Gibbons once wrote, [A]s long as mankind shall continue to bestow more liberal applause on their destroyers than on their benefactors, the thirst of military glory will ever be the vice of the most exalted characters.'
Would you say this is true? Could we use this to trace the fall of the USSR, modern Europe and eventually the US?
All Empires come and go, nothing is eternal American exceptional is american delusion.
That said I think its very dangerous to say that every fall is the same. There is a nice pamphlet, Fate of the Empires by John Glubb, which tries to find commonalities, I don't agree with him, but you should check it out, its a short read.
Is it worth feeling guilt because we perpetuate, in part, the celebration of military prowess over humanistic virtue?
4chan seems largely fixated on war and violence in general -- then again that's pretty ubiquitous when it comes ti humanity.
I've read Glubbs work. It is excellent and I ahree. Why do you disagree?
Although the fall of Empires is rarely the same, there are patterns in their rise and fall that are important to identify. For example, I can tell that there are many similarities between the 'zastoi'/decline period of the USSR and modern America.
You're gay if you think Gibbons is gay.
At the same time war is horrible; I trust that you know this.
If you ccould, would you make it unnecessary, so that it would be unlikely to happen again? Or should it persist for its own sake and because of its benefits you see in it? I'm not certain.
I don't know whether war is horrible or not. And no, I would not eliminate war just as I would not eliminate suffering, if I could. War helps humans and nations become strong just as suffering helps a human know joy.
Ruskin was one of the most gentle-hearted and peace loving men that ever lived. Yet he believed in war with all the fervor of a worshiper of the strenuous life. "When I tell you," he says in the Crown of Wild Olive, "that war is the foundation of all the arts, I mean also that it is the foundation of all the high virtues and faculties of men. It is very strange to me to discover this, and very dreadful, but I saw it to be quite an undeniable fact. * * * I found in brief, that all great nations learned their truth of word and strength of thought in war; that they were nourished in war and wasted by peace, taught by war and deceived by peace; trained by war and betrayed by peace; in a word, that they were born in war and expired in peace."
Ill write more about this later if you are interested, am in a bit of a hurry rn. But in short, the USSR economy reached a period of stagnanation where manufactering became non-existant and the economy became focused on building 'high technology', over spending on the military-industrial complex, dogmatic/weak politicians, and a weak citizenry overly focused on civil rights and liberalism.
>it happened before so it will happen again
Don't give me that. It's much more likely that the United States will evolve into a more powerful but also more inclusive entity, rather than give way to another external power like China or a united Europe. There's really no reason to think otherwise except for a history that is now more or less irrelevant to modern Western states, unless you believe Yellowstone will erupt or nuclear armageddon will come, in which case the discussion becomes totally academic since everyone is fucked then.
>but muh immigration because of global warming
The US is very good at assimilating new citizens. Only religion *might* get in the way, and all the immigrants fleeing the effects of global warming in South and Central America are Christians, soooooooooooo...
>There's really no reason to think otherwise
Let me remind you that every Empire thought the same way. Beginning before Rome and ending with the USSR. Nobody imagined that the mammoth of a state could collapse, but it did and overnight at that. The reason we cant have an eternal Empire at this time is because we havent identified the exact causes of what causes an Empires decline. How can you prevent the decline from setting in if you cant even identify it?
Rome was also very adapt in integrating new citizens. Its more about the availability of resources and how they are shared in a society. Once the "golden age" is over the empire enters a state where the elites reform the state in a massive extent to ensure the continuation of their economic and political dominance. After that the decline beginns to slowly set in and it depends on the fundament how long its gonna take till some fort of collapse or major transformation.
Yeah I agree. The interesting part in, a very evident symptom of decline is the advent of strong science and womens/civil rights. Right before the fall of Ancient Arabic civilization, women had equal 'rights' and were becoming a majority in previously mens dominated professions (like scribes and lawyers). This also corresponded to a decline in martial virtues and a weakening of the army and was part of the Goldeb Age of science and philosophy for the arabs. After the decline happened there was an introduction of sharia law
I just think the symptoms you mentioned are a symptom of an advanced civilization that actually has the ressources to fund a progressive scientific community and has so much need of labor that women are allowed to work. Also the general level of empathy rises because the situation of the individual citizen allows for deeper thought about the disentfranchised parts of society.
