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Guest Post: Decline And Fall Of The New Rome

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Submitted by Luke Eastwood

Decline And Fall Of The New Rome

Rampant inflation, caused by debasement of the currency, government corruption and nanny state corrective action that makes matters worse. Declining trade, caused by wars to control the empire, massive military over-reach and ever increasing spending on the military – funded by increases in taxation on the citizens, especially those least in a position to pay.

Sounds familiar? The above, paragraph describes not our present day society but that of the Roman Empire from the 3rd century onwards. However, one could be forgiven for thinking I was describing the faltering western economies of America, Japan and Europe.

The similarities between the declining ancient Roman empire and current Western empire are quite striking. Not only are the same mistakes being made by our rulers, but the symbolism and structure of our governments differs remarkably little from that of Rome. Just take a look at the White House, the US Senate building, the Bank of England etc – it’s no coincidence that they are all built in the Roman style.

Just as the Romans debased their silver denarius from 95% in the time of Augustus, by the end of the empire it was as low as 0.2% silver. Right now western governments are involved in a devaluation war, which ultimately will lead to hyper-inflation – just as it did throughout the Roman empire.
Attempts to sure-up the economy of the empire all failed – e.g. reforms by Constantine and Diocletian failed, just as the inept efforts of our current political class are failing pitifully.

For those that could afford gold coins instead of dealing in token coinage (i.e. debased silver coins) they had real buying power and the ability to fulfil their imperial tax obligations. Unfortunately the poorer citizens were often unable to pay their taxes, due to rampant inflation, which meant they had to forfeit their property instead.

Of course as the costs of running a huge military to control a vast and unruly empire increased so too did the taxes. Over time huge numbers became delinquents or just simply disappeared and even the once wealthy classes became severely pressured.

Finally, only the genuinely rich and those employed by the government, such as soldiers and bureaucrats had any real spending power – the vast mass of the population became increasingly hard pressed and the fabric of the empire began to break apart.

Does that ring any bells? Of course, in this current climate of political indifference and incompetence it is the ordinary taxpaying citizens of Europe, Japan and America that are paying for big government, a corrupt and insulated financial sector and especially the imperial overreach of the (supposedly) ex-imperial powers within NATO.

Just as Rome did not collapse overnight, the American/Japanese/European axis is not collapsing overnight. However, what is clear is that history is repeating itself – the Western economies are doomed to fail if they are not radically reformed.

Just like in Rome, corruption in all of these governments is endemic and expecting reform is rather like expecting a judge to order his own execution for obstruction of justice. So what we can expect is a gradual and inexorable decline and fall; the only real matter for discussion is how long will it take this time around?

 

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Sun, 04/07/2013 - 10:42 | 3418286 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture

 

 

Same as it ever was.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 10:43 | 3418293 The Gooch
The Gooch's picture

Look where my invisible hand was.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:06 | 3418360 unununium
unununium's picture

On that important epic tragic decline, the 6-volume set by Gibbons is authoritative and fascinating, even though it was written over 200 years ago. 

Obama = Alexander Severus (well-meaning and clueless)

Bush II = Arcadius (dominated by his ministers)

...

 

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:18 | 3418383 ATM
ATM's picture

Obama is anything but well meaning and clueless.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:25 | 3418398 Abraxas
Abraxas's picture

Maybe. But he's still just a marionette, not the puppet-master.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:34 | 3418422 ghandi
ghandi's picture

Lamentably though, we have no Cicero equivalent.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:59 | 3418475 it aint paranoi...
it aint paranoia if they really are out too harm you's picture

Ron Paul may come the close.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 12:31 | 3418554 Pinto Currency
Pinto Currency's picture

 

The result of 100 years of fiat currency becomes increasingly clear now.

Just like the fall of Rome was blamed on lead in the water pipes, we'll probably blame this on 'greed', or derivatives, or global warming er, climate change, etc.

Hell, let's blame it on capitalism and the market economy.  Now, only collectivism for the masses with oligarchs owning all of the key assets can work.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:44 | 3418938 Squiddly Diddly
Squiddly Diddly's picture

The Court pimps or historitutes (credit Celente) are busy spinning up the "official version" as we speak. Cue Richard Norton Smith (the more middle names the greater the cred, right?) We are all Antony Sutton now!

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 15:12 | 3419039 Pinto Currency
Pinto Currency's picture

 

Cue Niall Ferguson.  Ready and at your service to write any version so wished.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:35 | 3418427 WTFRLY
WTFRLY's picture

Right, Obama isn't the maestro but he's not dumb. He's a much more capable puppet than George Bush and he keeps the liberal end of the sheep population in a trance.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 12:23 | 3418539 espirit
espirit's picture

Which is a growing minority (majority?).  Free Shit Army.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 12:43 | 3418577 Pinto Currency
Pinto Currency's picture

 

Obama and Biden think they are riding on a stubborn and recalcitrant mule that just needs to be goaded and whipped to get to its destination.

