The roman Empire began with the crowning of Gais Octavian Thurinus in 31 B.C. and fell to the Goths in 476 A.D.  507 years.

The decline was caused less by battles won and lost but more by gapping inequality, and by leaders unable or unwilling to remedy that.

Does that sound familiar?

This should raise alarm bells in America, but the reality is, the Politicians who would have to introduce and vote for such measures are almost all wealthy.  And they are not going to vote for measure which takes that wealth away. Thus we are in a terminal loop.

Here, as in other cases, the lessons of antiquity can raise alarm bells in the current day.

The best example compares Roman in the 3rd century A.D. and America today.

In that 3rd century, two-thirds of all male citizens between 17 and 30 were enrolled in the army, prepared to die for the empire.  And die they did.  In just one battle against Hannibal, tens of thousands were killed.

Instead of suing for peace or making a treaty or giving some concession, the Romans in scripted more and fought again.

Those who don’t learn the lessons of the past are bound to repeat their mistakes.”

By the 2nd century B.C., the formerly united Republic had split into two faction; one super wealthy, enriched by military conquest and opportunistic trading.  They dined off silver plates, imported fish, (during the 2008 banking crisis, one investment banker had fresh crab legs flown in every day at a cost of $400 per delivery) drank vintage wine, and holydays in Mediterranean villas.

In emulation of today’s out of control investment houses, Crassus, a Roman nobleman, made his fortune unscrupulous property deals, then used the money to buy political influence,’

All this while the great majority of Romans endured a life of back-breaking work with no hope that the future would bring some relief.

Roman had defeated its enemies abroad but was undone from within by greed and inequality and by politicians who breached the public trust and by citizens who chose not to punish them.

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