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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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.

Pool Shark's picture



"This is s plan!"

Is that like "Plan S From Outer Space?"

Bearwagon's picture

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

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?

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.

hivekiller's picture

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

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.


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.

Arrowflinger's picture

Futile? We are in a wire canoe!

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...

N57Mike's picture

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

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.

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.

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!


Spastica Rex's picture

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

resurger's picture

In those times i prefer directions on how to Xcute:

1- Swiftly

2- Precisely

3- Mightly

Bearwagon's picture

- exactly what you'll never get ...

e-recep's picture

no need to paddle, just tip the canoe over.

Pooper Popper's picture

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


Let loose the Dogs of War!

dick cheneys ghost's picture

By boycotting the Fortune 500, we can hasten the collapse

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.....

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.


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.

Nehweh Gahnin's picture

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

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...


FieldingMellish's picture

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

MichiganMilitiaMan's picture

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

The Invisible Foot's picture

An Empire can debase metals! How can this be!


FieldingMellish's picture

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

FieldingMellish's picture

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

Bearwagon's picture

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

JackT's picture

All your debase are belong to us

Smegley Wanxalot's picture

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

. . . iPhones and internet porn.


unununium's picture

But they got to watch people fight lions.

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.

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.

roadhazard's picture

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

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"

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. 


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.