Is America Like Rome? Rome was a great civilization, perhaps the greatest according to certain accounts. Its citizens – modern, wealthy, empowered – were the envy of the world. Content with their luxuries and successes, the Romans imported slaves until citizens were a de-facto minority. They stopped manufacturing and creating.
Instead, Rome became the center of a vast bureaucracy, controlling and delegating while outsourcing actual production to their slaves and colonies. Rome thus became lazy and fat, hedonistic and selfish, unwilling anymore to do the dirty work and make the sacrifices that earned its position atop the civilizational heap. They became utterly dependent on imported labor and imported products, hostage to their own egocentricities.
America cannot anymore produce preeminent cars; its industrial might – not to mention its massive debts – resides in the grasps of its fiercest competitors. America now wearies quickly of its own defense, its wars, its security needs. Its attention is sated by “American Idol” and “Dancing with the Stars,” giving short shrift to Iraq and Afghanistan, to females enslaved and children oppressed beyond our shores.
Whereas Reagan’s America defeated Communism by sheer willpower, now the teleprompting Obama – facing radical Islam, Communism’s totalitarian successor – unclenches America’s vital fist. Are we going the way of Rome – are we already too rich, too fat, too soft? Must we read Nero to our Congress?
Have we still got what it takes not only to build the greatest civilization the world has ever seen, but also – and especially – to keep it?