Does History Repeat?


Victor Davis Hanson:

How Will America Hold Together?

By A.D. 200, the Roman Republic was a distant memory. Few citizens of the global Roman Empire even knew of their illustrious ancestors like Scipio or Cicero. Millions no longer spoke Latin. Italian emperors were a rarity. There were no national elections.

Yet Rome endured as a global power for three more centuries. What held it together?

A stubborn common popular culture and the prosperity of Mediterranean-wide standardization kept things going. The Egyptian, the Numidian, the Iberian and the Greek assumed that everything from Roman clay lamps and glass to good roads and plentiful grain were available to millions throughout the Mediterranean.

As long as the sea was free of pirates, thieves cleared from the roads, and merchants allowed to profit, few cared whether the lawless Caracalla or the unhinged Elagabalus was emperor in distant Rome.

Something likewise both depressing and encouraging is happening to the United States. Few Americans seem to worry that our present leaders have lied to or misled the Congress and the American people without consequences.


If Rome quieted the people with public spectacles and cheap grain from the provinces, so too Americans of all classes keep glued to favorite video games and reality-TV shows. Fast food is both cheap and tasty. All that for now is preferable to rioting and revolt.

Like Rome, America apparently can coast for a long time on the fumes of its wonderful political heritage and economic dynamism — even if both are little understood or appreciated by most who still benefit from them.

The Roman Republic lasted over 500 years. The Roman Empire lasted almost as long, but in the end only the Western half fell. The Eastern Roman Empire made it’s home in Constantinople and lasted another 1000 years.

The Romans accomplished some incredible things. I just read the other day about how we recently rediscovered the secret to Roman concrete. Their concrete was more durable than the Portland cement that we have been using for the past 200 years.

A lot of changes took place during Rome’s history. The form of government changed. The leaders changed. The religion changed. But the nation called Rome remained.

I am surprised that VDH missed a few other common factors between us and Rome. For most of its history Rome remained politically and economically stable. It was wealthy enough that its citizens could afford to pay for the decadence and excess of its leaders.

But in the end Rome fell because they could not (or would not) control their borders. They were overwhelmed by the barbarian hordes.

Thus began the Dark Ages.

About Myiq2xu - BA, JD, FJB

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
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103 Responses to Does History Repeat?

  1. driguana says:

    Yes, history does repeat itself…..home burns while Zero fiddles!

  2. Absolutely spot on. They went through unimaginable and illogical mental contortions to justify accommodating interlopers. Sound familiar?

  3. DandyTiger says:

    Exhibit A: Yesterdays (and todays) witness in the Zimmerman trial. That’s the next generation of America. And it will only go downhill from there.

    • Mary says:

      Listening to this woman testify, I try to imagine what kind of job she will be able to hold down to support herself, and I can’t think of a single thing. It’s so sad.

      • DandyTiger says:

        IRS, DHS, DOJ. Not kidding.

      • DeniseVB says:

        Could also be a Jesse Jackson scholarship in her future? She’s sure to become a “victim” too after her testimony.

        • elliesmom says:

          In the school systems where I taught, you only had to age 21 to graduate from high school. If you hadn’t completed the requirements for graduation and passed the MCAS, you were given the choice of attending adult night school or just leaving. Twenty-one is also the age when special needs students are transitioned into adult programs. I don’t know whether “Dee-Dee” is a special needs student or not, and I’m not going to “diagnose” her obvious educational deficiencies based on her court appearance. She has said she wants to go to college and major in forensics, but that means nothing. I had a neighbor with a low IQ who thought she was going to be a brain surgeon. She got a job cleaning at a local hospital, and they had to fire her because she wouldn’t stay out of the operating room. I do know that all of the students I knew who were 20 years old, had not graduated yet, but wanted to, transitioned themselves to night school sooner rather than later so they could also hold down a job. We called the ones who were still joining the 14 and 15 years in the cafeteria everyday the “adulthood avoidance brigade” unless they were severely educationally challenged. Even most of the special ed kids preferred the sheltered workshop to the classroom by the time they were 20.

  4. Lizzy says:

    Did the Romans have enough bounty to apy for all their pleasures? Did they get taxes or tribute from that vast empire? How do they compare with Obama’s vast burden of debt? I worry that with weak Obama at the helm we will be dancing to Putin’s tune and ceding all our riches to China.

  5. DeniseVB says:

    Yep, describes the low information voters.

    We’re barely over 2 centuries old, I only hope we can last as long as the Roman era.

  6. votermom says:

    Borders schmorders; Dem voters know who the REAL terrorists are

  7. Constance says:

    All we have to do is cast out the elitist Ivy indoctrinated on the east coast and let real people run things. These people are running government and corporations and banks and they have done a corrupt inept job of it. I have a lot of faith in young people. Having to deal with reality and the unemployment and debt left to them should sober them up. Many of them aren’t stupid they are just brainwashed.

  8. Constance says:

    Isn’t it disgusting what having a President with zero international experience and zero management experience is doing to our country. Maybe if he doubles down on his hope and changey thing and his campaign speeches vilifying his political competitors all the bad international vibes will go away. Or not.

  9. HELENK says:

    state does not want “star witness” transcript entered in evidence

  10. HELENK says:

    maybe Mexico can bail them out next time and we can save money

  11. HELENK says:

    this is a weird case to prosecute. big corporation against the little guy. I would think just for the public relations nightmare Bof A would not want to go through with this

  12. HELENK says:

    Unbelievable benghazi suspect walks because the US who has the evidence failed to provide it

    • Mary says:

      Mirror image of DOJ not providing correct information to Hong Kong authorities on Snowden extradition.

