In the Footsteps of Rome: Maybe It No Longer Matters Who’s Emperor

In the Footsteps of Rome: Maybe It No Longer Matters Who’s Emperor. By Charles Hugh Smith.

Quick history quiz: who was the second-to-the-last Emperor of the Western Roman Empire? How about the third-to-the-last? Answers: Glycerius, 473-74 A.D. and Julius Nepos, 474-475 A.D. The last emperor was the grandly titled Romulus Augustus, who reigned less than a year until the whole shebang disintegrated in 476 A.D.

You get the point: when the momentum of collapse crosses the Event Horizon, it no longer matters who claims the title of Head Snake; the collapse is beyond the control of any individual or agency. …

USA today:

Profound disunity between classes and within power elites is the key driver of collapse, as all the energy required to make the perilous, radical changes needed to save the system are squandered on in-fighting and jockeying for control of the dwindling centralized power.

The final generation of Romans also preferred pretense to reality. The last Roman elites found solace in Rome’s past glories, as if it was inevitable that something or other would magically restore Rome’s power and stability without any sacrifices being made by the elites or the public. …

Just as in the waning days of the Western Roman Empire, the elites got overly greedy and complacent–a fatal combination. America’s billionaire class and the New Nobility just below the billionaires have scooped most of the economy’s gains since 2008, and paid either zero or low taxes. … Just as in Rome’s waning days, the super-wealthy evade taxes and indeed, any sacrifice. Whatever wealth remains is sluiced into the coffers of the super-wealthy while the citizenry pay the price via the destruction of social mobility, higher taxes and a fast-decaying real economy. …

Human Wetware 1.0 hasn’t changed since 473 A.D. and so our elites are filled with the same complacent hubris as the last batch of greedy, entitled, overly impressed with their wealth and power elites of Rome.

The Roman empire was founded by a northern European tribe moved south, like the ancient Greeks before them. As the Roman empire grew, people from all around the Mediterranean basin and beyond flocked to Rome. Romans increasingly bemoaned the loss of virtue, as the original tribe and its culture became both diluted and less willing to risk their blood and treasure in support of what Rome had become. Blond wigs became popular, to imitate the original Romans, but it was just a pretense to aid in jockeying for better status within Rome. A high trust society became a lower trust society.

But once virtue and trust have gone, they are near impossible to get back.