The United States of America is an empire akin to Rome. For more than 500 years, the Roman Empire was the most dominant nation in the world. It was superior to all other nations technologically, economically, and culturally. The United States has existed for fewer than 300 years, but has been a superior nation for most of that time. The USA has seen success in the same general areas as Rome – the economy, technology, and the culture.
Rome’s economy was open to free trade, although there was little industry compared to a more advanced economy. This led to a wide range of available jobs which allowed many participants into the economy. As technology improved and allowed previous jobs to be done more efficiently by fewer people, those left without jobs were able to find new ways to add value to the economy, which led to more technology and more jobs.
Similar, the United States is the economic and technological center of the world. While there are major financial hubs in Europe and Asia, the New York Stock Exchange is the largest international stock exchange, and the largest private companies in the world are all American. On top of that, America has most of the international startup ventures. Private American citizens and their companies invest in new technologies and attract the best engineers to work on their projects. The United States has long been a business-friendly nation, which encourages risk-taking entrepreneurs to try to add value in new ways. This encouragement comes in the form of capital availability, local resources that can help, and success stories to emulate.
Rome was, and the United States is, the strongest military in the world. This is largely due to the availability of resources in the two nations and how those resources combine with the technology to create superior weaponry. It also has to do with the individuals and the leaders of the nations. Romans and Americans have conquerors. That’s how the nations were founded, expanded, and how other advantages like resources have been secured. The United States has a disciplined military that incentivizes members to work hard for the country. Rome was even better at this – making it a great honor to serve in the military despite little financial reward.
The United States is, not so slowly, being taken over in terms of global market share and GDP. Other nations are catching up fast due to larger citizen bases now having access to global resources through the internet, improved education.
The Roman Empire collapsed because it was no longer seen as necessary. Surrounding countries had grown in resources and power. The infrastructure and values that had been a part of Rome for centuries were taken for granted by the citizens. Some of those values included military discipline, free trade, and virtues of not wanting. Discipline was not only in the military but in the society. As faith in these values and infrastructure faded, so did the resolve of the Romans. The resolve of Rome faded compared to that of the surrounding nations, and the empire collapsed in political and militant struggle.
The degradation of values and, with those values, freedoms that made Rome great is similar to what’s happening in the United States. The US won two world wars. It’s home to the financial and technological centers of the planet. We invented cars and airplanes. And today the United States lags in infrastructure and is growing far less rapidly in technology and the general economy compared to other nations.
In summary, the United States of America is an empire akin to Rome. The US maintained its position as the dominant force in the world for centuries. Both achieved this economically, technologically, and culturally. Both nations had a strong military force that kept civilians safe and inferior nations in fear. Like Rome, the citizens don’t understand the framework that the superior technology, culture, and economy depend on. We can learn from Rome in order to not sacrifice individual freedom to maintain a position of political dominance. As Rome demonstrated, if one is given up, the other follows.