Rome Burned Down, We’re All Still Here

The nation is going a bit nuts right now about the nuts vying for presidency from the Democratic and Republican parties. The far right is terrified of more progressivism. The far left is terrified of more conservatism. Everyone is afraid Hillary will destroy the nation from the inside and is also afraid Trump will destroy the nation from the outside.

While many of the more specific arguments pro or against Trump, Clinton or Sanders might be specifically true, and even if the greater fear of United States coming to some kind of “end,” it doesn’t actually mean life won’t just keep going on.

Because it will.

Granted, we may not be as comfortable as we once were, our government increasingly does commits crimes to help us identify with post-war Germans and the general populace is turning slowly into a self-indulgent mob.

But hey, this is hardly the first time that’s happened. I would also argue, pretty strongly, that it will happen again; here, China, Russia, Britain, Brazil … people can’t sit still. Nor can people remember yesterday’s lessons.

Countries are doing pretty well, but each successive generation fails — almost ALWAYS — to realize the costs previous generations paid to give them prosperity. They become shallow and fickle and over obsess with righting the kinds of wrongs our ancestors actually killed and died to enjoy — compared to what they endured. That shallow group, obsessed with using society to enforce some perceived utopia ends up overspending money, sending their country into debt attempting to save the poor and even almost-poor, claims its their responsibility to fix the world and keep us in constant warfare.

Sound familiar? That was Rome, folks.

And we’re heading in the same direction. Children fail to understand their parents, are offended by their parents’ mistakes, hide the past to “improve” everyone’s quality of life, immediately make the same mistakes that killed their grandparents.

If there were ever a greatest sin humankind could be said to boast, it wouldn’t be murder, rape, slavery or other oppression. No, our greatest sin is the sin of forgetfulness.

We fail to remember the lessons of yesteryear, and when we’re faced with that history and its long-learned lessons, our pride gets the better of us.

“Not I …” we say. We’re better than our ancestors, in our own eyes, and we can prove it, as we lift the iPhones and fitbits and tablets and laptops and hybrid, self-driving cars our ancestors paved the way for through hard work and a life of selflessness.

We make terrible decisions, tying people together through heavy taxation and a culture wrapped around uniformity and wonder, when it all collapses, why it didn’t work out. We stop making decisions for ourselves, opting, instead, for a bureaucrat to make those decisions, and then wonder why trying to make everyone happy ends up making no one happy.

Remember, lastly, that the final people Rome ever oppressed was its own citizens, who were trapped within its walls. The government would not let the people leave, and then the barbarians finally arrived, Roman citizens welcomed them with open arms.

When you ask for an all-powerful government, you get it, and it will never turn out to be what you want it to be. It will always and inevitably eat its own.

But remember when that day comes — and it will — we will still be here. We will all survive, in one form or another. We may not enjoy the wealth, freedom and prosperity we enjoy today, but we’ll live on. More cultures and societies will rise and fall. America will become just another nation in a history book to rise and fall as a world power. Kids will remember its name, and may even dress up like American soldiers and go conquer the Middle East and fight “communism.”

But freedom and socialism will continue fighting onward. Both fought each other before Rome, both will fight each other long after America is lost to the past.

Regardless of America collapses in 30 or 200 years, live free of too many entanglements. Focus on getting out of debt, sending your kids to a technical school so they can have skills that are actually in demand, invest in stable markets overseas and have an exit plan — move to Ireland, New Zealand or South America. Granted, I don’t think things would get too bad in our own lifetime, but then, I’m sure no one in Germany would have believed the same prior to either World War.

And whether it does or not, humanity will survive. We’ll make it through this presidency and the next and the next.

Life goes on, so don’t worry too much. 😉

 

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