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The fall of the Roman Empire ...

By jardinier ·
After an exchange of emails with my nephew, who is a student of ancient Roman history,
I have drawn the following parallels between the fall of The Roman Empire and the current situation in America.

Marcus Aurelius was a good leader. He wanted his stepson to succeed him. But it is widely agreed that his natural son Commodus murdered both his father and step brother. Commodus was an inept ruler, and the decline of the Roman Empire can clearly be seen to begin under the Caesarship of Commodus.

So Commodus took the throne falsely and through his incompetence the Roman Empire started to disintegrate.

The parallel:
Everybody except a few ignorant Republicans are quite sure that the voting in Florida was rigged (I have various email friends in the US of all political persuasions who give me their opinions.)
Hence, like Commodus, Bush most likely became leader illicitly.

Bush is the most incompetent leader in US history. Already he has ensured that no country in the world (with the exception of Australia for as long as John Howard remains Prime Minister, and Britain as long as Tony Blair remains Prime Minister) will ever again trust or respect the USA.

Additionally the US is about to be tumbled from its current position as the most economically powerful country in the world, partly because of Bush's incompetence, but also because China, because of its sheer numbers, is rapidly heading to the top. A trade alliance between China, India and a few other countries would certainly topple America from its current position. China has the numbers, India has the skills.

Additionally the European countries are working towards becoming a much more unified and powerful economic bloc.

Bush achieved his post illicitly, and because of the factors mentioned above, I think the US has passed it peak and it will be downhill from here on.

Whilst America accounts for 50 per cent of the world?s entire spending on the military and armaments, it has lost the trust and respect of the rest of the world, and in the not too distant future will also most likely be toppled from its position as the most economically powerful country in the world.

And responsibility for this lies fairly and squarely with George W. Bush. God knows what further havoc he will create if he is re-elected, which is currently looking very likely.

So it will be a case of goodbye America ? thanks for helping to save us from Hitler and Japan, but we don?t trust your motives any more.

America, under the bumbling Bush, who of course is merely a puppet manipulated by the likes of Rumsfeld and Cheney, has lost probably irretrievably the status it enjoyed (or at least claimed) as leader of the free world.

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The sleeping dragon

by DC_GUY In reply to The fall of the Roman Emp ...

One need not indulge in Bush bashing, a topic from which I must recuse myself when posting from my employer's workstation, in order to see the larger pattern, one which has played out in every great nation throughout history -- with a single exception.

Sumeria, Cushitic Egypt, Babylon, Harappan India, Phoenicia, Persia, Greece, the Olmecs, Rome, Byzantium, the Maya, the Mongols, Zimbabwe, Holland, the Aztecs, the Incas, Spain, Hindu India, Manchuria, France, Austro-Hungary, Turkey, Imperial Russia, Germany, Japan, Britain, Soviet Russia... those are just the big names that come to mind easily.

Every great nation has fallen -- with a single exception. Some endure in a state of genteel decline like Greece. Others exist in name only, populated by the descendants of foreign invaders like Egypt. Others are barely more than legends like Zimbabwe.

Their falls don't follow a pattern. All of the causes you mentioned are common but not universal. Yet the pattern and the universality is that they do indeed eventually fall. Sic transit and all that. Civilization continues and in the long run advances, but individual civilizations burn out.

Is it America's turn? Who can say? Despite all of the arguments presented, she could find a new lease on life and endure for as long as Byzantium, its shaky foundation nearly unequalled in history.

The single exception? China. Six thousand years of continuous history and culture. She endured the long occupations of the Mongols and the Manchus, and assimilated THEM. (Anybody heard of a place called Manchuria lately? It's now nothing more than several provinces inside China.) It is the only large country to survive a communist takeover, and it shows every sign of assimilating the Reds just like all its earlier "conquerors."

Look not to our internal problems for a clue to our future. Remember Napoleon's counsel: China is a sleeping dragon, and when it awakes... it will shake the world.

Or something like that. ^_^

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Well spoken ...

by jardinier In reply to The sleeping dragon

and thanks for the history lesson.

I have always said that, to become the most populous nation on earth, despite the fact that (from memory) only 30 per cent of the land is arable, China must have done something right.

