Is America heading for a collapse like Rome, Greece, the British Empire? It sure looks like it.


The following editorial is written by a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today. 

USA- Much of what we have seen in our once mighty United States over the past twenty or so years reminds one of a number of other societal collapses, such as that of the British Empire or the Roman Empire.

A piece in Real Clear Politics by Victor Davis Hanson, distinguished fellow at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University defines such a collapse as “the sudden inability of once-prosperous populations to continue with what had ensured the good life as they knew it.”

It is said…and it has been proven throughout history…that all great empires eventually collapse, usually under the weight of their own success. The most common empire addressed is the Roman Empire, which was probably among the most successful such empires.

In examining the collapse of Rome, most historians agree that while there are likely hundreds of reasons for Rome’s collapse, the five most prominent ones are:

  • Internal Strife: it is believed the moral decay of Rome started the empire on its downward spiral, as noted in In Rome, Edward Gibbon, who wrote “The History of Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” said the “original ideals, values, and traditions upon which Rome was founded declined and were replaced by a notion that life was cheap with depravity, gluttony, and cruelty the norm.”
  • Economic Deterioration: Governing of the empire became an expensive task, with large military budgets and huge administrative and logistical costs. Several factors came about which resulted in hyperinflation, heavy taxation and eventually a crippling financial meltdown.

    Rome also devalued their currency which led to hyperinflation of up to 1,000% across the empire. Having nowhere else to turn, Rome also raised taxes.

  • The Split Empire: Rome split along geographic lines between east and west. Anytime a country splits, be it along geographic lines, economic lines, or philosophical lines, with no sense of common purpose, it begins to fracture from underneath.
  • Weakened Military: Rome stretched a great distance and with that had to stretch its military in order to protect its interests. The ability to recruit troops and dispatch them to various parts of the Roman Empire became problematic.

    Rome spent more time being distracted with matters of recruitment and upkeep while ignoring technological advancements.

  • Barbarian Migration & Invasion: Rome allowed Visgoth tribe members…otherwise known as Goths…to cross into Roman territory; eventually unhappy with their treatment the Goths rose up against Rome, which had been already divided into two territories, the East, and the West.

Why bring this up? Because as Hanson notes, when a system or society starts to collapse, citizens are unable to buy…or even find…once plentiful necessities.

Streets are unsafe; laws go unenforced or are enforced inequitably. Things which previously worked no longer do. “The government turns from reliable to capricious if not hostile,” he wrote. Sound familiar?

While the days of so-called “empires” have long passed, a number of countries have suffered similar collapses as the Roman Empire and other dynasties.

Venezuela, for example, was once a rather successful oil-exporting country…at least until 2010. By that time, he notes, the country “was mired in a self-created mess,” with food becoming scarce, the country overrun with crime.

The blame? Hanson notes that “radical socialism, nationalization, corruption, jailing opponents and the destruction of constitutional norms” were at fault.

Across the Atlantic in Greece, the once-stable country teetered on the edge of becoming a third-world country between 2009 and 2016, while Great Britain had suffered similarly in the 1970s. Both Greece, as well as Britain had of course at one time been empires along the lines of Rome.

That brings us to the current incarnation of our once-great nation, the United States of America, which Hanson notes may be headed “into a similar meltdown.”

The problems plaguing the US which threatens to undermine our once great country includes the virtual lack of borders, leading to millions of impoverished foreigners coming into the U.S. illegally, in the midst of what liberals call a “deadly pandemic” yet not requiring said illegals to submit to either COVID tests or to be vaccinated.

Moreover, a good portion of the American people have lost faith in the so-called “health bureaucracy,” as continual mixed or incoherent messages come forth from the CDC on matters such as masks, vaccine efficacy, the need for booster shots, etc.

Much of the narrative is driven not by the “science,” but by political expediency. The recent decision to lower the quarantine time from ten to five days even as the omicron variant caused cases to skyrocket is an example. That made many wonder what the original ten day quarantine period was for.

Americans have seen politicians—overwhelmingly Democrats—side with criminals while demonizing police as crime soars across the US. After a long period of improved race relations, leftists have portrayed the country as 1950s and 60s Alabama, and whites are portrayed as inherently racist because of the color they were born.

As Hanson notes: “Crime soars. Inflation soars. Meritocracy is libeled and so we are governed more by ideology and tribe.”

Over the past year, necessities of life—fuel, food, housing, health care, and transportation have seen prices soar at levels not seen in forty years. The American middle class is getting figuratively strangled.

Two men arrested and charged with the attempted murder of a Chicago cop after shooting him during a traffic stop

Unemployment remains low because people are simply no longer looking for jobs. Driving down virtually any street in America, businesses have help wanted signs up, businesses are forced to close early due to staffing issues, and basic essentials such as milk, bread, pasta, and meat are nowhere to be found.