What will be intresting about future collapses will be the technological aspect. Earlier empires fell because they weren´t able to protect against other uncivilized but more martial civilizations, later empires often were cannibalized or killed by competing younger and more dynamic empires. Modern technology and weapons of mass destruction prevent this. Europe won´t be overrun by the islamic caliphate and the US won´t be conquered by mexico and canada. My personal guess is that depending on how a society handles it there will be either a slow decline and a high level of remaining prosperity (europe after the world wars) o massive internal unrest with unforseeable consequences ( possibly USA but might be overly pessimistic).
I just have the feeling that the tendence the US development shows isn´t pointing towards a quiet peaceful and orderly decline but on the other hand europe hastened its decline with two unbelievably destructive wars so who knows...
Yes. They are symptoms of an advanced civilization. But science really becomes important as an economy slows down. The development and growth of science has always corresponded to a civilizations decline in history.
As for the US and its decline, I believe that decline and the 'civilizational cycle' as I call it, will occur faster nowadays mainly because of improved transportation and long distance instant communication. The US wont be conquered (not many civilizations have been throughout history - different things bring about the collapse of civilization in different ways). Imo the US will collapse form overstretching itself and a lack of manufactering capacity which will cause it to be outcompeted.
The Roman empire ended up reinventing itself as the Holy Roman Empire and ended up more influential than ever, spreading classical learning all around the globe.
Mind you, the US has already managed that. What was Cortez compared to Ronald McDonald?
The Holy Roman Empire wasnt really the Roman Empire, just Charlemagne trying to get more legitamacy for himself through Rome's name. Its like saying that Russia was the continuation of Rome because it called itself 'The Third Rome'.
But yes America is past the stage of reinventing itself
This. Its just a rightwing meme to blame decadency for romes fall. In fact the decadence occured the strongest when the empire was at its heigt, the soldier emperors of later times sure as hell weren´t "decadent" in the sense right winger try to impose.
Basically the same thing as in rome. The central state can´t pay the overboarding army and the republic will be forced to rely on the wealthy elite in one way or another to continue to finance the vast military. This will lead to the end of democracy sooner or later, or the populace accepts the end of the superpower status.
>This. Its just a rightwing meme to blame decadency for romes fall. In fact the decadence occured the strongest when the empire was at its heigt, the soldier emperors of later times sure as hell weren´t "decadent" in the sense right winger try to impose.
Define decadence? It is known that by the collapse of the WRE (and later Byazntium) the people of Rome had abandoned militarstic values that had allowed Rome to succeed in the first place, in favor of those that 'felt' good (hedonism) and allowed themselves to succumb to weakness of will, body and mind. They used their vast wealth to purchase barbarian mercenaries and as they got closer to their fall, more and more of the Roman Army consisted of barbarian mercs. The Roman Army still existed staffed by young men from all over the Empire, it had excellent equipment and tactics and training, but there were not enough of them. Most of the Empire was weak.
The fall of the Roman Republic could be characterized with many of the same vices but to a much lesser extent. It was revitalized by Julius Caesar.
Shut the fuck up Voltaire.
It was called the Holy Roman Empire because:
Holy - The emperor was crowned by the Pope, thus sanctioned under God
Roman - The coronation takes place in Rome, under the Roman Catholic Church.
Empire - During the time period of Charlemagne, there were multitudes of cultural groups under the rule of the Franks, especially large portions of Slavs in Bohemia.
The name is SUBSTANTIATED, GO BACK TO THE PRUSSIAN COURT YOU FAGGOT FRENCH FUCK, SUCK FREDRICK's FAT FUCKING PHALLUS.
Except people absolutely understood the USSR could collapse, and some Romans were VERY well aware of what was happening before the damn fall.
There's an anonymous treatise that very candidly examines the troubles the army is having protecting rome, and uses excellent logic to suggest solutions-and the author clearly sees the danger his world is in.