They are starting to realize that they are glued into the saddle on an 800 lb. tiger that is waking up.

What we are currently seeing with Biden and Obama is a version of Blazing Saddles, unless there is meaninglful reform and ridding of the yolk of central banking, next comes a combination of Red Dawn, No Country for Old Men, Lord of the Rings, and Altas Shrugged.  Might be decades.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:04 | 3418816 jusman
jusman's picture

If it is 4 decades I may just make it to my nineties - and frankly not give a damn!

 

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 16:48 | 3419334 Pinto Currency
Pinto Currency's picture

 

If you make it through the intervening decades.

We are slipping and being pushed into chaos.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 22:51 | 3420605 MisterMousePotato
MisterMousePotato's picture

@esprit:

In California (and several other states as well), they are not a "minority," growing or otherwise. They are a clear majority; specifically, in California, for example (which is only third worst or so), there are 139 .gov.union and welfare types for every 100 in the private sector.

And remember ... democracy is 139 wolves and 100 sheep voting on what to have for dinner.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 21:27 | 3418681 hivekiller
hivekiller's picture

He's Mr step and fetch it for the banksters. The front guy so all those guilty white people in Amerika can feel better about themselves for voting in a worthless sack of shit.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:59 | 3418795 tonyw
tonyw's picture

Obama is like ALL  US politicians, i.e. dependant on the large funders who = 0.05% of the population.

Unless a politician gets the money from the funders they have little chance of being on the ballot and almost no chance of being elected.

We need the politicians to be dependant on the people alone = a representative democracy, not large contributors who will influence/corrupt the politicians.

 

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:24 | 3418402 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

If we are playing to mirror the actual historical timeline I would ammend my previous post below to reflect-

Bubba wears Caligula's crown (and Hillary gets a supporting role as Incitatus in the Senate)

W gets to play Commodus

Hussein gets crowned Caracalla

debasers all around...

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 12:59 | 3418642 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

The Roman State/Empire was around for about 900 years. We have been around as an independent entity about 250 years. The more appropriate parralel would be end of the Republic. Hail Ceasar!! 

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:15 | 3418683 Jambo Mambo Bill
Jambo Mambo Bill's picture

Well said! If you consider the Eastern Roman empire in Constantine, the Roman empire existed for more than 1500 yeas, the US empire its around really, for 200 years and so going down hill already. The US is not the New Roman empire, will never be even close. It's just another human experiment, just like FIAT money.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:26 | 3418882 robobbob
robobbob's picture

it depends on whether you base your countdown on the individual countries who have held the temporary mantle of western leadership, or start it at the beginning of fractional reserve/central banking oligarchy gaining control of the nation states.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 16:01 | 3419206 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

+1 which means that it's not one empire, more a web of multiple ones - for example a financial and a commercial one, one centered on oil and another centered on media, etc. etc.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 15:49 | 3419048 psychobilly
psychobilly's picture

" The more appropriate parralel would be end of the Republic."

No.  It was Lincoln (America's Caesar) that finished off the Republic and set the stage for empire.  It's later than you think.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 18:12 | 3419721 Lednbrass
Lednbrass's picture

Quite so, I am amazed at the number of idiots out there who will sing Lincoln's praises one minute and scream about the growth of the government in the next. Anyone who likes Lincoln should love what our government has grown into, it is the logical result of ol' Honest Ape.

The Republic as it was founded died a century and a half ago amid mass land confiscation, theft, murder, rape, and pillage.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 18:14 | 3419729 Optimusprime
Optimusprime's picture

+1.

That's "parallel".

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 21:29 | 3420366 Ludwig Van
Ludwig Van's picture

I tend to lean into Toffler's view (cf. *Future Shock*), re. the wide perceptual -- social, cultural, political, et al. -- "speeding up" of time. I submit that from the early days of oil extraction, say mid-19th Century, the world and its inhabitants have experienced a transformation *greater* than that of generations of ancients over millennia.

Is fifteen hundred years ending a thousand years ago the societal equivalent of a couple hundred years bringing us to April 2013?

What would Einstein say? A lifespan is a lifespan?

.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:00 | 3418802 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

does the empire split in a western and eastern part?

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 17:21 | 3419449 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

North-South is the traditional US fetish, and it seems to be picking up popularity across the pond... 

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:29 | 3418407 ShrNfr
ShrNfr's picture

Reid = Comodius.

 

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:57 | 3418460 Whoa Dammit
Whoa Dammit's picture

Gibbons Volume IV:

"Every law, either human or divine, was trampled under foot; and as long as the party was successful, its deluded followers appeared careless of private distress or public calamity."

