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posted on 11 January 2017

Is America the New Rome and Greece?

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Yes, America has become not only the new Rome, but also Greece, ancient or modern! It is therefore a double tragedy in the making …

1. Introduction

There are many well-written articles and books comparing America with ancient Rome. Two examples:

  1. Is America the New Rome? – United States vs. the Roman Empire.
  2. Are We Rome?

There are also many well-written articles comparing America with Greece, ancient or modern. Two examples:

  1. The U.S. and Greece: Far Too Much in Common.
  2. How Greek crisis could turn American tragedy.

But few compare America with both, which is what I am doing here.

In a previous article (America: What Did Our Founding Fathers Do, Actually?), I state that "At its birth, America was simply and literally a copy of the Roman Republic of more than 2,000 years ago".

Now, let me demonstrate that America has actually been following the footsteps of ancient Rome to its inevitable failure: bankrupting itself by being an over-extended empire!

2. Ancient Rome - An Overview

Below is an excerpt from Wikipedia - Ancient Rome.

Ancient Rome was an Italic civilization that began on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to become one of the largest empires in the ancient world[1] with an estimated 50 to 90 million inhabitants (roughly 20% of the world's population[2][3][4]) and covering 6.5 million square kilometers (2.5 million sq mi) at its height between the first and second centuries AD.[5][6][7]

In its approximately 12 centuries of existence, Roman civilization shifted from a monarchy to a classical republic and then to an increasingly autocratic empire. Through conquest and assimilation, it came to dominate Southern and Western Europe, Asia Minor, North Africa, and parts of Northern and Eastern Europe.

3. Ancient Rome - Highlights

The image below highlights ancient Rome's history.

Let’s focus on one issue (or period): “Constantine and Christianity”, as it is most relevant to this article.

Below is an excerpt from Wikipedia – Ancient Rome.

Constantine assumed the empire as a tetrarch in 306. He conducted many wars against the other tetrarchs. Firstly he defeated Maxentius in 312. In 313, he issued the Edict of Milan, which granted liberty for Christians to profess their religion.[134] Constantine was converted to Christianity, enforcing the Christian faith. He began the Christianization of the Empire and of Europe - a process concluded by the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages.

A key question: why was Constantine converted to Christianity, which eventually became the official religion of the Roman Empire?

A simple answer: He saw its critical importance as a tool to rule the over-extended Roman Empire! Before that, not only was Christianity small and fragmented, but its followers were also severely persecuted by the Romans, including the occupation of Christianity's Holy Land (i.e. Jerusalem) and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ!

For a more profound understanding of the relationship between Christianity and Rome, watch the video below:

Bottom line: Did this dramatic fusion of the imperial power and Christianity work for the Romans?

Yes, for a few hundred years, at least! Although the [Western] Roman Empire officially ended in 476AD (after which there has never been a Roman Emperor based in Rome), it left two huge and lasting foot-prints behind:

  1. The Eastern [Roman] Empire lasted for another 1,000 years.
  2. The Roman Catholic Church and the Vatican! As a result, the old adage "all roads lead to Rome" still remains true today, at least for billions of the Catholics worldwide.

4. America - An Overview

America is a “free” country!

America has known freedoms for three main reasons:

  1. It was founded as a country without a king.
  2. It guarantees religious freedoms, especially for the Protestants, aka "the Christens without a Pope".
  3. Church and state do not mix.

Americans are losing freedoms for three main reasons:

  1. We now actually have 546 kings or queens (i.e. 435 in the House, 100 in the Senate, nine in the Supreme Court, and two in the White House), with most of them serving for one paramount purpose: getting re-elected ad nauseam! For more, read: Term Limits for Congress!
  2. Some of us have fallen into a trap of a religious war with Islam.
  3. Some of us are still trying to mix church with state, having learned nothing from history. For more, read: God and America.

In short, America has become a debt slave, soon losing all its freedoms!

5. America - Highlights

The image below highlights American history.

