinionatedness. And when you say, “I don’t care what…have to say…and all the people who feel smart because they hae read them say,” you sound sophomoric. Are you in high-school?

        Then there is this: “But the system reacted by putting a constitutional term limit on the Presidency, and there have been no serious threats to the system since then.” I see. So the numerous outrages perpetrated under the Bush and this administration in no way constitute threats to the system.

        You don’t seem to like Chomsky or Zinn; try Paul Craig Roberts instead. Basically the same conclusion regarding decline.

        • The Patriot, Homeland Security, genital groping at airports, and legalized corporate funding of political campaigns are in no way a threat to the system. :-)

  10. This blog has become wildly delusional – maybe its a sign the $ is about to Tank.

    Ok the American model of Imperium is closer to the British model but the arguments are simply precious.
    As if the various assassination of Presidents never happened.

    Noticed Randy Wray went all Andrew Jackson a few months ago – questioning the symbiosis of the Treasury & CB.
    The very core Of MMT.
    Can’t help but think this whole now fractious movement was a last gasp effort to save the FRN.
    God how I Hate Bankers – they are a pox on us all.
    The Euro was merely the most extreme experimentation of the budding triffid like market state.

    A full money exchequer issued currency would solve all these pointless abstractions.

  11. Im curious why people think the US military power is weakner now than it was, I would argue the opposite that its stronger than its ever been, who really can hope to match it? the chinese and russians lots of numbers but thats it but modern wars are not fought like that any longer, the power is in the preciseness take WWII it would take a hundred bomber raid to take out a factory in Germany with a CEP of miles, now something like 1 F15E(and that airframe is 1980s tech not even mentioning a B2) with a couple of JDAMS which have CEP of 5 yards are going to obliterate that factory and this in an advance over the first gulf war let alone Vietnam
    Seems that because the US military is now smaller it has people thinking it lessens their power its not the case, the ability to project power and quickly is simply staggering

    • It is the relative power of the whole country that matters. The USA is losing all its monopolies on power. Its leaders have no strategic view of the longer term, but are instead content “to manage the decline”, and “kick the can”.

  12. Agreed. The US could go “”down the drain”” much sooner than it took the roman empire. Everyone thought the Soviet Union would last for ever. It crumbled much sooner than any thought was possible.

  13. The decline of the roman empire began when they started giving citizenship to everybody. It fragmented and split society. So also it’s collective will. Roman culture got diluted.

    USA is on the same track since the 60′s.

  14. OnlY an American would think the US is not colonizing the world. When the announcers at the Super Bowl mention this game is being shown in 170 countries I think most Americans assume that people in 170 countries are watching the super bowl….no you fool that’s all the military bases the colonizers are watching it at. Foreign aid tried to political developments, bombing seven nations….Cullen love your work but you should take your head out of the sand on this one.

  15. There is an American empire:
    - culture, currency, liberalism, individualism, …
    - gunboat diplomacy and economics (remember the US+IMF and the asian flu?)
    - e.g. cheney+rumsfeld and “premption”, “sphere of influence” …
    I just wish there were more orgies; damn the evangelicals! (And our Detroit Lions aren’t as fun to watch, even when eating Dolphins.)

    Homer-Dixon wrote and interesting book about the collapse of the Roman empire as due to resource constraints, namely food production. Good thing we have policies favoring growing food to eat versus other uses .

  16. Still more non-imperial benevolence:

    February 16, 2012

    War by Drones and Special Forces
    Inviting the Big Payback
    by DAVE LINDORFF

    The attacks and attempted attacks this week on Israeli embassy personnel in Georgia, India and Thailand should serve as a serious warning to the people of both Israel and the US that there will be an increasingly heavy price to pay for the kind of government-sponsored terror that both countries have long practiced, and that too many Americans and Israelis have mindlessly cheered on.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/02/16/inviting-the-big-payback/

  17. Bread and circuses courtesy of a debased currency and a debased popular culture; an over stretched military; increasing political and ethnic centrifugal forces in the center of the empire; and a deluded citizenry thinking that they occupy the center of the universe and are exempt from the laws of economics. The USA has much in common with the Roman Empire.

  18. The Roman Empire collapsed over a long period of time. Or to say whatever decisions it took to get there took longer. However 100 years ago we were riding horses and now we can land a man on the moon. I think that when people say we are going the way of the Romans they are taking this relativistic viewpoint when comparing the two. I myself believe our better days are ahead. But if we are to go the way of the Romans it would be because we could get there faster and easier through our modern world. Its like the saying “that could never happen to me”. We have the distict advantage to look back and learn from the past. And although the Roman Empire lasted longer weve done more in a shorter period of time. Another point if you could give the Romans our modern world they might had collapsed faster. I enjoyed reading your article because its so relavent in todays times. Thanks for allowing feedback. Ty

  19. Prof. Yanis Varoufakis will probably disagree with your three statements. Because there are apparently certain similarities between the Roman Empire and the US.

    For instance the colonization part. One very basic element of colonization is that the colonies have to send goods and money to the colonial power, who uses it to beef up the standard of living of her population to a level it could not reach w/o this inflow.

    Which is, of course, exactly what the US does. From: http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/2012/02/15/the-global-minotaur-as-featured-in-the-new-york-times-magazine/#more-1779

    “The realization was that it didn’t matter if the U.S. was the biggest surplus or biggest debtor nation. What mattered was controlling the world’s primary currency, which would allow the United States to continue to recycle the global economic surplus. The idea was not unlike the thinking behind a casino — whichever gamblers are winning or losing, the house, which sets the terms and takes its cut, always wins”

    • No kidding. And that is the very reason why Iran’s imminent acquisition of nuclear weapons is so dangerous to the USA. As a large Mideast oil producer with great imperial ambitions of their own, they have made no secret of their desire to get rid of the petrodollar, and to redenominate oil in other currencies or gold. Nuclear weapons will give them the leverage necessary to do this. If we want to keep on buying oil in our own currency we need to utterly crush Iran. We need to make an example of them the way Rome made an example of Carthage.