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 12:08 | 3418501 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

+ 1000

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 12:24 | 3418545 espirit
espirit's picture

+1001

2 Timothy - The Dangers of the Last Days.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 12:33 | 3418580 BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

And for those who don't have access to Harvard's library, with its books that are centuries old, google DOES have access:

http://books.google.com/books/pdf/The_History_of_the_Decline_and_Fall_of...

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 12:52 | 3418629 nicoacademia
nicoacademia's picture

it says AbeBooks. nuff said.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:10 | 3418367 Arrowflinger
Arrowflinger's picture

Dunno where your's was, but the Bernank has his on CTRL-P.

Think Caligula with infinite electronic 'money' power.

When the masses no longer believe it is MONEY, gulp real hard.

 

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:20 | 3418390 Abraxas
Abraxas's picture

I see AG and BB more as Neros than Caligulas. they have been burning the place to the ground, fidling away while doing so and scapegoating others for their own deeds.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:14 | 3418377 Xibalba
Xibalba's picture

debt matters

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 10:53 | 3418317 Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture

 

 

ROME:  Bread and Circuses.

US: Food Stamps and Cable TV.

 

 

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 10:57 | 3418329 Bad Asset
Bad Asset's picture

you could add gladiators and American athletes.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:02 | 3418339 Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture

 

 

I could add Gladiators, but then when do you stop?

I didn't want the post to turn into this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExWfh6sGyso

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:10 | 3418368 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

How about this guy then: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heracles and of course "he was tasked with the impossible" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labours_of_Hercules to me this is one of the Greatest Stories Ever Told. "with everyone watching" of course.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:16 | 3418379 Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture

 

 

That's all Greek to me...

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:19 | 3418393 Lunch is for Wimps
Lunch is for Wimps's picture

Latin, it's all Latin....

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:04 | 3418352 FieldingMellish
FieldingMellish's picture

I would have thought Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 12:45 | 3418614 InTheLandOfTheBlind
InTheLandOfTheBlind's picture

Gladiators fought for their lives, not millions.  What we have are pussified men that are well paid.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 12:46 | 3418616 InTheLandOfTheBlind
InTheLandOfTheBlind's picture

Gladiators fought for their lives, not millions.  What we have are pussified men that are well paid.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 16:11 | 3419136 psychobilly
psychobilly's picture

"Gladiators fought for their lives, not millions.  What we have are pussified men that are well paid."

The most successful gladiators became wealthy and famous.  Same goes for the charioteers.

Arena sports today serve the same ends:  distract the lower orders and channel their energies into activities that aren't threatening to the establishment/status quo.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:06 | 3418361 duo
duo's picture

I was going to say SNAP and NASCAR.

 

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 12:52 | 3418631 N57Mike
N57Mike's picture

DHS = Praetorian Guard

Bush, Clinton, Obama = Caesors

Welfare = bread & circus'

Comparisons go on & on,this was a terrific article. My hope is that a new Jesus, and new way of life that comes out calamity and Armageddon. It may take thousands more years but humanity is destined to rejoin with spirituality.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 10:55 | 3418320 TahoeBilly2012
TahoeBilly2012's picture

Not really. This is s plan! Controlled collapse to "One Worldiness", with our gang at the top. 

You don't really think they offshored everything in order to "keep America strong" now do you.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:06 | 3418355 Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture

 

 

"This is s plan!"

Is that like "Plan S From Outer Space?"

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:06 | 3418359 Bearwagon
Bearwagon's picture

Oh, yes I do. Obviously I have way more trust in Hanlon's Razor than you do ... 

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 10:59 | 3418332 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

So how many Roman emperors were whacked by the Praetorian Guard, and when is the Praetorian Guard going to cut their losses on the current Caligula-wanna-be and his Marie Antoine-like heffer Incitatus?

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:19 | 3418391 Tijuana Donkey Show
Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

Ask JFK about that one.........

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:59 | 3418470 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

When the check bounces...

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:02 | 3418651 The Gooch
The Gooch's picture

See Portugal.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:34 | 3418415 unununium
unununium's picture

Secret Service reports to Secy. Treasury

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:06 | 3418354 Wile-E-Coyote
Wile-E-Coyote's picture

The biggest difference compared to Roman empire is the fact we have computers, the fall will be quicker and more devastating.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:24 | 3418722 hivekiller
hivekiller's picture

Good overview of what brought down the Roman Empire - war, inflation, taxes

 

http://media.mises.org/mp3/MoneyandGovernment84/01_1984_Peden.mp3

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 10:47 | 3418297 xtop23
xtop23's picture

I read this yesterday.....and the day before that....and the day before.....

I prefer directions on how to paddle, not descriptions of the water.

