I finally got through the second chapter of How the Irish Saved Civilization. The book already has me thinking, but not about the subject of title. As Thomas was describing how Rome fell… or his interpretation of it, I couldn’t help but draw parallels to how America is being run more and more. This isn’t a Bush thing. It’s something that’s been happening gradually through presidents, the “conscious” of a humanity, like Rome was, like America is trying to maintain.
A number of factors are mentioned. Food. Money. Troops. Tax Men. Social tendencies. And supposed secure borders. Like a building with major and minor support beams. Rome itself took out enough minor supports to expose the major ones… chop chop.
Money and tax men go hand in hand. I didn’t get the part about the tax man… but Rome didn’t like having citizens fuss and go over to barbarian territories because being born as a Roman citizen is a wonderful thing. It sounded a good bit like our prideful patriotism.
Taxes increased and the lords bled their peons more increasing the gap between the haves and have-nots. As many know the gap is increasing in our country for various reasons. Adding more features to our government. The ‘trickle-down method’ being deployed in a few presidencies. Media educated and under-educated lower class. The value of the dollar has been going down in recent years… listen to Ron Paul on that why. So they up minimum wage… then the market has to charge more for stuff to compensate. Immigrants, illegal or not, coming in and taking the lower paying jobs that young adults could be doing instead of playing games at home. Jobs and their wages get shipped over seas. Military and their wage is shipped over seas. Over dependency on cars, therefore foreign oil. All of this stuff and more play a roll one way or another, I think.
The book also talked about the people’s distaste for the military, for one reason or another. Requiring soldiers. Taking them away from their personal lives… something along those lines. I’m not savvy on this and when it may have started. But Vietnam and the current war have the country nearly in half or worse. If the people don’t back the war, moral among the military would be lower. I would think anyway. The more those who are drafted will do what they can to get out of it…. which, I think, leads…
Back to Rome where the military is forced to accept serfs as soldiers to keep their ranks; to lure them in they promise freedom and money. More tax is needed. The parallel I draw here is how military has become something recruited through the ‘willing’ lower class. The more uneducated the heavier the push. I think there may be a major difference in psychological outlook there as well. With a draft it was a requirement to go. It was your duty to answer the call of your country. It’s like the difference between having your dad pick your car for you or talking to a car salesman yourself. When the wheels fall off you can either think your dad’s a prick or you consider yourself an idiot.
The chapter was more complicated for me to grasp… but the lead up to Romes demise was a slow slope that started centuries before. From the sounds of it a long standing radiating pride mixed with internal desperation led caused a drift from their original core values. It sounds eerily familiar to me…