Guest Contributor – Milo Mindbender – 10APR2024 – End of Empire

Manipulation by our “betters” is a long standing tradition, ever since the first gathering of hominids there was a Bernie Sanders/Karl Marx to tell people what they were owed for the privilege of being in charge, and the penalty for being productive. When the Roman empire stopped expanding, and became unworthy of defending by Roman citizens, they were forced to hire the barbarians as mercenaries, and began to play games with the currency.
The practice of embedding veterans into captured territory, and wedding them to the natives, producing a new generation of Roman soldiery to take up arms for the empire, and reducing rebellion because no father in law wanted to destroy their grand children’s inheritance.
This stopped with the ceasing of expansion by the empire. We have now reached the point in our history where we are at the limits, defined by our neighbors, and the global community, of our expansion, and now begins the first stage of ossification. We have a citizenry that no longer is learning to love our country, believes JFK got it backwards with ” Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”, emotionally crippled, sexually confused, and financially abused. Debasement of our currency was inevitable, it just seems that we get to live through the cashing of the checks our government wrote.
The hiring of barbarian mercenaries has begun as Los Angeles has just graduated a class of LEO cadets , that are here illegally, not legally allowed to own a firearm, but are now sworn police officers, a judge in Illinois just ruled that citizens must have FOID cards, but illegals can not be required to obtain them. I have no problem with “Dreamers” enlisting in the military to earn their citizenship, and actually encourage such programs. They come out of the shadows and are then legal, complete with the Responsibilities and privileges that come with citizenship, but draw the line at creating an armed organization that has less loyalty to the US, the. Constitution, and the people of the US than the agencies we already have in our borders.
I don’t always agree with Michael Weiner/ Savage but his statement that “Any country that doesn’t protect its borders, language, and citizens is not a country anymore” rings true.

Ah Really, Aurelius?

So here I am in the ems.  And next up (almost) is Marcus Aurelius Antoninus.  Yes that Marcus Aurelius.   And really, I’m a big fan.  Holding back the fall of the Roman Empire for almost twenty years is nothing to sneeze at.  I guess he does have to take a hit for being Commodus’ father and all.  I mean he really should have had him put down before he passed but it’s tough for a father to be objective about his kids.

And I like a lot of his quotes.  They are quite enlightened.  But I think sometimes he goes too far.  For instance:

“Everything that happens is either endurable or not. If it’s endurable, then endure it. Stop complaining. If it’s unendurable . . . then stop complaining. Your destruction will mean its end as well.”

Your destruction will mean its end as well“?  What the hell!

I mean he was a military man.  How about fighting against both the endurable and the unendurable?  Can’t we ever push things out of fate’s hands?

Well, anyway, he’s going to donate several weeks of quotes to the site so I’m grateful.  But I think there should be a limit to just how much silent resignation even a stoic has to exhibit.  Now I know he was basically an Italian so I can’t claim an exemption based on my lineage.  But I can tell you over the last eighteen centuries there has been a precipitous fall off in stoic tendencies among his descendants.  Most Italians like nothing better than to complain loud and long about just about everything happening around us.  You might say it’s our defining behavior.

I’ll end by saying I’m glad I didn’t have him for a boss.  He probably would have continuously lectured me in soothing terms to endure the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and eventually I would have gone mad and murdered him.

Well anyway, his first quote will be January 14th (showing up the night of Saturday, January 13th).

And he really should have made Russell Crowe emperor.  It would have solved a bunch of problems.

Good and Bad Emperors

Last week when I was railing against Joe Biden’s regime, I compared him to the Roman Emperor Tiberius.  Now this wasn’t meant to indicate a great similarity between these two politicians.  It was only to indicate that at a certain point in their careers each one was a debauched old man in charge of a great empire whose heir was a lunatic.  Honestly, the comparison is grossly unfair to Tiberius.  In his younger days Tiberius was a highly skilled and successful general who conquered several important provinces along the periphery of the empire.  By comparison, Joe Biden’s greatest achievement was getting hair plugs.