 

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 10:52 | 3418314 Haole
Haole's picture

Ideally one exits the water at some point as far upstream from the waterfall as possible as paddling of any kind quickly becomes futile.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:14 | 3418376 Arrowflinger
Arrowflinger's picture

Futile? We are in a wire canoe!

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 12:00 | 3418478 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

 "I prefer directions on how to paddle, not descriptions of the water"

~~~

How you paddle depends on the water... But you're so clever I imagine you already thought of that...

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:32 | 3418740 N57Mike
N57Mike's picture

Spread your wealth .& intellectual energy outside of Rome ... The smart rats get off the ship....

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 22:37 | 3420579 hivekiller
hivekiller's picture

There is no longer any place to run to. It's global governance this time baby. Chipped and programmed or if not that, removed as a useless eater.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:53 | 3418456 Breaker
Breaker's picture

You could just declare that there is one god and Mohammed is his prophet, make your wife wear a burkha and have lots of babies. Then your kids could be the barbarians at the gates.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 10:53 | 3418316 DaddyO
DaddyO's picture

Agreed! Getting debt free, resurrecting a more sustainable, lower consumption lifestyle as disconnected from the leviathan of government and banking over-reach is in order!

DaddyO

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 10:56 | 3418326 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

The weapons trade might be a good investment - long barbarians.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:12 | 3418371 AlaricBalth
AlaricBalth's picture

I agree.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:14 | 3418378 Arrowflinger
Arrowflinger's picture

.22 Long Rifle ammo has provided stunning returns

 

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 12:53 | 3418633 DaddyO
DaddyO's picture

I found some here - www.fortresstacticaldefense.com

DaddyO

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:02 | 3418345 resurger
resurger's picture

In those times i prefer directions on how to Xcute:

1- Swiftly

2- Precisely

3- Mightly

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:10 | 3418366 Bearwagon
Bearwagon's picture

- exactly what you'll never get ...

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:38 | 3418429 e-recep
e-recep's picture

no need to paddle, just tip the canoe over.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 10:49 | 3418306 Pooper Popper
Pooper Popper's picture

Sunshine Lollipops,and Rainbows everywhere,and everything is Beautiful,and Im so Happy!

Not!

Let loose the Dogs of War!

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 10:50 | 3418309 dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

By boycotting the Fortune 500, we can hasten the collapse

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:06 | 3418356 resurger
resurger's picture

You can't!!!

the system will collapse on it's own weight... and IT CAN NOT BE FIXED.

enjoy it while it lasts.....

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:17 | 3418381 Bearwagon
Bearwagon's picture

Too late, already.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:27 | 3418405 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

It died in 2008.

Dr Bernankenstein is merely shocking the brain dead corpse with QE

to restart the heart.

Watch out for the final bowel evacuation prior to burial.

 

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 10:51 | 3418313 q99x2
q99x2's picture

When you hear Joe Biden saying "New World Order" you know it is time to pack up and head to N. Dakota.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:53 | 3418457 Nehweh Gahnin
Nehweh Gahnin's picture

I already heard Dickwad Cheney say it, and then he headed to Wyoming.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 10:53 | 3418318 terryg999
terryg999's picture

*slip

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 10:55 | 3418319 Lordflin
Lordflin's picture

The Roman senate began ceding authority to the emperor in an attempt to escape accountability... A corollary to modern times... the recent discovery of the wonders of homosexuality... the mass attraction to vicarious violence and perversion... the general debasement of the masses and the debauchery of an elite class... This is always the path of cheap money and empire... And there is no going back...only...

Forward!

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 10:59 | 3418336 FieldingMellish
FieldingMellish's picture

"Let us cavort like the Greeks of old. You know the ones I mean."

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:16 | 3418386 Bearwagon
Bearwagon's picture

Moarward!

FIFY

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 10:57 | 3418324 MichiganMilitiaMan
MichiganMilitiaMan's picture

Oh come on, this time is different.  History is linear, not cyclical!  Sarc off.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 10:58 | 3418327 The Invisible Foot
The Invisible Foot's picture

An Empire can debase metals! How can this be!

/sarc

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:00 | 3418338 FieldingMellish
FieldingMellish's picture

Well, most Empires. These are not the metals you are looking for?

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:03 | 3418344 FieldingMellish
FieldingMellish's picture

hmmm.... that didn't seem to work. Perhaps if I performed some sort of Jedi mind meld....

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:20 | 3418392 Bearwagon
Bearwagon's picture

As I already said: These are X155CrVMo12-1 and S235JRG. If you don't want those, all the better ...

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 10:59 | 3418333 JackT
JackT's picture