...military spending is only 4% of GDP and we face precisely no existential threats whatsoever.
Literally everything you're saying is fucking wrong.
The army wasn't any more barbarian that it had been.
What killed rome was people startign constant fucking civil wars during and in between invasions mass migrations, while other officers flat out decided they were independent and used their men to carve out their own empires.
The things that killed Rome no longer fucking occur. The army does not rely on generals to secure their retirement. They are not so poorly plaid in cash that they require donatives to get by.
They are made up of men obligated to serve for decades-most people do four years and leave, never to return.
The united states has a single, overarching identity and language, and the rise of instant communication means you will NOT see an equivalent of the gallic empire ever spring up, because the idea would meet with no actual support.
There are no hordes ready to invade, and and that did would be unable to survive, because America, unlike rome, spends 4% of gdp of defense, rather than almost the entire government fucking budget, and can expand-or decrease-its fighting power at will.
Comparing the united states to rome is fucking retarded, and only the ignorant do it seriously.
4% percent of the GDP is all nice and dandy but i am talking about what the military uses up of the government spending. Also it is one thing to finance the military in peace times but to maintain the global position the US currently helds military interventions will be necessary at some point or another. Just look at the huge toll the Iraq war took on the finances. I seriously doubt the US could finance another prolonged operation like this right now. This will lead to a situation where the US can´t finance a military operation public and politics deem necessary to maintain the global position the USA sees itself in. Then we are in a situation where the military is dependent on private money and the cards are wide open. You might see that as unrealistic but given the state of the democracy where poor people aren´t able to realize their interests while rich people are the decisive power in the state. I see lots of parallels between the early stages of the late roman republic and the USA. The way the US is currently developing will lead to a system where the elite is even more able to protect their wealth and to entrench themselves on the centers of political power. After this the slow decline every empire sooner or later faces will start to set in. The american exceptionalism simply is wrong especially when it comes to the undefeatable position the US likes to see itself in.
>4% percent of the GDP is all nice and dandy but i am talking about what the military uses up of the government spending.
16% of federal spending as of 2015.
Social security alone is 25%.
Come back when we have to devalue the fucking currency to pay our soldiers, and you can say America is like rome, because THAT is what was needed to military expenditure ot become impossible for rome to handle. Soldiers were being paid in fucking food and clothing.
>I seriously doubt the US could finance another prolonged operation like this right now
Then you're an idiot and have never actually looked into the mater.
Your ENTIRE FUCKING IDEA is based off of a total misunderstanding of the US economy, the Roman economy, the relative percentage of budget dedicated to the military by either, or hwo different the military forces of each nation ae handled, treated, funded, and indoctrinated.
In other words, you're completely fucking ignorant and need to stop posting.
Not him but...
>loosely organized less civilized militants groups
>unstable reach outward, authority of contract diminishing
>Large influx of aleins: i.e. Jews, Christians, German provinces
>unstable reach outward,
Unparalleled political and economic reach in human history, as yet unmatched military power projection, pop culture so common that it can be assumed that EVERYONE you encounter is somewhat familiar wiht it.
In a word?
>authority of contract diminishing
>Large influx of aliens: i.e. Jews, Christians, German provinces
Immigrants into the US end up whiter than WASPS within three generations. Asians in particular are notorious for this.
>loosely organized less civilized militants groups
The oath keepers, which is the largest such group, number in the low thousands.... in a nation of hundreds of millions.
Militant groups in the US don't even statistically manage to qualify as fringe.
Nor can you relaly call them less civilized, given that they have... actually actively avoided any use of violence in this decade.