And, as you point out, they have absorbed rather than conquered some neighbouring territories (perhaps with the exception of Tibet, which may in due course be granted autonomy again.)

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Please STFU

by Garion11 In reply to The fall of the Roman Emp ...

Your wishful thinking is pathetic at best.

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Not exactly ...

by jardinier In reply to Please STFU

No Garion, it is not wishful thinking but merely a hypothesis which has to a large extent been supported by the other postings already made.

Actually I would have no problem with the USA remaining the most powerful nation in the world, if you could just get yourselves a half-way decent president.

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You know dude we do

by Garion11 In reply to Not exactly ...

have a decent president, you don't like him because he won't give handouts and isn't afraid of flexing American power whether or not we passed some sort of "global test". Do you guys take a poll of what Americans think when you elect your leader? And how would you feel if I came onto your countries' messageboards (I am not saying TR is..but I hope you see my point) and post crap about your country?

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Well Garion if you want to join an AU

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to You know dude we do

Message board that only services AU you are welcome to do so.

But do not imply that TR is a USA only forum as it is supposed to be for IT professionals "WORLD WIDE!"

Also when someone starts a thread on this miscellaneous side of things it is accepted that there are not many rules as far as free speech goes. Of course if you would like to prevent anyone but Americans exercising this right feel free to contact the TR Administrators and ask for this.

If they agree to your request you will get to hear exactly what you want to but do not be fooled that you will be hearing the full story as it will only enforce the idea that Americans are so far up themselves that they are unaware of the rest of the world. Which is really funny as most of the Hi Tech stuff that is talked about here on TR is not US made!

Col

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Yeah?

by Garion11 In reply to Well Garion if you want t ...

All these impressions that Americans are not aware of the rest of the world...where do you come up with crap like that? With increased outsourcing (TR is only possible because of an American invention), globalization, our charitbale donations to third world countries by American pharmaceutical industries, our independent citizens, etc, and our past actions from WWII onwards, what the **** makes you say such ludicrious statements such as those? Do we care about other countries' interests (more than you could ever hope to know)? The question is do you care about American interests and its people (you do but only if it benefits you)?

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Well I'm really impressed with your comments

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Yeah?

Now lets take a long look at exactly what you are ranting on about. I notice that there is nothing there about you wanting to join an AU discussion group and deride AU but you would be an amateur by our standards as we are far better at deriding the various forms of Government that we have here than any US citizen that I've ever meet.

But back to your ramblings:-

"With increased outsourcing"

Is this really a good thing?

And do you really think that if someone had not of come up with HTTP in the USA it would never have been invented?

If memory serves me correctly it was us Aussies who taught the USA a lesson in computer security all those years ago when what is now known as the Internet was put into place for computing power to be spread out around first the USA and then its allies for strategic reasons.

"our charitbale donations to third world countries by American pharmaceutical industries"

Is this why the FTA between the USA and AU is being held up in being implemented because your pharmaceutical companies think that the amendments that where made in AU made things too hard to give away their product? Silly me I thought it was because if it was implemented they would not find it possible to rob us blind.

"Do we care about other countries' interests (more than you could ever hope to know)?"

More to the point is do you care? As a citizen of the USA? Exactly how are some other countries best interests served by funding terrorists to destabilize their Lawfully elected Government? Remember the Contras in South America?

I can go on and on with places where the USA has imposed its will at the expense to the general population and supported terrorists when it was in the USA's best interests but certainly not the best interests of the general population of that country.

More to the point do you know your own countries recent history?

AS a people I find most of the US population nice people but they do tend to take themselves far too seriously for my liking and I've seen a lot who seem to think that the world owes them because of something that their country did long before they where born.

This to me is as bad as the Irish who seem to hold a grudge forever I once was told by an IRA sympathizer just how the British had caused the death of thousands of good Irishmen and women during the potato blight 400 years ago and he was speaking as if it was yesterday and that the people and governments had not changed at all.

You are doing exactly the same thing here but because of the lack of long term history of your country you can only point to things that have occurred within the last hundred years or so instead of the older civilizations who can go back hundreds of years for examples of the wrongs that have been done to them and rights that they have been responsible for.