All your debase are belong to us

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:08 | 3418337 Smegley Wanxalot
Smegley Wanxalot's picture

doesn't matter because we got something the ancient romans didn't:

. . . iPhones and internet porn.

 

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 12:06 | 3418493 unununium
unununium's picture

But they got to watch people fight lions.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:01 | 3418341 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

It is fixable, but not with an African communist in the whitehouse and a corrupt Congress of lifetime looters born into privledge.  Two cultures that exist to suck the life out of the working class, with no experience of working or creating, are never going to come up with anything useful.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 12:12 | 3418488 e-recep
e-recep's picture

i don't think it's fixable anymore. the empire is a beast on its own, has its own momentum and will run down the course of former decadent empires. any opposition will be crushed and pushed aside. the forces involved are just too big. do not think that it is just the ruling class that's rushing to the event horizon. the plebs do their best to accelerate the rot. observe how obama supporters neglect the ongoing increase in debt and the deterioration in living standards.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:20 | 3418865 roadhazard
roadhazard's picture

Interesting how the right and left wing act exactly the same when in power.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:03 | 3418350 moneybots
moneybots's picture

"I read this yesterday.....and the day before that....and the day before.....

I prefer directions on how to paddle, not descriptions of the water."

 

Does it matter if you know how to paddle, if you are mere yards from going over Niagara Falls?

 

In fact he gave you directions- "Finally, only the genuinely rich and those employed by the government, such as soldiers and bureaucrats had any real spending power"

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:34 | 3418417 xtop23
xtop23's picture

Long term, yes. Short term, no. 

It's intimidating. I don't think I remember a time where the sentiment going from here was so incredibly negative at ZH. Tyler(s) are putting out this vibe of almost.....resignation, capitulation, and ...... immediacy. 

I figured we had probably 1-2 years before they called the code and notified the coroner. But, ............damn, ....... I guess they've been doing CPR since '08 and it only makes sense. At some point you bow to the inevitable.

I'm starting to think this is going to happen soon. Good luck friends. 

 

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 12:15 | 3418520 Kayman
Kayman's picture

If you know how to work and have any skills at all, you can survive, even thrive in a shrinking economy.

If you depend on SNAP cards or sell "blue sky and sunshine" financial toilet paper (used only one side), then your options will be limited. 

If I lend you $100,000 dollars, you lend it to your brother-in-law, and he lends it back to me,  have we increased our GDP and wealth by $100,000? Well, that is Central Banking.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:06 | 3418353 DanDaley
DanDaley's picture

Best to find a cave in BFE and hunker down until you either hear the all clear or 10 years passes, whichever comes first.  It's going to be a long dark and stormy night

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:25 | 3418364 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

TEOTWAWKI is back and wearing the latest spring fashions. Be trendy, be cool and be hip while wearing the new drone-proof hoodies, Liberty caps with energy efficient Infra-red LEDs, and ghillie suits fashioned from Fair Trade leaves and twigs. The latest in backpacks feature earthtone colors and steel and ceramic plates for that feeling of invulnerability as you run away, er, tactically retreat from well equipped UN rifle squads, but you'll look great doing it.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:10 | 3418369 q99x2
q99x2's picture

The Decline and Fall of the NWO and the Rise of BitCoin. Going Up.

High:$159.00000

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 12:06 | 3418494 Debugas
Debugas's picture

what you gonna do with your bitcoin digits if one day mtgox goes permanently offline ?

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 12:06 | 3418499 unununium
unununium's picture

159 was so one hour ago.

Try 161.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:12 | 3418375 Bearwagon
Bearwagon's picture

This is NOT the roman empire going down. Did those stoneagers have nearly enough horsepowers? Of course not. We, on the other hand ...

I mean, think Thunderdome and stuff ...

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:16 | 3418380 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

And the piece de resistance? In the cost of a basic legionaire's kit cost the same in gold back then as it would today.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:18 | 3418385 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

Who was it said the US was the first great empire to go straight from barbarism to decadence with no period of high culture in between?

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:21 | 3418395 Smegley Wanxalot
Smegley Wanxalot's picture

whaddaya'z mean no culture???

we'z gots Hollywood & Jay Z,  baeeeebeeee!

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 12:01 | 3418483 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

I've seen better culture in a tub of yogurt.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 12:13 | 3418513 T-NUTZ
T-NUTZ's picture

JOHN COLTRANE BITCHEZ!!!

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:19 | 3418388 Lunch is for Wimps
Lunch is for Wimps's picture

I think you meant "shore up" not "sure up."

Just finished reading a book by Simon Baker entitled "Ancient Rome: the rise and fall of an Empire." It made for fascinating reading and illustrates how a war (literally or economically or both) can stretch an empire leading to its eventual collapse.