  20. I must say discussions here are much more serious and exciting thanmost of the other blogs.. good work guys..

    One question.. True that US or any other sovereign ccy issuer can create unlimited amount of money. But it can not retain the credibility of tha money, right? I mean if no investor wants to own it anymore, what would it be worth??

    • That is what taxes are for. You have to use soverign currency to pay taxes, you can’t pay them in gold or potatoes.

    • “But it can not retain the credibility of tha money, right? I mean if no investor wants to own it anymore, what would it be worth??”

      As ES points out, domestically taxes work to anchor the currency. If you are also looking at this from an international standpoint, then you get critics who claim the loss of reserve currency status could cause something similar. While debatable, they look to FX rates as the tell tale sign of the status of the USD as reserve ccy.

      The ‘worth’ of a currency is NOT what an speculative investor would pay for it. The ‘value’ of a currency is ALWAYS what (product/service) you can exchange it for.

  21. Superb article at Rolling Stone on why the immense military power of the US has failed militarily in Afghanistan (asymetric warfare):

    The United States, along with over 40 NATO and other allied nations [in Afghanistan], possess the most sophisticated, powerful, and technologically advanced military force that has ever hit the field of combat. We have the finest and most well trained Soldiers that exist anywhere; we have armored vehicles of every type, to include MIA2 Main Battle Tanks; artillery, mortars, advanced rockets, precision guided missiles, and hand-held rocket launchers; we have a wholly uncontested air force composed of NATO’s most advanced ground attack fighter jets, bombers, AWACS controllers, spy planes, signals-interception aircraft, B 1 bombers, attack helicopters, and massive transport jets to ferry our troops and critical supplies where they are needed; we have thousands of unmanned aerial drones both for intelligence collection and missile-launching; we have a helicopter fleet for personnel transport and attack support; we have an enormous constellation of spy satellites; logistics that are as limitless as the combined weight of the industrial world; we have every technological device known to the profession of arms; we are able to intercept virtually every form of insurgent communication to include cell phones, walkie-talkies, satellite phones, email, and even some ability to eavesdrop on otherwise private conversations; a remarkably capable cohort of intelligence analysts that are as educated, well trained and equipped to a degree that used to exist only in science fiction; and our various nations have the economic wherewithal to spend $10s of billions each month to fund it all. And for almost 10 years we have pitted this unbelievable and unprecedented capability against: A bunch of dudes in bed sheets and flip-flops.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/national-affairs/the-afghanistan-report-the-pentagon-doesnt-want-you-to-read-20120210

  22. Any Talk of Values is a Joke

    By George Galloway

    January 30, 2012

    Hillar Clinton said that the slaying of apparently unarmed, barefoot, skinny Afghan youths by armed US Marines who could hardly wait to urinate on the deceased was “inconsistent with American values”.

    Inconsistent? What, with the values of Wounded Knee? With the values of distributing smallpox-infected blankets to the native Americans to ethnically cleanse them from their lands so the settlers could steal it?

    Inconsistent with the wholesale slaughter of the USA’s aboriginal people, the enslavement of millions of others until the 1860s on account of their faces being the colour black?

    Inconsistent with the fact that Barack Obama’s house was built by black slaves and his own father couldn’t have urinated in the same public lavatory as a white man until the 60s?

    Inconsistent with the American values of the Vietnam War? You know… the smell of Napalm in the morning? The Agent Orange chemical weapons, the massacre of millions of Vietnamese peasants?

    Truth is, what your Marines did is absolutely consistent with the values you have projected ever since the last honourable shot you fired back in 1945.

  23. Interesting, I have a different view.

    “There are, in my opinion, three major differences between the Roman Empire and the USA. They are:

    1) The USA is not colonizing the world.
    2) The USA is a very stable political environment.
    3) The USA’s economic dominance continues.”

    1) The military of the United States is deployed in more than 150 countries around the world, with more than 205,118 of its 1,425,113[1] active-duty personnel serving outside the United States and its territories.

    2) Apparently “stable”, while we have obvious election result manipulation, i.e. stealing of the elections. The only reason it’s still “stable” is because the American people aren’t smart enough to think for themselves and if they did, they fear the FEDs…. and I don’t blame them! They should fear the FEDs and that is exactly what the FEDs want. I have a personal story that would blow your mind and it happened back in the 80s!

    3) The major trend of the USA Continues at a very planned and rapid decline, talk to me in 7 years.

    Bottom line, in 44 years of business experience in the USA I have developed 3 personal “heroes”. In the last 12 years ALL THREE have taken their families and left the USA, the county where they grew up and lived their whole lives! ALL THREE!!! The first 2 to leave left while they could still give up their citizenship, which they did, the last one left too late. Now the cost in taxes is prohibitive! The FEDs are trying to stop the bleeding of smart productive and wealthy people! The empire is in trouble, big trouble!

  24. The US is not the Roman Empire, but in the linked article, I wrie that the EU ECB IMF Troika is rising in Europe to be a type of Revived Roman Empire.

    Specifically I wrote the following: The Euro was built without exits. New sovereign authority means a Euro zone super state is rising to rule politically and economically. Soon a New Charlemagne will rise to rule the Euro zone, where Germany will be preeminent, as a type of revived Roman Empire governs the European continent. The EU ECB IMF Troika is conquering and establishing nations, establishing leadership and exercising direct control over the profligate periphery nations, particularly Greece. The ECB’s and Angela Merkel’s iron will is rising supreme over clay democratic processes.