The End of Empires

OK I admit, I haven’t posted for a couple of weeks. No excuse really. Just busy with trying to get the next book first draft finished before the end of the year. As ever, many other things appear to get in the way, but I will not be beaten!

I’ve been carrying on my usual interest in ancient Rome, and this past week been looking at the causes of the collapse of their empire.

Now like most things, there is not one main cause. More a list of small changes that made the empire untenable. I’ve condensed my list to the following 8 points

1. Invasion by outside military forces. (perhaps too obvious)
2. Collapse of economy and reliance on slaves (which were running out).
3. The split of power to an eastern capital.
4. The empire getting too big to manage, cost too much to militarily control.
5. Government corruption, lack of trust by population
6. Internal immigration fleeing ahead of military invasions.
7. Loss of traditional (pagan) values.
8. Lack of quality of Roman Army (use of mercenary forces).

Well, as I read, I had a chilling thought. Many of these reasons could be attributed to our western society now.

1. OK we (Western Europe and USA) haven’t been properly invaded since WW2, but that being said there are some parts of Eastern Europe currently very near an ISIS attack. And they have wild claims of getting to Rome. (Don’t get me started on how the 12th Century crusades, which is the cause of ISIS’ current warlike intentions, are actually a legacy of ancient Rome)

2. How many times do we need to be told that our economy is at a standstill, capitalism isn’t working, big unemployment and then in the same breath be told it is to do with immigrants (bullshit, it’s the banks). When the immigrants are actually doing the menial jobs that no one in the country wants to do. (work in coffee shops, pick crops etc). What happens when they get fed up and leave?

3. OK this one doesn’t really work, but there is an argument that could be made that with the Trans Pacific and Trans Atlantic Partnerships, sovereign rights of countries will now be split and weakened.

4. Again not directly relateable as most countries now have no military to speak of. But perhaps in the case of US and NATO the world peacekeeping is now starting to wear thin.

5. Totally, totally a current problem. Lack of trust in politicians and big corporations is a daily fact of life.

6. Europe is under a massive strain due to the middle eastern wars driving people to escape the conflict. This one is so similar to ancient Rome it is almost laughable.

7. OK we’re not pagan, but countries (mainly UK, USA) although notionally Christian countries, do not exclaim this, nor do their inhabitants all toe this line. Personally I do not think this is a bad thing, but that is my view on religion. In counter to this, not having a uniting force for a country does tend to leave to fracture. If we don’t all fall in behind a religion, or a government or leader, then what exactly do we fall in behind to be patriotic? Is patriotism a dirty word now? If so, how long until the countries collapse? Could one argue that ones allegiance is now to their company rather than their country?

8. Private security forces operate all over the world. Here’s a list of private armies. Blackwater is probably the most (in)famous, rebranded as XE and now as Academi. When the military become beholden to their pay rather than their country. You know you have problems like this and er, this.

Well, I just scared myself again. End of Western Europe / USA? I have said in previous blog posts that we are perhaps now all part of the corporate “Empire” We’ve had about the same run as the Romans did timewise. So perhaps it is coming?

What do you think?

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