Way way big shot has to start insulting because he is hurt in his patriotic feelings. Alright first of all :
You fail to see that social security is something a modern developed government has to provide. A necessary service along with other things like infratsructure, these things are needed to either fullfill the basic expectations the citizen has towards his government or to sustain the US economy in the case of infrastructure education etc. There already is a huge fucking deficit in infrasturcture spending so the US infratsructure is declining massively and is in dire need of HUGE investments. Please elaborate how the USA is supposed to pay for this with one or maybe even two overseas military operations going on at the same time? The debt already is over 100% of the BIP, it might be that this can grow to 200% or even more but at some point it seriously begins to threaten the stability of the state and you either have to drastically cut back in several areas including the military or look for other sources of income. It is possible to compensate for this with tay raises but i don´t seriously believe the political climate in the US allows for the drastic tax raises it would need to finance all of this in the long run. It might be that i am overly pessimistic but the situation isn´t sustainable in the long run.
You only see the positive aspects empires benefit from in the 21st century but fail to see the new challenges that arose due to modern times. Also nobody says americas collapse is imminent but it is obvious that america faces large scale economic, social and governmental/political problems that are comparable to the problems other empires faced. Go away and educate yourself, your end of history USA stronk reasoning is immature and stupid. If you seriously aren´t able to see that americas might and global position has declined since the start of the 21st century you are delusional. Your imperial moment is comming to its end.
Hahaha oh wow.
>Way way big shot has to start insulting because he is hurt in his patriotic feelings
You're speaking to a person fully expecting a violent revolution within their lifetime. And I think it will be a net positive. Assume harder.
>You fail to see that social security is something a modern developed government has to provide.
No it isn't.
>these things are needed to either fullfill the basic expectations the citizen has towards his government
Except the current generation already expects social security to die. Nobody under 30 seriously expects to actually see a penny of social security money.
Another 28% of spending is medicare and medicaid. ALL of these expenditures are going to massively drop in 20-25 years, because virtually the entire baby boomer generation is going to die, and those individuals are both a massive segment of the populace compared to following generations, and the primary fucking cause of this spending.
Even an absolute simpleton can understand that the US is a hegemony, not an empire.
Additionally, the overall militayr budget was smaller by less than 20 billion in 2015-a year with no major overseas operations-than in 2009, when Iraq and Afghanistan were both seeing active fighting.
Again, your ENTIRE FUCKING HYPOTHESIS about America being comparable to late Rome due to rampant military spending is fucking laughable.
Rome spent the majority of it's budget on the army, needed to spend more to survive, and couldn't afford what it did spend.
The united states spends minority a on the military, can crush any attacker, and faces precisely zero existential threats, nor does it have any borders with a power capable of becoming a threat in the next CENTURY.
It begins to get bogged down when 10+ years are spent in a location with no clear goals-lighting operations to smash adversaries, ala Grenada, end up relatively cheap.
>bu-bu-but you'll fall one day
I never said otherwise.
>You're speaking to a person fully expecting a violent revolution within their lifetime. And I think it will be a net positive. Assume harder.
Confirmed for crackpot without any real knowledge about history.The so positive violent revolution ( name one violent revolution that was positive and not connected with massive political instabilization that damaged the nation for decades) will be the beginning of the end.
>Again, your ENTIRE FUCKING HYPOTHESIS about America being comparable to late Rome due to rampant military spending is fucking laughable.
Late roman republic not late rome you mong. There is a HUGE difference. Read about roman history, seriously reflect about your crude views and try to implement the leasons we learned from rome to modern times. You haven´t mentioned in a single sentence how america is supposed to pay http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/ the 3,6 trillion dollar for infratsructural needs and sustian its military engagement. All i see is the typical bullshit about ahaha we will cut all social security with no problem and look at our strong military, no one can match us. Meanwhile the fucking nation crumbles under your ass. Its amazing how you completly fail to see the massive problems that will reduce the ability of america to sustain its huge military spending. It astonishes me how americans continue to define themselves mainly with their strong military, not like any other superpower tried that in the 20th century. Just seriously think about what the difference between america in the 50s and america today is. I never said you will be a backwater nation tomorrow but actually open your eyes.
>But i'm talking about the republic
Nd yet, the post I linked to dedicates:
>a paragraph to the empire
>a sentence to the republic
No, you weren't.
You're desperate to make a comparison that does not exist, and are not moving the goalposts to make it fit.
What's even better is that the transition from republic to empire doesn't fit the major decrease in power, reach, or prosperity you're talking about.