The problem? Man loves to speak of history yet carries on regardless paying no heed.

Read "Lords of Finance" the story of the 30's crash. Great read but it was like reading headlines from 2008 onwards. The parallels were scary but again, we've repeated history...

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:32 | 3418413 Bearwagon
Bearwagon's picture

May I suggest additional reading:

-Arms and insecurity

-Statistics of deadly quarrels

both by Lewis Fry Richardson

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:33 | 3418420 BabyMyCashMoney
BabyMyCashMoney's picture

Give Dan Carlin's Hardcore History podcast series, "The Death Throes of the Roman Republic" a shot, it's free on iTunes.....

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 15:27 | 3419092 MrSteve
MrSteve's picture

Jared Diamond's books has all we need to know about the end of energy subsidies leading to cultural collapse: cedars of Lebanon in per-Phaoroanic era to right now...

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:20 | 3418389 BlackVoid
BlackVoid's picture

All true, but it has a much more basic reason: energy flows. 

The Roman Empire was built on conquest, the main investment was conquest and the loot was the energy surplus that allowed the empire to flourish.

Today fossil fuels are the main energy flow and they will decide what happens to everyone. We do not just have a western civilization anymore, it is a global civilization.

Read: Collapse of Complex Societies by Joseph Tainter.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 12:10 | 3418506 Bad Attitude
Bad Attitude's picture

Our entire food production system is build on access to cheap energy. I found this disturbing fact a few days ago: "10 calories of fossil fuel goes into the production of each calorie of food." (http://mdbriefing.com/food.shtml)

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:22 | 3418400 Debugas
Debugas's picture

Roman Empire failed when it has run out of silver mines

Today we run on electronic money which  can be put into existence by a press of a button.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 12:24 | 3418546 Kayman
Kayman's picture

"Today we run on electronic money which  can be put into existence by a press of a button."

We run on faith. Electronic money can be infinite supply. Faith not so much.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:32 | 3418408 sschu
sschu's picture

Right now western governments are involved in a devaluation war, which ultimately will lead to hyper-inflation

I am not so sure anymore that hyper-inflation, or the complete collapse of the currency, is necessary for societal destruction to occur.  Hyper-inflation may occur, but it is not necessary.  Furthermore, Bennie etal know about hyper-inflation, and they will do everything to prevent it as they know their financial house of cards collapses if this occurs … and they face the wrath of the masses.

But they do want some inflation as they think in terms of economic velocity, they want people to borrow and spend etc to move the needle on the economic activity.   Hence why we hear about “jump-starting” the economy. 

They play a dangerous game, the idea that they can somehow control the amount of inflation is more than a bit arrogant, once the inflation genie is out of the bottle, anything goes. 

So the destruction of the West (including Japan) could be based upon the pernicious effects of inflation, a declining societal purpose, political corruption, the blame game, food, oil and other base commodities priced beyond the means of most and a complete erosion of wealth for the middle class leading the culture to bifurcation, rich and poor only.  A replay of post revolution France if you will.

 Inflation is the great Satan, he is laughing that our leaders have chosen this path.  Satan knows where this leads and it is not pretty.

 

sschu

 

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:32 | 3418414 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

Keep stacking

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:35 | 3418423 in4mayshun
in4mayshun's picture

This article fails to highlight one crucial aspect of the cause of the collapse of the Roman Empire; that being the collapse of the family unit and morals in general. As their decadence, blood lust, and perversion grew, it only hastened the oncoming collapse.

Sound familiar?

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:53 | 3418452 sschu
sschu's picture

Agree. Many of our financial ills, especially the welfare societal can be traced to cultural issues, especially the collapse of the traditional family unit.

 Read Cashill's book on California.

These issues are very difficult to fix, especially when there are so many vested interests in NOT fixing them.

sschu

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 12:35 | 3418589 Nehweh Gahnin
Nehweh Gahnin's picture

I presume this means you would like to get back to the concept that the male head of the household could legally kill his wife and children, if he so chose?  Oh, and those slaves, as well?

I'll be more direct:  Fuck your paternalistic bullshit.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:16 | 3418693 it aint paranoi...
it aint paranoia if they really are out too harm you's picture

In the western world, killing your wife/ child has been severely punished for hundreds of years and killing of your slave since 1865 in America.  I'm not sure the comment was meant to go back thousands of years.

Which Paternalistic society are you considering?

 

Yeah, I agree with you, F any "paternalistic" BS that allows wife/ child/ slave killing.....gladiator fighting also.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:14 | 3418688 JR
JR's picture

Many Americans refuse to face the damage from the assault on America's culture: illegal immigration, dual citizenship, amnesty for multimillions, multiculturalism including bilingual education and preference for differing ethnic values and lifestyles, internationalism and criticism of the Founders as rich white men as well as denigration of their faith…

