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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 - 10:55 | 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



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!


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


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!


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


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...


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



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!


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.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!