The Parallel of the Roman Empire and other Civilizations

Discussion in 'History' started by Bowser, Aug 15, 2016.

  1. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Not counting fortifications, roads, related logistics, opportunity cost and lost production from harming civilian enterprise, treaty and agreement expenses, losses due to enemy action and threat, environmental degradation, economic inefficiencies from security provisions, political compromises driven by military necessity, and so forth (you can read all that in the links above).

    And taking no account of the actually available GDP - the kinds of surplus available for military siphoning without destruction of the society being defended.

    (Sparta's millitary, for example, did not have access to that fraction of its GDP involved in supporting its agricultural and manufacturing labor (most of its GDP), because they were slaves of a kind (quasi serfs) who could be neither safely killed or safely armed. So the small percentage of its GDP that it devoted to its military (your figure of nearly 100% obviously hallucinatory) was nowhere near the burden of that military - too many dead men in which large investment had been made, for starters, eventually proved irreplaceable from its relatively small military class).

    So the actual monetary burden of the military, the money only, would be a much larger absolute amount forming in comparison a fraction of a much smaller available GDP. 2.5% of GDP, in other words, was nowhere near the burden of the Roman military, even in money only.

    And likewise with the US - as we can see by the strain put on the US economy and society by the Iraq War: a total victory of the least costly kind imaginable, initially, but we will be lucky to ever get out from under it without more and more serious economic damage. And that is only a fraction of the burden of the US military overall.
     
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  3. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    This really isn't that complicated for anyone with half a brain. The unfortunate fact for you is your assertions are not supported with either evidence or reason. That's the unfortunate bottom line for you. Now, you can, and no doubt will, continue to obfuscate. But that won't change the facts here and those facts are crystal clear. Roman spending wasn't so burdensome as to cause the demise of the empire. Spending only 2.5% of its GDP on its military wasn't didn't cause the demise of the empire, and that 2.5% constituted 80% of government spending. That means Roman government spending for everything, palaces, aqueducts, public entertainment, everything amounted to 3.125% of GDP. By comparison, 38% of US GDP is attributable to government spending. That's just not enough to cause the downfall of the empire as you have repeatedly asserted, as has been repeatedly pointed out to you. NATO countries are expected to spend 2% of their GDP on defense. The US spends 3.3% of its GDP on defense and has spent much more on defense in the past.

    Unfortunately for you, your assertion that Roman military spending brought down the empire just isn't consistent with the facts. The Western Roman Empire fell because of corruption and poor leadership. It didn't fall because it spent too much of its resources on its military. Previously referenced history clearly shows that wasn't the case. I suggest you go back and read it again, this time more slowly and thoughtfully. Romans didn't even support their military with conscripts as they did when the empire was at its zenith.
     
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  5. birch Valued Senior Member

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    From what i understand that crumbled the roman empire was the growing factionalism within due to roman mistreatment of other neighboring clans considered barbarians as well as the mistreatment, non-acceptance and condescension (second or third class status) of the recently conquered made assimilation difficult so enemies growing within its own ranks as well as engendering disloyalty. Basically poor politics in handling people and keeping or developing unity.

    Your country has become wealthy and decadent, yet surrounded by those who would like to be a part of it or a piece of it but definitely not a victim of it.

    So as the romans favored themselves while grudgingly accepting other tribes, it used them but did not really accept them. The romans got to the point of not adapting as their arrogance blinded them. It was a vulnerability, not a strength as the ground was shifting underneath their feet.
    Thats the eventual suicide.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016
    river likes this.
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  7. river Valued Senior Member

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    Agreed

    But how to stop history repeating ?
     
  8. wellwisher

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    Rome allowed conquered nations to retain most of their customs and religions. For example, at the time of Jesus, the Jews were able to practice their customs and religion. They were even given the right to deal with Jesus as they saw fit. Rome say nothing wrong with Jesus and left the matter the Jewish State, to decide. Rome was about law and order, and allowed diversity in the empire, as long as there was law and order.

    This was smart in the sense, that instead of trying to brain wash and/or force a large numbers of conquered people into an indoctrination, they allowed business as usual, while bribing (carrot and stick) those at the top of each culture, whose job was to render onto Caesar, by maintaining order via continuity in their culture. The Jews could conduct business as usual, with a Roman governor for oversight.

    As Rome degenerated into moral relativism and perversion, it became harder for Rome to lead these state cultures by example. Conquered nations don't mind being led by an advance culture, since there are things to learn and benefits to gain. But once the overlord dumbs down, unrest begins.

    As an analogy, say you take a new job and your new boss is the hardest worker and best advocate you even met. You don't mind being under him/her, since they set the bar high and you can learn job skills that will be good anywhere you go. But say one day, the boss starts to become lazy and irresponsible, and is no longer leading by a good example. There will be unrest in the ranks, since there is nothing more to learn, and staying too long in this dysfunctional environment, can start to damage your professional quality. This unrest can then cause the boss becoming more of a prick; stick but no carrot.

    America has learned from history. It is transforming America away from liberal moral dumb down, back to great again. When leaders become corrupt you need to drain the swamp before the empire falls apart and the barbarians take over.
     
  9. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    Rome went downhill after they became Christian.
    Alex
     
  10. wellwisher

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    Rome was already in decline, which is why this change became possible and necessary. A few centuries earlier Christianity had no rights. If all had been going well in the empire, there would have been no need for the religion of slaves.

    The Christian soldiers were the best armies Rome had at the time. The barbarians were in unrest and Rome needed to make a social change. As a reward for their courage and valor, Christianity was given the status of the official religion of Rome. Rome and Christianity merged making the old Rome softer and Christianity tougher and more pagan. This became a bridge, that would eventually make the revolting barbarian states of the old empire, the divine kingdoms of the Holy Roman Empire.
     
  11. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    I recall reading that lead poisoning played a part.
    Alex
     

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