Ironically, these developments correspond with the cultural changes that weakened and eventually caused the decline of the Roman Empire.

Likewise, the Emperor Severus was not from the original Roman culture; he was from a conquered province, the old Phoenician town of Leptis Magna; he spoke Latin with a Punic accent and his sympathies were with the provinces. He even allowed Punic and Celtic terms in legal documents and in the Gaul and Rhine provinces a Celtic measure of mileage replaced Latin on markers on newly repaired roads.

A majority of top officials under Severus were provincials from the East and from Africa. As well as former emperors, he granted the right of citizenship to more and more areas of the provinces. His successor, Caracalla, in 212 A.D. made an even more radical citizenship move: granting all free men throughout the Empire Roman citizenship. As the biographer Dio explains, he wanted to include aliens on Rome’s tax rolls “to increase his revenues.”

In short, these emperors watered down and poisoned the discipline that was the culture of Rome; in the end, they wiped it out.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 15:19 | 3419060 MrSteve
MrSteve's picture

Your thinking Joe Biden here, aren't you?

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:34 | 3418424 GoldRetriever
GoldRetriever's picture

I watched "Spartacus" on Starz once and couldn't help but think about the similarities between the ancient Roman empire and the current state of the U.S.

Rome had its arenas filled with spectators watching their gladiators. We have obese people sitting on the couch watching football all weekend from Sept-Feb. Rome had its orgies - we have internet porn. Rome debased its currency and well, we know what is happening now.

The only question is what we would name Bernanke's character:

"Printicus" or "ZIRPicus?"

 

 

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 12:05 | 3418490 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

How about "Economicus Erroneus"

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:43 | 3418433 RottenAlpha
RottenAlpha's picture

The Roman decline, all explained in detail

http://alejandrorubinstein.com/?p=1258

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:53 | 3418439 JR
JR's picture

The Roman decline spanned many centuries but in Bernanke’s fast track world every Monday is like a new chapter in Gibbon’s book with unbelievable heights of debt, currency debasement, trillions for war, widespread decline in the culture, and with most all economic indexes dropping like death charges.

Not only do the Roman economic abuses and declines mirror the American Empire but the cultural mistakes and abuses of the people fit the mode as well.

Following Rome’s extensive wars, Marcus Aurelius devalued the currency 25%; successor Severus devalued the money another 25% while raising existing taxes and devising new ones. Severus’ political enemies or those who contributed too slowly to his campaigns had their property confiscated for the “good of Rome.” The decline increased as higher taxes led to a decline in revenue as income fell.

Severus relaxed restrictions on the army, granting soldiers such privileges as wearing gold rings (the insignia of equestrians), permission to live with their wives (the old Legions considered this poor military discipline), and the army began to convert its money into luxurious living.

Following Severus’ death, his sons and relatives ruled for the next 24 years (Severus died in 211 A.D.; the first Caracalla increased army pay another 50%, debased the currency again and raised taxes, and increased the bounties paid to barbarian chieftains to keep them from attacking weak points along the frontiers. These bounties then began to equal the army’s entire payroll.

The rapid decline then brought Maximinus to power and a strengthening again of an emperor’s tyranny and the overturning of moral values and a tsunami of corruption.

The sacking of Rome in 410 is seen as a major landmark in the fall of the Roman Empire. She fell in 476.

But it is a mistake to think that the American Empire will decline slowly like Rome's or that Americans will respond as they did over decades of British rule.  Rather, it will be fast and swift and the reaction will be fast and swift. It's plausible it may arrive without warning. Simon Black said it today: It’s the punch that you don’t see coming which knocks you out.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 12:07 | 3418497 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"Severus’ political enemies or those who contributed too slowly to his campaigns had their property confiscated for the “good of Rome.”

For the good of Rome...there's a lot of this type of thinking going around these days too...especially from the likes of Paulinius Krugmanus.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 12:50 | 3418623 JR
JR's picture

Paulinius Krugmanus? Is that any relation to Piltdown Man? ...declared the missing link before found to be a human skull sanded with an ape jaw bone fitted to it?

No. No. Couldn’t be! Piltdown Man was a hoax.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:15 | 3418678 Kayman
Kayman's picture

Paulinius Krugmanus. I can hear him shouting from the Emperor's box in the Colosseum, "Blood, I tell ya, we need more blood !"

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:36 | 3418728 JR
JR's picture

Ah, Kayman, from whence came The Red Shield's rallying tribal cry:  “The time to buy is when there’s blood in the streets!”

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:36 | 3418754 e-recep
e-recep's picture

today it's "for the good of homeland".

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 15:15 | 3419047 MrSteve
MrSteve's picture

And surely was it not the stately Roman in the Bard's Hamlet,

our dearest Polonius who advised us all;

