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Rome vs America?

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Brad
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since 08-20-99
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Jejudo, South Korea


0 posted 10-18-2001 04:59 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Not a big fan of these comparisons. Always think that they're leaving something out -- like fundamentally different economies and entirely different conceptions of human rights -- but I thought it was interesting:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/saturday_review/story/0,3605,564084,00.html
"In terms of the current American situation, recovery at the external level probably depends on a reconsideration of American foreign policy but also a reconsideration of internal purposes. The United States does not seem to grasp the impact of its current foreign policy on the have-nots of this world. Without such an understanding, an Israeli-style scenario would seem to be inevitable: a garrison state, and a condition of endless siege. It is a chilling thought, the possibility that for the remainder of the new century, America will be waiting for the barbarians."

--from the article

[This message has been edited by Brad (edited 10-18-2001).]

Tim
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since 06-08-99
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1 posted 10-21-2001 03:37 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

Rome/U.S. wasn't a particularly original thesis when I first came across it some thirty years ago in political theory.  A good old standby is, is this going to be another Vietnam?
Of course, the Isreali's are advocating this is another appeasement ala Chamberlain and Czechoslavokia.  
History repeats itself and we need to learn the lessons of our past. (learned that in the course of my History degree)
The only lesson in history is that there are no lessons in history.  (learned that in the course of my political science degree)
While the answer lies somewhere in between,
using the past as propoganda is of little value except to those espousing it.
Brad
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since 08-20-99
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Jejudo, South Korea


2 posted 10-22-2001 03:17 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Actually, the answer is both. It just depends on what you focus on.

The use of history as propaganda has value for the espouser if it works.  But then it also has value for the listener, doesn't it?

Brad

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since 11-06-2000
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Deep in the heart


3 posted 10-22-2001 12:22 PM       View Profile for Interloper   Email Interloper   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Interloper

Wouldn't it depend on the "spin" of the "historical" propaganda, Brad?

What most folks learn from history is that they need six hours of it for a degree.  The same goes for government:-)
Stephanos
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4 posted 10-22-2001 06:51 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Though I don't agree with every aspect of this article, I think many of the parallels between America and ancient Rome are striking and worthy of consideration.  Don't get me wrong, I am an American and love my country.  But "blind" patriotism (mentioned in another thread) disturbs me also.  Rome went through a kind of thing where the "romish" way was viewed as superior just because.  Whenever a culture takes on this attitude, laziness of mind, will, and spirit set in.  Prosperity then only adds to the obesity and pride of the nation.  And "pride goes before a fall".  Rome seemed reluctant to ever look at herself critically, and so disasters began to multiply.  The emperors even demanded worship as "God".  Which adds another point...Democracy or any form of government (and the decisions thereof) should never be worshipped or put on a pedestal just because we think it is always right or the best.  We should continue to look and examine ourselves and tweak our policies.  Our forefathers did so.  

As to the religious aspect, the phrase "God bless America" is popular right now.  But isn't this often just a way of saying "Our ways are Divine, and let providence prove it"?  Don't misunderstand me here either,  I am a Christian and believe in God.  But  if we really worshipped him as a God who God indeed, we would not be able to dictate to him as we do (yet in reality we can't, this is evident from the disasters that are befalling us).  Perhaps those of us who believe in God should be asking him what's going on and why these things are happening, rather than trying to convince him that he too should be the democratic type.   In a way the evanescent appeal to patriotic religion is a mere lip service to God, while we go on worshipping the idols of our making.  I am not of a "doom and gloom" mentality, but on the whole I think I fear for the future of America.

Stephen.

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (edited 10-22-2001).]

BrightStar
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since 04-08-2001
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5 posted 10-23-2001 01:25 PM       View Profile for BrightStar   Email BrightStar   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for BrightStar

I agree with Tim.  All great countries have seen their demise.  Look how long England was THE most powerful and influential country int he world.

It took the USSR mush less time to implode and the Japanese even less time than that.

Where is America going? Only God knows and He isn't telling.
 
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