Store shelves are empty not because of the out-of-control looting we saw in 2020 but because the supply chain is broken.

Take a look at railroad tracks in downtown Los Angeles. As Hanson notes, “nineteenth-century-style train robberies are back. So is 1970s urban violence, replete with looting, carjackings and random murdering of the innocent.”

In LA, criminals are burglarizing freight train cars, stealing property at will and discarding the garbage along the tracks. It is akin to Calcutta. 

The ability of America’s military might to deter would-be international thugs from Russia, China and others has disappeared, with visions of the ill-fated withdrawal from Afghanistan, with refugees falling off American cargo aircraft an image of a deteriorating American military leadership embodied by our “commander in chief.”

Foreign leaders such as Putin in Russia, Xi in China, and Kim in North Korea see a weak, feckless American president in Joe Biden, someone who alternates between disengaged to acting like an angry old man when asked questions he doesn’t like.

He doesn’t portray American strength and resolve, but embodies weakness, which our enemies believe make us unable to function as a deterrent as we have for 80 years.

In January 2020, America was energy independent—now we’re back to begging countries such as Saudi Arabia and Russia to produce more oil, even as oil leases and oil pipelines in our own country are canceled or shuttered.

An ill-conceived scheme to eliminate reliance on fossil fuels within less than a decade is a recipe for disaster for the United States.

Just as happened in Rome, Hanson notes most of America’s problems are self-inflicted, led by so-called woke ideologies, Hanson notes with “are both cruel and antithetical to traditional American pragmatism.”

America’s issues run the gamut, from far-left district attorneys who refuse to prosecute crime, and instead embrace “criminal justice reform” in the form of no-bail, failure to incarcerate criminals, and emptying jails of those currently housed there.

That criminal justice reform has also come in the form of “defunding” the police and otherwise excoriating law enforcement officers, making it so they no longer wish to engage in proactive law enforcement which has led to the spike in crime, including the so-called “quality of life” crimes which were so successfully prosecuted in New York City by Rudy Giuliani in the 1990s.

That led to historic lows in New York’s crime rate. Criminals are no longer deterred from low-level crimes, then move on to more serious, violent crime.

Where once we had 50 states full of Americans with a common purpose, we are now seeing something along the “Balkanization” of our country, with people being divided along class, race, ethnicity, etc.

Where at one time racism was excoriated, now it is embraced…as long as it is the “right” kind of racism. The theory is that, as Ibram X. Kendi wrote in “How to Be an Antiracist,” that “good racism” can correct the effects of past “bad racism.”

All of this has come about due to the current “woke” ideology which only prioritized the so-called “collective agenda,” Hanson notes, while showing little if any concern for individuals. Instead of equality as sought by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., now the buzzword is “equity”—not equality of opportunity but rather equality of outcomes.

What that does is remove any sense of risk-taking or taking the extra step…after all, what difference does it make if no matter what you do, things will turn out the same anyway? There is no point in going the extra mile.

The American system of government is perhaps the greatest “experiment” in how to govern in world history. Yet, for some reason, leftists continue their assault on our founding documents and our system of government.

They have attacked our system of government with three co-equal branches, a bicameral legislature, the 180-yar-old filibuster, the current nine person makeup of the Supreme Court, and 50 states in the Union. Now all are under attack, not for the good of the country but for the good of the left.

Formerly highly-held American institutions—the United States military, DOJ, FBI, CIA, CDC, and NIH have always been, for the most part, highly held organizations. No longer.

All of these agencies have lost the faith and confidence of a significant portion of the American people, mainly because they are no longer seen as independent, non-partisan organizations. Americans have seen these organizations weaponized to attack political enemies.

In particular, the leadership of these organizations—Joint Chief’s Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, Attorney General Merrick Garland, former FBI heads such as James Comey and Andrew McCabe, former CIA director John Brennand and last but certainly not least Anthony Fauci have all been seen politicizing their respective offices, virtually unprecedented in American history. 

Their misdeeds are many—from lying under oath, to engaging in personal attacks on their critics, showing more interest in getting their faces on television than being honest with the American people—with some such as Garland using their position to turn the force of the federal government as a bludgeon upon their political opponents.

Then, Hanson notes there is Joe Biden. We’ll let him take it:

“This governmental freefall is overseen by a tragically bewildered, petulant, and incompetent president. In his confusion, an increasingly unpopular President Joe Biden seems to believe his divisive chaos is working, belittling his political opponents as racist Confederate rebels.”

Therein lies the problem. The left has no leader who is trying to get a handle on the radical elements of his party. In fact, not only is he not putting a stop to it, but Biden is actually making it worse. And as he further divides the country, perhaps some are starting to wake up, as his poll numbers have crashed earthward. He is even underwater among Democrats.

Someone needs to stop this downward spiral America finds itself in. Or sometime in the future, the United States of America will be a distant memory, only spoken of in the history books of future generations.

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