Actually Garion how about you starting a thread of "Why some People seem to thing that Americans are stuck up so & so's!"

I'll contribute very happily with constructive criticism which you seem to take as a direct attack upon yourself rather than a general comment about the state of play around the world.

First you as a nation have to learn not to take yourselves too seriously by believing your Governments Press Releases but far more importantly you have to learn to laugh at yourselves which is something that the average American finds very hard to do probably because they have been brainwashed into believing that they live in the best country in the world.

If it is so good why do you have to pledge allegiance to your country every day over here it is taken for granted that the general population will do this and they are not required to have it drummed into them on a daily basis!

Col

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History taught in America - my pet peeve

by mlandis In reply to Well I'm really impressed ...

Hi Col,

I'm going out on a limb here and I might need some burn gel after I get flamed, but here goes.

The way history is taught in the USA from the primary through secondary grades is in isolated curricula.

Let's take the Atlantic crossing arrival of Columbus in 1492, a familiar event in history.

To read most of my children's history books, (third grade = 8 yoa and sixth grade = 11 yoa) you would think that Columbus got this brainstorm
out of the clear blue sky one day, and went looking for the Indies, simply because he wanted to prove the world is round.

To fully understand how Columbus got to that point of course, one would have to at least know that Marco Polo had re-developed the itinerary to the orient in the 13th century, and the ancient "Silk Road" as it was called was again traversed and a well-known trade route, and Marco Polo, a European, continued eastward and extending the overland trade route to China.

One would have to be familiar with the group of battles collectively called the Crusades, and the beginnings of the Ottoman empire.

One would have to be familiar with the fall of Constantinople in 1453

One would also have to know that the Ottoman Empire was expanding into areas that were travelled by "Silk Road" traders, making an already dangerous journey practically a suicide mission for anyone who would consider himself a Christian.

And of course, it would also help to know of Queen Isabella of Spain's Inquisitons and banishments of Jews and Moors in that very year.

None of this is in the book. That Columbus went to prove the world is round and find a new route to the spice producing Indies is mentioned is thought to be sufficient information. That is thought to be reason enough to take this perilous and untested journey.

The stage which developed throughout the previous centuries necesitating this journey for an alternate route to the Indies for securing Spain's continuing place in the European theatre and hope for domination is not given a mention at all.

This is just a "for example." There is little Ancient Greek or Roman history taught in the schools in New Jersey. I had 3 years of Latin in High School a century ago, and have some knowlege of both Latin language and the Roman Empire's history. Today, most High School teens are not given these subjects in the New Jersey public schools.

The curricula to be covered are taught, but the connections are hard for students to grasp when one year the history taught is the American Revolution, and the next year, the Holocaust of WWII.

The "whats?" are taught, the more thought provoking "whys?" are seldom covered. Part of the reason is that the US has over 225 years of her own history, and almost 3 hundred years prior to 1776 of colonisation history. I believe if there were a stronger base (in European and English history) going into the colonisation period, more Americans would be far more interested in global history and current events.

With the stresses of making sure that children can pass the reading, writing and math standardized testing expected by the 50 states, other subjects are not covered as extensively as ought be done.

Most of the Americans in this forum would be better educated than the average American, but that does not go on to say that they are more aware of how world views Americans. Some of us are, and some aren't. It all depends on what we experience, read, think and listen to, and whether we are willing to learn a thing or two from others.

Anyway, I thought that all Aussies were crocodile huntin', Foster's drinkin' and barby cookin' folk.

Maureen

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Maureene I just love your response

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Well I'm really impressed ...

After I picked myself up off the floor from laughing so hard. I think you forgot about the Kangaroos and Koalas in everyones yard as well.

But I wonder if any pictures of Columbus's ships are ever shown and how that "Rose Crux" on the fore sail is explained away. Maybe it just isn't even noticed or even understood that actually Columbus actually sailed under the Templar's protection hence their symbol on every one of those 3 ships to ward off attack.

Anyway next time your over here I'll throw another crock on the "Barbie" along with some wallaby stew and while Fosters isn't a big seller in this part of AU I'm sure I can dig up a slab or 20 of 4X the local brew around here.

Col

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