Striking similarities Jun 5, 2007
Are We Rome? discusses several comparisons between Rome and America. In the introduction he tells the reader to think less about decadence and military strength and more about the world view of each and the slow decay of homegrown institutions. In a section titled ?The Omphalos Syndrome? he notes the tendency over time to hold that the capital is the source and focal point of reality. An interesting idea is that US contractors can be equated to Rome?s barbarians. ?Yesterday?s Conan the Barbarian has become Conan the Contractor.? This is perhaps the main point, privatization, the ?externalization of state functions,? is what really leads to an empire?s downfall. The government becomes more responsive to particular interests rather than the will of the people. In the end the author notes there are differences between Rome and America but there are also similarities and that large systems are inherently unstable.