The Decline and Fall. . . .

Between 1776 and 1788, English historian (and Member of Parliament) Edward Gibbon published his classic 6 volume work The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.   It is interesting to examine the causes of the decline – and fall – of the grand Roman Empire which expired in about 476 A.D. — not with a bang but a whimper.  Reasons for decline?  

Ongoing wars and heavy military spending

Failing economy and high inflation — and high unemployment among the working classes

Declining morals, ethics and values

Demand for blood and violence in entertainment (Gladitorial “games”)

Antagonism between the Emperor and the Senate

Political corruption

Hero worship of athletes and actors

Dilution of the Roman language

Look at America.   Frankly, look at the world.  Each of the qualities listed above is present.  In abundance.  George Santayana in The Life of Reason commented “Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.”  Is anyone surprised?  Is it too late?      

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