Decline of the American Empire?

Decline of the American Empire?

It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once.
David Hume

In 1788 Edward Gibbon wrote about five basic reasons for the decline of the Roman Empire. As I read these five summations, I distinctly saw a correlation between the changes which occurred prior to the decline of the Roman Empire and what is happening in America today. The parallels are amazing and to be honest, more than a little frightening. The five reasons which Gibbon wrote about are listed below and are expanded on in this blog. I am interested in reading your opinions on the correlation between what happened in Rome and what appears to be happening in modern day America. Enjoy!

Five Basic reasons for the Decline of the Roman Empire:

1) The undermining of the dignity and sanctity of the home.

2) Higher and higher taxes: the spending of public money for free bread and circuses for the populace.

3) The mad craze for pleasure, with sports and plays becoming more exciting, more brutal and more immoral.

4) The building of great armaments when the real enemy was within – the decay of individual responsibility.

5) The decay of religion, whose leaders lost their touch with life, and their power to guide the people.

Edward Gibbon
1788 “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”

1) The undermining of the dignity and sanctity of the home.

The warrior, whether a man or a woman, should be in total control of the home environment, in as much as it is in his power to do so. The warrior should see to it that his children are brought up knowing right from wrong, and having total respect from his children. Undermining this respect undermines the warrior’s ability to pass on the ethics which he knows his family should live by. So, in reality, undermining the warrior’s respect and ability to instruct his children, undermines his ability to pass on his standards, his code of honor to his children. It essentially ties his hands and allows the state to dictate its ethics to his children, instead of the warrior’s ethics.

The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.
Edmond Burke

When the government’s ethics replace the warrior’s ethics in the home, the sanctity of the home has been breached and the family unit is in danger of falling apart. You lose the closeness of the family. You lose the respect for the father or mother that is in charge of the family. Children start to believe that their parents are unreasonable when what they say is opposed to what they are being told by the schools and the government officials. The government falsely believes that the undermining of the sanctity of the home gives them more control over people, but in reality it weakens the country because it weakens the moral character of the citizens.

In regards to your son’s behavior, it is wrong for a parent to scold a child for misdeeds if the parent has not corrected his own mind. You must first of all conduct yourself properly. Then, if you admonish your son, his behavior will improve naturally and your younger son will be sure to learn from his brother’s example and improve his behavior as well. It is truly auspicious when father and sons become virtuous together.
Takuan Soho

You don’t think that this is going on in our country? Have you checked out the television lately? The husband/father is no longer portrayed at the wise man who can teach the children wisdom and take care of problems. There is no more Andy Griffith or Ward Cleaver. On the contrary, the husband/father is more often presented as the dumb buffoon, nothing more than another child for the wife to keep in line and take care of. He is no longer the wise warrior, but the wimp, and a wimp of low moral character and a low IQ. Ever wonder why this image has changed in our entertainment? Has it changed in our families as well?

Father’s must strive with their whole being, with all their heart diligence and wisdom, to make their children honest and high-principled…it is mainly up to the father to make the children honest, virtuous, and honorable.
Leon Battista Alberti

2) Higher and higher taxes: the spending of public money for free bread and circuses for the populace.

Well, this one definitely hits home in our country today. The government not only wants to take more and more of your money through taxes, but it also completely misuses the tax revenue which it takes out of your pockets. Don’t believe me…just do a little research on some of the things which your tax money is spent on. I won’t even get into the debate over whether the billions and billions of dollars we are spending in Iraq is right or wrong, or whether it is making any of us safer here at home. That is a debate that I will leave to another blog. We can completely leave Iraq out of this equation and still find billions and billions of dollars which have been misappropriated.

Find out just what people will submit to and you have found out
the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them.
Frederick Douglas

If you do a little research on how your tax money is spent, you will find it is almost comical, except for the fact that it is so pathetic. It is all a game to our politicians. They aren’t looking out for you or your children. Our politicians have their own little agendas and your tax money is the vehicle that they use to achieve their agendas. Free bread and entertainment for the populace…you bet, just long as the populace votes to keep them in their cushy job. Not enough tax revenue to fulfill their agenda…no problem, they will just put it on the governments “credit card.” Who cares…let our grandkids worry about the bills when they grow up. Wow, talk about irresponsible behavior.

The superior man asks nothing from any but himself.
Confucius

We have billions of dollars of repairs in old infrastructure that is waiting to be done. Bridges need to be replaced. Sewers and water pipes under our cities need to be replaced. Our borders need to be secured. Yet our politicians squander our money like it is an endless supply of candy. The day will come when these careless actions will come back to bite us. There are always consequences. We should hold the politicians responsible, but we are all too busy living our own life, and so these men of low character get a free pass to do as they will. How long will we let them slide? How long before it is too late to correct the problem?

The power to tax involves the power to destroy.
John Marshall

The greatest fruit of self-sufficiency is freedom.
Epicurus

3) The mad craze for pleasure, with sports and plays becoming more exciting, more brutal and more immoral.

