I mean that in the pejorative sense in that Rome, like America, was a world dominant SuperPower. And that, based on our current socio-political environment, we are going the way of Rome. Luxury, sloth, idleness, immorality, decadence are elements that we share with our ancient Roman compatriots. Luxury, sloth, idleness, immorality and decadence are also the more benign elements that compose the "hip-hop" culture.
Rome was conquered and plundered by Aleric, King of the Visigoths, in 410AD.
"Where's my FUBU toga, yo?"
Watching the Academy Awards last night made me feel like I was seated at the Coliseum - watching a gladiator contest or chariot race. I imagined that I could hear the bored and apathetic crowd cheer at the Gladiatorial Games. The cheers and shouts would rise and fall as a short Roman sword pierced the side of Gaul fighting in the arena. Rome defined debauchery as they engaged in bacchanalian feasts - eating until they vomited, then having group sex sessions with prostitutes and same-sex liaisons. In the "anything goes" Roman culture, people had the time and luxury to devote to doing whatever they wanted. A porous border meant that anyone could get Roman citizenship, and an army made up of 90% mercenaries made sure that when fighting occurred - it wasn't Roman citizens getting killed in battles at various fronts. That, of course, meant that the armies weren't as motivated for action and wouldn't give 100% towards fulfilling their missions. As the borders shrank, the empire collapsed and the decadent governments' tax base evaporated - less resources were available to placate the citizenry with idle time wasters.
The world's great civilizations have progressed through
this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; from
spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty;
from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness;
from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to
apathy; from apathy to dependence; from dependence back
again into bondage."
Alexander Tyler (ca.1770)
Sadly, I actually could hear the bored, apathetic and brainwashed Hollywood crowd cheer as a group of no-talent, unintelligible, shiftless whelps skulked off stage after their hip-hop "performance." The standards that these people carry represent the basest elements of our society. Glorifying violence, drug use, sex, murder, revenge, lust, savagery, prejudice and illegitimacy - are what "hip-hop" are all about. As more and more people adopt the faux-"ThugLife" values, the more we'll see a decline in our own sense of what is right and wrong.
This is what provokes Muslims worldwide to see our culture as the vapid expanse of drek that it is.
As we cater to the dumb and mediocre in our society, the more we'll see that become the norm.