Robert Ringer

Following in Rome’s Footsteps

By Robert Ringer - Monday, May 20, 2013

For as long as I can remember, there has been talk of America, like ancient Rome, destroying itself from within.  Little wonder, considering that most Americans, like their Roman predecessors, show little concern for their country’s demise.  They are simply too busy enjoying the good life to think about it.

In addition, politicians and the media keep them distracted with a steady stream of manure-coated “news” — from the Benghazi cover-up to North Korea’s incessant huffing and puffing … from Weiner’s wiener to Iran’s nuclear ambitions … from Fast and Furious to immigration “reform” (i.e., amnesty) … from the record Powerball lottery jackpot to the IRS’ targeting policies … the stream of manure-coated “news” has no end.

Admittedly, manure-coated news is a rather harsh term, which is why I prefer to use the street parlance version, crap.  It’s true that every now and then we have a Pearl Harbor or 9/11, but, in between, 99 percent of the stuff politicians and the media feeds us is pure, unadulterated crap.  And, make no mistake about it, the empty brain cavities wandering the streets of America are addicted to crap.

While these nonstop distractions have been going on for the past hundred years, America has continued to follow the paths taken by ancient Greece and Rome.  By the standards of the day, Greek citizens once lived very well and enjoyed a great deal of freedom.  Imagine the greatness of a republic that could produce the likes of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.  But today Greece, long ago stripped of its greatness, is not much better off than your average third-world country.

Rome, too, was a great republic.  Roman citizenship was so prized that some people actually purchased it.  But Rome, like the U.S. today, allowed itself to become mired in politics and the allure of ever-higher taxes.  Which, as today, led to more and more government employees — ultimately reaching one-third of the adult population.

The result was a total collapse of the once great Roman Empire and the establishment of a dictatorship.  Which in turn led to the intellectual and economic decline of the Dark Ages.  Imagine, nearly a thousand years of human stagnation brought about by coddled Roman citizens who chose security and a comfortable lifestyle over freedom.  In the end, of course, they lost all three.

Right now, as a result of fake money, maxing out of our Chinese Express credit card, and massive redistribution-of-wealth policies, most Americans are still able to maintain a comfortable lifestyle and harbor a false sense of freedom and security.  But thanks to our crumbling entitlement system and the advent of Obamacare, Americans, like the Romans before them, are on the verge of losing all three — freedom, security, and a comfortable lifestyle.

History tells us that there is a natural evolution to democracies.  In the early stages, people are hardworking, honest, and independent.  Paradoxically, these characteristics bring about prosperity, which tends to lead to decadence, laziness, and dependence on government, which is a surefire formula for the emergence of a dictatorship.

The hard fact that most people are unwilling to think about is that individual initiative and productivity are the keystones to freedom and prosperity.  They cannot be replaced by collectivism or wealth transfer.  On the contrary, the latter two will always destroy them.  Without individual initiative and productivity, you cannot have a free or prosperous nation.

Paper-tiger countries like North Korea and Iran are not threats to America.  Nor are powerful countries like Russia and China.  The threats from these countries are synthetically created by politicians and the media to distract Americans from the real enemy — themselves!

The greatest president of the last hundred years, Calvin Coolidge, summed up America’s true problems when he said:

We do not need more material development, we need more spiritual development.  We do not need more intellectual power, we need more moral power.  We do not need more knowledge, we need more character.  We do not need more government, we need more culture.  We do not need more law, we need more religion.  We do not need more of the things that are seen, we need more of the things that are unseen.  It is on that side of life that it is desirable to put the emphasis at the present time.  If that side is strengthened, the other side will take care of itself.  It is that side which is the foundation of all else.  If the foundation be firm, the superstructure will stand.

Given that Coolidge spoke these words nearly a century ago, is it any wonder that America has finally succeeded in destroying itself?  Our nation was fundamentally transformed long before the current presidential imposter was hustled into the White House through a side door by the media.  Of course, America, as a nation, still exists, but its culture perished long ago.

Why did Americans abandon their puritanical ideals for lives of decadence and sloth?  Why did they embrace a flawed system like socialism to replace individualism and self-sufficiency?  Why did they allow the evolution of a complete role reversal whereby politicians give the orders and they, the citizens, obey them?

The answers to these questions, I believe, are to be found in Edward Gibbons’ 1787 classic, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, in which he sums up Rome’s demise:

  1. The undermining of the dignity and sanctity of the home, which is the basis of human society.
  2. Higher and higher taxes and the spending of public monies for free bread and circuses for the populace.
  3. The mad craze for pleasure, sports becoming every year more and more exciting and more brutal.
  4. The building of gigantic armaments when the real enemy was within the decadence of the people.
  5. The decay of religion — faith fading into mere form, losing touch with life and becoming impotent to warn and guide the people.

Is there any wonder why students of history have long compared America’s road to serfdom to that of ancient Rome’s?  Now, the question is, will our decline be the catalyst for a new dark ages?  My guess is no, because other countries, most notably China and India, are moving toward becoming what we once were.  The saving grace of modern civilization is that someone is always going in the right direction.  Unfortunately for you and me, someone is always going in the wrong direction as well.

You have permission to reprint this article so long as you place the following wording at the end of the article:

Copyright © 2019 Robert Ringer
ROBERT RINGER is a New York Times #1 bestselling author and host of the highly acclaimed Liberty Education Interview Series, which features interviews with top political, economic, and social leaders. He has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business, The Tonight Show, Today, The Dennis Miller Show, Good Morning America, The Lars Larson Show, ABC Nightline, and The Charlie Rose Show, and has been the subject of feature articles in such major publications as Time, People, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Barron's, and The New York Times.