We haven’t gone to the extent that the Romans did…yet, but we seem to be headed in that direction. Our sporting events have become much more brutal. Our movies have become more and more graphic and bloody. It seems that it is taking much more to excite and shock our population. Things which would have appalled citizens 40 or 50 years ago now come directly into our homes on a daily basis. We have become numb and desensitized to much of the brutality and blood and guts that we see in our entertainment.

Pleasures are temporary but virtues immortal.
Periander

I remember the first time my wife and I watched Braveheart in the theater. She got nauseous during some of the battle scenes. The second time that we watched the movie, the blood and guts didn’t affect her at all. It didn’t take much to desensitize her concerning the gore contained in that movie. The same thing happens to us when we watch other forms of entertainment. The first few times it may be shocking, but after that it becomes the “same old, same old.” When that happens, expect those in the entertainment world to push the envelope just a little further in an attempt to once again shock and excite you.

Immorality in the house is like a worm in the vegetables.
The Talmud

How many more years before we decide that we are tired of convicts living on our tax dollars and they should maybe earn their food and shelter? Hey, I know, they could entertain us…gladiators anyone? Movies have already been made about this possibility. The Romans used criminals for entertainment both as gladiators and as simple sadistic entertainment. They had no empathy for criminals at all and didn’t think that there was anything wrong with watching criminals tortured to death for entertainment…after all, they were criminals, who cares…

Trickling water, if not stopped, will become a mighty river.
Confucius

Your descendants shall gather your fruits.
Virgil

4) The building of great armaments when the real enemy was within – the decay of individual responsibility.

We have built up our military to be the ultimate military machine in the world. (This statement could have been spoken by many of the Roman Emperors.) The United States military has the power to totally destroy any enemy that comes against it, but does that mean that we are really safe in this country? Even though our military has become stronger, our country and our patriotism have become weaker. We are not only divided between red and blue states, and red and blue voters, but also on racial lines, religious lines, sexual lines, just to name a few of the issues which people seem to be so interested in today.

One’s own faults are one’s mortal enemies.
It follows that to guard against them is life’s gravest concern.
Tiruvalluvar

Everybody seems interested in their own little group’s agenda, but not many of them appear to be too interested in taking care of their individual responsibility. Political correctness has replaced common sense and rational thought. We have to be sure not to offend any one person; even if 20,000 other people pay for that one person’s feelings. Since when did it become a crime to offend someone? If it offends you that someone says or does something that you don’t believe in, GET OVER IT! Our country guarantees you the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; it doesn’t guarantee that you will never be offended.

They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety
deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin

If you are offended that someone wears a cross on a necklace to school…GET OVER IT! If you are offended that someone wears a pentagram on a necklace to school…GET OVER IT! If you are offended that our currency says “In God We Trust”…GET OVER IT! If you want to believe in God, believe in God. If you want to believe that when you die you are nothing more than worm food, believe it. But whatever you believe, quit being offended at every little thing that someone else does or believes. Take care of your own individual responsibilities and let other people worry about their own actions. You choose whether or not to be offended…choose not to be.

Highly evolved people have their own conscience as pure law.
Lao Tzu

Our country seems to be like an alcoholic bodybuilder…outside he looks buff and can kick your ass, but inside he is rotting away and if he doesn’t change, he will not stay strong very much longer. Our true enemy is within. It is our divisiveness. It is our own population who refuses to allow each person to be responsible for their own actions. Yes, we have some real enemies in this world, but if we, as a country were united, no enemy could stand against us. There are too many agendas. There are too many worms in the apple. A house divided cannot stand…

Thatch your roof before rainy weather; dig your well before you are thirsty.
Chinese Proverb

Keep a watchful eye over yourself as if you were your own enemy.
Kahlil Gibran

5) The decay of religion, whose leaders lost their touch with life, and their power to guide the people.

Wow, should I even touch this one? I have probably rubbed half of my readers the wrong way already…I think that this one is pretty obvious in our country. Each year we see another scandal where this preacher or that preacher has done one thing or another that has gone against what he preaches. Just last year here in Colorado, a well-know preacher who constantly slammed gay people and the gay lifestyle, was found to have had several gay affairs. Talk about hypocrisy! If you are going to preach something, then you should live by it yourself. Don’t be a hypocrite. Hypocrisy has rendered religion’s power to guide the people impotent. Who wants to listen to someone who doesn’t live by the same rules that they command you to live by?

Many have quarreled about religion that never practiced it.
Benjamin Franklin

I don’t think that it was a decay of religion that brought Rome down, but rather decay in individual morality and integrity. I see the same things today; people go to church every week, in fact, the churches appear to be full, but how many of the people in those churches practice what they preach? How many take their personal code of honor seriously? I can answer that for you…not many. Whoa, we are back to individual responsibility. Get that pile of manure off of your own porch before you complain about the dust on your neighbor’s table…

One must make a distinction between what God himself said
and what the clergy has said in His name.
Claude Henri de Touvroy

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost

Bohdi Sanders
Warrior Wisdom

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