Yes i were. You are actually aware that the republic had to rely on patricians to pay the legions?
The start of the empire marked the end of the expansion. The early princeps were able to bring peace after the massive civil wars but failed with further expansion (except a little under trajan). The republic transformed itself from a dynamic expansionalist power to a static empire not really able to expand further. My argument is that america has times of political instability ahead similiar to late roman republic, a political stabilisation will set in when the political system transforms to something that will assure the continued dominance of the elites. We don´t know how that will affect prosperity because modern economies are way more vulnerable to instability (or bad infrastructure which you still haven´t mentioned or explained in a word ). Don´t put arguments in my mouth i never offered in the first place.
Also isn´t decreasing infratstructure the sign of a failing empire ? I know you won´t answer me on that but just curious.
You must be an idiot if you think that civilizations just pop up randomly like zots on ones face.
Civilizations always arise from an ambitious, strong and intellegent group of people who conquer their neighbors and build a powerful nation. Its what happened with every power since time immemorial (yes, even America).
I know why it was called the Holy Roman Empire. Doesn't change the fact that it still had nothing to do with the Western Roman Empire.
1. Different religion.
2. Different administrative systems
3. Different language.
4. Difderent ethnic composition
Except nobody of importance predicted the USSR would fall when it did. Obviously everybody knew the USSR would fall eventually (as all empires inevitably do - it will happen to America) but they could not imagine it going from the monster that it was to virtually collapsing over night.
Hell, US economists even thought that Soviet economy would surpass that of the US in 1995 (there was studied done by the DOD on the topic in the 80s).
You do realize that not every Empire falls in the same ways.
Sure soldiers do not rely on generals for retirement, there are no hordes threatening US, etc etc doesnt change the fact that similarities exist with the fall of Rome.
If you actually know anything about the fall of the WRE, its the fact the army was full of Barbarian mercs because Roman men would avoid the draft. Moreover, another widely accepted fact by historians, is that Rome did not spend most of its 'GDP' on military. Not even close.
What caused the fall of Rome was many factors some of which I already listed, but others include: crumblig infrastructure, a belief in Romes invincibility, overstretching militarily and economically, decandence of the citizenry, strong scientific base, equal rights for women (and in some provinces women ruled because their husbands were weak magistrates), etc. This is all present in America.
When US dollar devalues, it will not be decline it will already be collapse. Decline is what leads up to the devaluing of the currency.
What you mention about soldiers being paid with food/clothing was when Rome had already collapsed, just the Barbarians had not yet come.
You do realize that spending 25% (your numbers) on social security and other things are a huge burden on the economy? USSR collapsed because it spent too much on military, British Empire collapsed because it spent too much administrating its Empire, US may collapse from spending too much on social security and other pointless expense. The point is each Empires collapse is different. It is impossible to say what specifically will cause the collapse, (for Rome it was the Vandals, for the USSR it was poor leadership, for the British Empire it was WW1, for the Incas it was disease) but it is possible to observe patterns that each of these Empires shared.
>Unparalleled political and economic reach in human history, as yet unmatched military power projection, pop culture so common that it can be assumed that EVERYONE you encounter is somewhat familiar wiht it
Rome had similar political and economic reach in history. So did the USSR. The USSR and the US were evenly matched in military and cultural reach at the height of the cold war, the British Empire had perhaps the largest cultural reach in history as it had conquered the greatest amount of territory in history. What is your point? What gives US a powerful reach is its economy and having military bases in many countries of the world. Rome, Britosh Empire and USSR (just examples other empires had it too) had similar things. It did not prevent their collapse, merely accelerated it.
>US is a hegemony, not an empire.
No. The US is an empire whether you like it or not. The US conquered huge swathes of territory economically, now has bases in every NATO country in Europe, propping up small European armies, supplying them, giving them money, training etc. Most of the European countries have adopted US system of government (with small modifications) and nost of the populace of thos countries knows English. Moreover there are many bases spread out over the world (outside of Europe). The time of military conquests is over, at least for now, and a country 'acknowledges' conquest when it lets a bigger country puts a few bases on its territory. In many cases, the soldiers in US army bases throughout the world outnumber the local soldiers.