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34 Responses to “Following in Rome’s Footsteps”

  1. johanberger519 says:

    I agree that things look bleak for America at the present time, but they were similar under Jimmy Carter, and he was succeeded by Reagan – surely Coolidge's equal, or?? IF impeachment – or at least malfeasance of office – is found out re Obama's 'administration', can we not hope that some personality like Sarah Palin or Rick Santorum will be there to retrieve lost ideals?? By the way, I have read that China is NOT the tiger it once was re financial importance, so I think Brasil is IN with India, and China is OUT along with Russia..

    • FunkyChick says:

      Perhaps Rand Paul? Benjamin Carson (a DOCTOR, NOT a politician) might be a great "addition" to the mix, too.

  2. texas wolfie says:

    I would call the NEWS "Sugar coated manure" rather than manure coated news..I agree however this country needs a serious awakening…..

  3. Lawrence Ekdahl, says:

    There is no saving grace to be found in the naions of the world. My bible tells me the nations of the world are goin to deteriorate more and more into evil until my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ returns to set things right. This does not mean that we throw up our hands and surrender. Jesus also said ,"Occupy til I come.'

  4. bullwink says:

    Robert well said, tho they probably taught Latin when you went to School along w/ Roman and Greek history, " The Age of Pericles" was brief, Socrates was put to death, I'm sure there is a drone w/ your name on it,
    Da Poople doan''t know & don't want to either, Learning takes time and effort, the results are usually worth it, but many are concerned w/ cable TV and themselves, The President says not to Question authority, Plato encouraged questions, Confuscious said "the wisdom is in the question"
    "the pres said "a guy who looks like you can be president of the US"
    LOoks Like…… Smells like ? three fish…2 herring 1 smeldt
    the wonderful news, devoid of questions, parroted by good lookin' journalists, "the Naked News" Just the facts maam……………."
    if you tell the truth and no one listens but the Bare in the Forest, Snooki & Us, no offense, crime committed, so far

  5. Anthony Schuman says:

    Why don't the so called conservative commentators call this crisis precisily what it is; the worst scandal since liberal icon Alger Hiss was exposed by Richard Nixon instead of Watergate? The media lionized Hiss up to and through his perjury conviction and ultimate death and called all those investigating Hiss all kinds of names. Plus the IRS and the Justice dept. went after those who dared to look into Hiss. Read Whittaker Chambers autobiography, Witness and Richard Nixon's Six Crises and see what honest people had to do to fight Marxists in office.

  6. PitBull says:

    Love this piece, Mr R. Wow! Coolidge! Gibbons! Serfdom! The Dark Ages! Spiritual development! Moral power! Bread and Circuses! Empty brain cavities wandering the streets of America are addicted to crap!

    Quite a picture in words of how our comfort zone(s) (or what's left of them) are slowly…slowly…being assaulted. Quick…put on the rose-colored glasses!

  7. Eric says:

    That's odd. Wasn't it Gibbons who blamed Christianity for the fall of the Roman Empire?

    • karl296 says:

      No it wasn't. As Robert pointed out, it was the decay of traditional religion. Gibbon pointed out that Christianity was but one of many new competeing religions to replace the Roman Empire's traditional religions. The Roman Emperor Constantine promptly suborned the Christian religion and twisted it for the state's use in controlling his subjects. All those Christians who resisted him were branded "heritics" (even though it was Constantine who was introducing pagan beliefs and practices into the new state religion) and were either exiled or killed.
      Gibbon's point was that all of the virtues that had made Rome great to begin with had been reduced to mere "lip service".

  8. Pitch says:

    Gibbon did in fact strongly believe that Christianity was a main contributing factor to the fall and final collapse of the Roman Empire and he strongly held in contempt the Middle Ages as a priest-ridden, superstitious, Dark Age. The influence of the clergy, in any age of superstition, might be usefully employed to assert the rights of mankind; but so intimate is the connection between the thrones, dictatorships (President Obama) and the altars, that the banner of the various multitudes of different sects and Religions coupled with all the world’s mystical hucksters has very seldom throughout any period in history been seen on the side of the people.

  9. Pitch says:

    Today however, we actually see Christianity under attack and retreat in almost all areas of the world; a religion that has and still holds as its main premise and promise: “A BETTER LIFE AFTER DEATH!” This loss of Christian believers rather than being replaced with a more civilized, self responsible, enlightened and intelligent populace is quickly being filled with an even more Barbarian form of Religion: “Islamic Madness, Stupidity and Insanity.” Islam also has as its main premise a promise for “A BETTER LIFE AFTER DEATH!” And sadly, millions of low IQ Humans are worshiping at the altar of this particularly dastardly and Barbarian form of mind control who gladly sacrifice, maim, murder, rape and plunder on a daily basis all around the world in the name of a Religious Myth. Is it any wonder that Gibbon correctly condemned the myth of Christianity as a main contributing factor in the demise of Rome?

    • karl296 says:

      Yes, I too was once an atheist (for 40 years). But now I know better. Don't confuse the lies propagated by man with God. And just because we know how God did something doesn't mean He didn't do it!

  10. Sammie says:

    Help STOP the $$$'s flowing in to the black pit, mostly to emerge to build that which is used to kill more people.
    and REVOKE your election

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