      Pure incompetence.

  13. votermom says:

    Can’t make it up

  14. HELENK says:

    Afghan reconstruction watchdog criticizes USAID.

    $70 million in waste

  15. votermom says:

    Good question:

  16. West is breaking this witness down. I hope she explodes on the stand. I want to see fireworks.

  17. HELENK says:

    backtrack on snowden. i have not contacted Russia or China personally. I shouldn’t have too

    • Constance says:

      Wow. That is pretty stunning. So dude, what do you plan to do when doing nothing doesn’t work?

  18. votermom says:

  19. lisadawn82 says:

    Didn’t the Romans outsource there military at the end.

  20. HELENK says:

    there is one part of me that feels sorry for this girl. what kind of a future does she have??

    • myiq2xu says:

      Reality television star.

    • I feel sorry for her, too. She’s had no guidance in her life at all, apparently, except for ‘hood culture. She’s been getting a lot of flack, deservedly based on her attitude, but where are her parents? What’s their involvement in this girl’s life?

      • myiq2xu says:

        I feel sorry for her, too.

        I don’t.

        Some people try and fail. She is trying to fail.

        • I disagree. She is trying to succeed in her corrupt culture. That is what has failed her. It’s all she’s known. She’s too young to be blamed entirely for where she is at in her life.

          • myiq2xu says:

            She navigates her culture quite well. She is obviously not starving. She brags about using drugs and alcohol. She has a phone and knows how to use it. I’m guessing she can handle a EBT card and make change for a drug deal. I bet she knows how many grams are in an ounce (and fractions thereof). She uses social media.

            She is an adult. She is old enough to vote, make contracts, get married and/or have kids. If she gets pregnant she knows how to use the social services networks. She knows right from wrong and truth from fiction. If she commits a crime she will be treated as an adult.

            She is the star witness in a murder trial.

        • I agree that she is entirely responsible for her actions in the here and now. What we are disagreeing on is her production as an adult in this country. Herself, as a human, is the product of her culture, which has obviously been abysmal.

          I’m not suggesting that she gets a pass. I’m saying I have some sympathy for how she got where she is.

          What we likely agree on is that she has been a boon for the defense, and a tragedy for the prosecution. I’d also like to add that this judge is clearly showing deference to the prosecution, and trying to hinder the defense offering a robust defense of their client. She’s an embarrassment to the judicial branch.

          • myiq2xu says:

            I’m saying I have some sympathy for how she got where she is.

            Would you feel the same way about a 19 year old goatfucker who thought it was okay to rape and murder women? His culture failed him too.

        • Ha! She just got released. $100 bucks says she smokes a blunt within an hour.

    • Constance says:

      I find her sad. She is what comes of the media cartel dumping their toxic culture and fast food into her. She is a victim of corporate america or more likely multinational corporations who are unamerican. She is trying to succeed in the only culture she has been presented with.

    • Constance says:

      That’s because it was written by the health care conglomerates. It so sucks that they didn’t have the needs of the media cartel in mind when they wrote it.

  21. HELENK says:

    this supreme court ruling slipped under the radar, due the furor over DOMA

    could impact obamacare

  22. driguana says:

    Obama not only apologizes for our country but continues to push his own agenda overseas….what a creep…showing no respect, again, for other people’s cultures…

  23. myiq2xu says:
  24. HELENK says:

    can this woman embarrass the USA any more than she already does

    her victim mentality while living off other people’s money is sickening

  25. myiq2xu says:

    Via AofS:

    A teenage friend of Trayvon Martin was forced to admit today in the George Zimmerman murder trial that she did not write a letter that was sent to Martin’s mother describing what she allegedly heard on a phone call with Martin moments before he was shot.

    In a painfully embarassing moment, Rachel Jeantel was asked to read the letter out loud in court.

    “Are you able to read that at all?” defense attorney Don West asked.

    Jeantel, head bowed, eyes averted whispered into the court microphone, “Some but not all. I don’t read cursive.”

    It sent a hush through the packed courtroom.

    Jeantel, 19, was unable to read any of the letter save for her name.

  26. HELENK says:

    between backtrack and meeeeshele embarrassing this country, I can not wait until they are gone. only 3 more years

  27. votermom says:

  28. HELENK says:

    drone falls dangerously out of sky. local news station reveals what it has been filming.

    this issue needs a lot of conversation

  29. HELENK says:

    FOX has the reading of the charges against the boston bomber.
    video should be available later

  30. HELENK says:

    Joey Gaffes on hill to chair immigration vote

  31. HELENK says:

    this makes me feel so secure. I live in a little town where the gangs from LA a moving in to.
    thanks dems and screw you

  32. HELENK says:

    here is another government invasion into the American citizen’s confidential financial info

  33. myiq2xu says:
  34. HELENK says:

    voting now on the immigration bill in senate now

  35. HELENK says:

    68 – 32 immigration passes in senate.

    primary time for the republcians that voted for it

  36. elliesmom says:

    I was looking for some insight into what’s happening in the Zimmerman trial so I checked into a blog we mock. There was a familiar black person commenting, and while he was dismayed at the quality of Rachel’s testimony, he said we shouldn’t read too much into the “cracker” stuff because black people use it to describe white people all of time, especially young people. I want to know if the Neelys have used that term when talking about white people at anytime in the last 25 years, and if they have, I want them removed immediately from Food Network.

  37. Internal Exile says:

    I forget who said this first, but someone said that while history does not quite repeat itself, it does tend to rhyme.

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