Now tell me the US ISNT empire. LOL
One would think so. But what happened was the women started cutting back on infrastructure and maintaining the military because they 'didnt see the point' and instead wasted money on building 'glorious' public works and making equivalents of soup kitchens for the poor.
Essentialyl what is happening with bleeding hearted liberals now.
They can go ahead. Not my fault their pussy ass state cucked them. The fact of the matter is, war/extreme poverty makes a nation great. Individuals are merely collateral. However, many individuals also become great through war, only cucked US soldiers get PTSD from pressing a button and not seeing thousands die.
Nig, not my fault all of Europe based their government systems, law systems and fundemental institutions on Rome. So for Europe Rome is the 'template' faggot. America is based on European systmes and therefore by extension on Rome.
Stop being a cuck and gtfo
Np, you juts have no idea what an empire is, or what the relationship between the US and the nations it maintains bases in is.
You don't fucking pay rent on the land your military is on in an empire.
America is an Empire but not a traditional one. I went through this in my other posts
Yes, if you want other nations to thunk you arent trying to colonize them (but you are) you pay them a mesely amount of rent. Its a tactic used by everyone from the Romans to the Soviets.
Youre dumb if you cant see that America is indeed an 'Empire' but not a traditional one. In fact, that is precisely what many historians argue. Go research it before making retarded claims.
How is America not an empire, it fulfills all the criteria of being one including having bases conveniently located 40 km from Berlin for example.
Yes, we have conquered the Germans by stationing the hub of our overseas logistics and medical arms there.
Fear our medics, Deutschland. They might spend all their money in your bars.
Never mind that we pay for the privilege, and these massive American bases which give NO thought to local defense, often have little to no capacity to attack the nation they are in. Also disregard that American military presence actually allows Germany in particular to spend very, very little of their money on defense, because it's understood that America will do the work for them.
ALSO disregard that we've been fucking BEGGING Europeans to spend more oif their GDP on defense for an extended period.
Because, clearly, a conqueror would WANT the subject peoples to re-arm en masse, organize amongst themselves with minimal oversight, and fucking loves when subject people can mount extended military campaigns without them, right?
>HUUUR IT JUST ISN'T TRADITIONAL!!!!!!!1111ELEVEN
Except it doesn't fucking fit. At all.
The untied states does not hold sovereignty over anything but itself and its territoreis.
It does not have supreme, total control over allied nations.
It allowed multiple "conquered" nations permanent seats on the UN security council, meaning any US favored legislation they dislike can be fucking VETOED.
NATO expects a higher percentage of GDP to be spent on defense than most members actually do, and the nations failing their obligations face no punishment, and will still benefit from American assistance if attacked.
You're a fucking moron.
If America is anything, it's a hegemony. a single power that wields unparalleled influence over its chosen sphere of influence to the point that lesser powers will typically defer to it on major decisions, but with no obligation to do so.
Here let me leave you with an article from people who do strategic analysis for DoD, and also write articles for consumer consumption.
America is an empire. Period.
Lol as if you are ir literate. American political structure is based on the British model which was Empire based. Nice try.
Also doesnt change the fact that Stratfor does internal reports for the DoD. Youre wrong deal with it
Very literate, actually. The US is not an empire. It uses some of the British empire's port network; this doesn't make it an empire. Statfor's full of very smart people; they know how to write down to morons like you and explain things in the few terms you can understand. "Hegemony" is s big word that simpletons don't understand.
Please, read a book or something. For your own sake.
>implying I don't know who Stratfor is
>your first choice of source is fucking wikileaks
Good god you're fucking retarded, it's not like they made a name for themselves after Serbia, please just fuck off
So if Stratfor is full of very smart people and calls the US an Empire then why are you arguing its not an Empire. Do you think yourself smarter than people in the DoD??
Also, I have a degree in IR from a top Canadian University. All pur profs consider the US an Empire.
Not only do you ignore proof, but you start saying things like MUH CRITERIA, when its not my criteria that determined that US is an Empire but very smart people.