But it does bring up once again the comparison of the period at the end of the Roman Republic and the beginning of the Empire with our own time.  The end of the Roman Republic was a tumultuous century of greater and greater outrages against the Roman citizenry.  By the time the Caesars ended the farce all that remained was a plutocratic oligarchy harvesting the Roman citizens as legionnaires to conquer the rest of the world for use as slaves on Roman plantations.

But those legions were successful enough that they allowed the corrupt, mismanaged, Empire to expand for another two hundred years and after that to at least survive for another three hundred years.

And how about us?  Will the corpse of the American Republic, hijacked by the managerial mandarins of the federal government in association with the corporate oligarchs continue to rule the Global American Empire for its own half a millennium?

I guess that’s the quadrillion dollar question.  Based on the looks of Joe Biden you might say that five hundred days might be more realistic than five hundred years.  But let’s not be too hasty.  Currently our government is still masquerading as a representative republic where elections decide who is in charge.  A place holder like Joe Biden whose name is still familiar to those who remember him as a senator and vice president might be a very good way to begin the transition to the imperial model.

And after all most emperors aren’t necessarily “good emperors.”  You got Augustus and (arguably) Tiberius in the good column.  Then you get Caligula.  With the right public relations team even Caligula can last a few years.  So, with the right press secretary and national press Joe can survive.  Kamala, on the other hand is more in the Incitatus category.  Like Caligula’s horse, she is just a bridge too far and cannot pass the smell test.

And right in line with this common-sense limit no one is speaking of Kamala Harris as a realistic successor to Joe Biden, either in 2024 or afterwards.  The powers that be are respecting the instinct for self-preservation that still exists in the American populace.

But we could end up with an actor like Gavin Newsome or Elizabeth Warren or even AOC (God forbid.)  So, it’s well within the bounds of possibility that this empire could sputter along almost indefinitely with cretinous puppets in charge.  But what could shorten the span of time of the empire is military disaster.  All the way up to around 180 AD the legions provided a reliable bulwark against the incursions of the external enemies of Rome.  Germanic tribesmen and Persian armies alike still had to reckon with a relatively well-trained and professional army that could be brought to bear against an enemy.

Unfortunately for us this same military preparedness doesn’t seem to be available any longer.  But at the same time, the bluff is still being used to attempt to intimidate the other powerful regimes.  So, the spectacle of the Middle Eastern retreats (especially the rout from Afghanistan) is a recent indicator.  And now the bluster toward Russia and China rings quite hollow.

A true military debacle would be the catalyst for a much quicker loss of prestige and possibly the destabilization of the oligarchy that currently calls the shots in America.  After all, if we can’t even hold off medieval goat herders like the Taliban then why exactly would we allow the IRS and the FBI to treat us like slaves?

So, I guess my thought is that the American Empire can last practically indefinitely as long as it retains the competency that maintains it as a great power.  But if its military prowess declines then so does its ability to coerce the American people to knuckle under to its tyrannical demands.  The outcome of Biden’s saber rattling against Russia and China may be very instructive concerning the future of our oligarchs and their junta.

And by the way, where is our Caesar?

16MAY2019 – American Greatness Post of the Day – Our Modern Satyricon – VDH

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist by training so it is perhaps unsurprising that he finds the analogies between Petronius’s Satyricon and the cultural rot of our own age.

https://amgreatness.com/2019/05/15/our-modern-satyricon/

But I still praise him for the accuracy of his point by point comparison.  Comparing the present age to post-republican Rome has become a common trope but Hanson points out just how accurate it is.  Nothing new here, just the scholarly expertise of the author pointing out the exactness of the analogy.

25AUG2018 – Quote of the Day

“The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit. The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are.”

Marcus Aurelius

 

Reading the Stoic quotes you could be tempted to think it all sounds too inhuman, too sterile.  But what I remember then is that Aurelius lived his creed and selflessly struggled to hold back the forces of entropy that were inexorably waiting for his death to pummel the seemingly invulnerable Roman Empire with the first of an endless series of blows that would eventually grind it dust.  A lesser man, like his son Commodus would abandon the grinding drudgery of defending the imperial frontier and devote himself to decadent pleasure while the world dissolved.