Monday, September 29, 2008

The Decline and Fall of the American Empire?


The crime and folly of the court of Ravenna was expiated a third time by the calamities of Rome. The king of the Goths, who no longer dissembled his appetite for plunder and revenge, appeared in arms under the walls of the capital; and the trembling senate, without any hopes of relief, prepared by a desperate resistance to delay the ruin of their country. But they were unable to guard against the secret conspiracy of their slaves and domestics, who either from birth or interest were attached to the cause of the enemy. At the hour of midnight the Salarian gate was silently opened, and the inhabitants were awakened by the tremendous sound of the Gothic trumpet. Eleven hundred and sixty-three years after the foundation of Rome, the Imperial city, which had subdued and civilized so considerable a part of mankind, was delivered to the licentious fury of the tribes of Germany and Scythia.
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The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by English Historian Edward Gibbon

In recent days it seems that many here on SOL 3 have been speaking of The Decline and Fall of the
American Empire. However as the nation state of the United States does not qualify as an empire this seems to be rather presumptuous and is perhaps the product of ignorance, malcontent or guilt ridden loquaciousness.

It does raise the question as to a long term geo-political powers potential descent from such power, is the collapse of the
United States imminent? As we have seen across the Multiverse Galactic Empires, Dominions, Unions, Federations, Alliances etc do collapse for many reasons. Even our own Sublime Hegemony is alert to the potential for conflict with the Teuto-Trans-Zenith Authority (of course the potential for collapse from within the Hegemony has been statistically proven to be highly unlikely).

SOL 3 historian
Michael Grant in his book The Fall of the Roman Empire has divided the demise of the Roman Empire into intriguing sections:

1) The Generals against the State
2) The People against the Army
3) The Poor against the State
4) The Rich against the State
5) The Middle Class against the State
6) The People against the Bureaucrats
7) The People against the Emperor
8) Ally against Ally
9) Race against Race
10) Drop-outs against Society
11) The State against Free Belief
12) Complacency against Self-Help
13) The Other World against This World
14) Some Religious Disunities (Catholic Against Orthodox)

I have found myself of late meditating upon these various possibilities. It seems comparisons between the
Roman Empire and the present day United States do hold some similar intriguing parameter delineations yet I would not with that surmise the collapse of the United States is imminent (of course one of the over arching geo political factors completely missing from Mr. Grant’s premise is the Super Factor of Gossip).

I am uncertain as to which factors most SOL 3 inhabitants would indicate as the prime movers in this situation.