"neither a borrower nor lender be, for oft' both friend and loan are lost."?

Tell that to the FED and their crony bankers!

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:50 | 3418445 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Getting killed by a sword wielding guy in a dress must be the lowest of lows...

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 11:57 | 3418449 Zola
Zola's picture

The more I think about it, the more the logical outcome of the situation is a New Dark Age with totalitarian/heavy control governments everywhere. However the only silver lining I see is just like in Azimov's novel there is a second foundation being set up and that is the Internet, which will allow to shorten that period of decay by keeping intact the seeds of a free society. The jury is still out as to where the first foundation is though. I'm looking for Terminus but have not found it yet.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:28 | 3418887 roadhazard
roadhazard's picture

The Internet can and will disappear when the SHTF.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:16 | 3418465 it aint paranoi...
it aint paranoia if they really are out too harm you's picture

I put my comment in the wrong place.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:39 | 3418927 WmMcK
WmMcK's picture

I done that more than a few times.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 12:01 | 3418480 MedicalQuack
MedicalQuack's picture

It's all about using "models" to lie and control.  Take a look at what insurers are doing to CMS with putting their pricing on government shopping websites, as it is so complex that the inspector general and CMS are somewhat duking it out wiht each other, thinking they could do a better job, when in fact it is the insurance business causing this.  Hopefully they will wake up.  This is just one example on how manipulation by the models and algorithms works.  It's happening all over the place.

http://ducknetweb.blogspot.com/2013/04/cms-and-inspector-general-duking-...

Sebelius is such an easy target for big business as she has no tech in her background and I said back in 2009 on record that Health IT would eat her up and sadly it is happening as she gets distracted with stuff like having a Facebook app being useful at HHS..go figure.  I didn't want to be right on that one but it seems to be very true when you follow her in the news sometimes.  The recent battle over the day after pill and her past actions with over riding FDA director Hamburg publicly who works for her certainly was a prime example.  Now we have the judge saying she didn't have any scientific background for her decision too.  I think you have a lot of this too perhaps with Holder at the DOJ as if you watch any of the Wall Street documentaries, like too big to jail, DOJ Manny was an exact same image sadly.  It's the models folks that we need to look at. 

http://ducknetweb.blogspot.com/2013/04/judge-orders-morning-after-pill-t...

A former Wall Street Quant comes right out and says so about lying models and be sure not to miss this blog post, she's right on the money.

http://mathbabe.org/2013/04/03/we-dont-need-more-complicated-models-we-need-to-stop-lying-with-our-models/

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 12:11 | 3418507 Blazed
Blazed's picture

With a US collapse, I wonder who would maintain the 65 nuclear plants, spent fuel storage, and nuclear waste sites, not to mention the chemical industry infrastructure.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 12:15 | 3418515 e-recep
e-recep's picture

note to self : rewatch the movie mad max.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 12:29 | 3418562 Nehweh Gahnin
Nehweh Gahnin's picture

432 worldwide...

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:43 | 3418769 Debugas
Debugas's picture

rats would - take a look at japan

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 12:22 | 3418522 earleflorida
earleflorida's picture

of the twelve [12] total caesar's, julius was the crowning prince... the first-- in the centuries to follow, germany and russia adapted the meaning of the word caesar to kaiser and czar-- ironically, in modern day amerika we have czar's and presidium's servising the same nobility of old-- where our president elect is but a mere informal apponintment [*certainlly not nominated... rather a knighting?] by the usual bloodlines of the past..."Brutus--Et tu Brute"!

veni,... vidi,... vici,..

 

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 12:27 | 3418532 Nehweh Gahnin
Nehweh Gahnin's picture

"So what we can expect is a gradual and inexorable decline and fall; the only real matter for discussion is how long will it take this time around?"

Gradual decline means nothing comprehensible in our current context as compared to the decline of the Roman empire.  Kurzweil's Law of Accelerating Returns is a good referent point on this.

(http://www.kurzweilai.net/the-law-of-accelerating-returns)

We have been the "beneficiaries" of exponential advancements in computing power, along with developments in economics, energy, government and propaganda.  We also get exponentially accelerating returns on the counter-effects of those advancements.  Good reference points there are Fukushima and the Maconda well blow-out.  And the utter catastrophe to come when our present systems destabilize.

While the resulting destruction may be relatively gradual as set against the frenzies of HFT algos, it will proceed at light speed next to the decline of the Roman empire.  We have been in terminal decline since at least the early '70's, and that trajectory is continuing to accelerate.  We can, imho, now count the time until the new Dark Ages arrive in years, if not months or weeks.  It ain't going to be a millenial timeline this time around.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 13:09 | 3418675 wonderatitall
wonderatitall's picture

but ...but..but , obama black. damn racists , everything is perfekt long live the crony states of obamaville

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