Let's focus on four points:

  1. 1945: Empire.
  2. 1965: Full democracy
  3. 2003: Launching the Iraq War.
  4. 2039: End of American democracy?

Let me elaborate on each ...

5.1 1945: Empire

Although America's empire building started well before 1945, it was greatly accelerated after WWII, which, despite its devastation, ultimately turned out to be particularly good for America. Specifically, America's chief competitors were either destroyed by the war (e.g. Germany and Japan) or self-destructed badly by adopting/continuing a fundamentally flawed system called "communism" (e.g. China 1949-1976 and the USSR) after the war. As a result, America was left as the only chief producer on earth, making and inventing virtually everything and thus dictating prices. This not only finally lifted America out of the Great Depression, but also created unprecedented prosperity in America throughout the second half of the 20th century.

Unfortunately, WWII also left America with a huge, self-perpetuating problem: the MIC (Military-Industrial Complex), including the military bases all over the world. The MIC requires enemies, real or created, to justify its existence and expansion: first communism and then terrorism! It has been totally out-of-control for decades! For more, read: Fixing the Military-Industrial Complex!

5.2 1965: Full democracy

On August 6, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law, which prohibited racial discrimination in voting, thus ending an evil legacy of racism that was allowed since the first day of the republic and finally realizing the democratic ideal of one person, one vote! America became a full democracy, like some European countries (e.g. France), at last! For more, read: What Is American Democracy, Anyway?

Since 1965, democracy has been religiously practiced in America, to such an extreme that it is now being widely exported, even by force at times!

5.3 2003: Launching the Iraq War

On March 20, 2003, President George W. Bush recklessly launched the Iraq War. As a result, America officially became imperialistic (Democratic Imperialism)! The official reason of invasion was WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction), which was later proven false, so it morphed into to "spreading democracy". For more, read: What's The Real Cost of The Iraq War?

5.4 2039: End of American democracy?

Soviet communism lasted for 74 years (1917-1991). Will American democracy outlast Soviet communism in longevity (1965-2039)? At the present rate, it is unlikely. For more, read my new book: American Democracy.

6. America vs. Rome

America looks like Rome in at least three major aspects:

  1. America started as a republic by mimicking the Roman Republic. For more, read: America: What Did Our Founding Fathers Do, Actually?
  2. Like the Roman Republic, America evolved into an empire.
  3. Unlike the Roman Empire, which used a religion (i.e. Christianity) as a tool to expand and control, the American Empire used an ideology (i.e. democracy) as a tool to expand and control. However, because democracy has been religiously practiced in America, there is no de facto difference between America's ideology and Rome's religion in their use as tools for expansion and control!

Here is a huge problem for America: democracy, as a tool or not, is far worse than Christianity! Specifically,

  1. Christianity: It has survived and thrived over the past 2,000 years, at least!
  2. Democracy: It has been a proven failure throughout human history, without a single example of lasting success!

Here comes Greece, the cradle of democracy (Athenian democracy) ...

7. Greece

Here is the Greek tragedy (ancient or modern): democracy always leads to uncontrollable debt which inevitably leads to bankruptcy!

8. How bad is democracy, really?

9. What is America today?

Simply put, today’s America is the worst combination of ancient Rome and Greece, ancient or modern! Either may destroy America, let alone both, together!

In other words, America is being destroyed by both the Republicans (thanks to Democratic Imperialism) and the Democrats (thanks to Democratic Socialism)!

Fortunately, Donald Trump is neither a Democrat nor a Republican per se – Trump is barely a Republican! Therefore, President Trump can potentially address both extremes, thus truly making America great again. But will he? For more, read: Donald Trump 2.0.

10. Closing

It's a vast subject to compare America with both ancient Rome and Greece (ancient or modern). This article has given you an insightful glimpse, hopefully.

For an in-depth understanding of America, democracy, and the world including both Rome and Greece, read my new book: American Democracy.

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