The Collapse of Ancient Rome – A Look into Our Future?


“Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it”


The first time I heard this quote was back in middle school when our Teacher, Mrs. Moore was attempting to explain why our daily history lessons (and homework ugh!) were important. At the time, this quote didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me and I figured Mrs. Moore was pretty much just blowing smoke up our collective, adolescent rear ends.


As maturity set in (as much as it could I guess) and I started waking up to some of the serious problems that surround us today, Mrs. Moore’s words have now become one of the most important lessons of my childhood.


Ancient Rome was THE international powerhouse of its time. Rome was the birthplace of much today’s organized medicine, architecture, roads, transportation, government, literature, art and military.


Heck, Ancient Rome was actually the first modern empire to adopt a government-ran welfare program.


Much of our modern day society can be attributed to the innovations and successes of Ancient Rome. Many of these innovations, which were revolutionary at the time, have become the foundation on which our modern global society functions today.


Unfortunately, we have also adopted many of the same mistakes that led to Rome’s eventual decline as a world power; and if things don’t start changing, America could soon be headed into the oblivion of history, simply because we failed to heed the words of teachers like Mrs. Moore and the lessons of the Roman Empire.


The Rise and fall of Ancient Rome  


The city of Rome had a very humble beginning. It started out as nothing more than a handful of villages settled along the river Tiber. In 509BC, the people of Rome claimed their independence from a long line of tyrannical kings and established one of, if not the first true republics of the people, with senators and representatives being elected to be used as a checks and balances system for any ruling emperors of the new Roman nation.


Over time the Roman Empire and its influence continued to grow by leaps and bounds both by peaceful means and through its endless wars with other nations.


Is this starting to sound familiar?



Historians disagree greatly on the final death blow of the Roman Empire, but the general consensus of everyone is that the fall of the Roman Empire can be blamed on one simple idea…something my grandmother used to say fairly often when we kids were in trouble.

“You’re getting too big for your britches!!”


The empire simply became too big; the ruling parties could not logistically sustain a system of government that had become increasingly tyrannical throughout its history. It could no longer effectively manage the endless campaign to push Roman ideals on the rest of the world.


In-fighting among the various governing bodies led to incompetency in government, which led to its people’s mistrust of the government they had come to depend on. This, along with Rome’s increasing problems of protecting its wide borders led to its downfall.


Its people had lost their sense of self-reliance by becoming increasingly dependent on a ruling party that simply couldn’t afford to take care of everyone. Their defenses began to crumble and one by one, the Roman Empire slowly began to dissolve.


Entire countries were lost in conflicts with neighboring nations or internal revolutions and within a matter of a century, the greatest empire mankind had ever known, an empire responsible for shaping the modern world as we know it, was reduced to a mere shadow of its former glory.


The price we pay for ignoring history


Despite what many might believe, the fall of Rome wasn’t unique. Countless empires and kingdoms throughout history, before and after Rome, have rose to power and fell the same way. Sure, each of these nations had their own unique struggles, governments and people, but there is a common thread that links them all together; a common thread that explains how nations rise and how nations fall.


This is a lesson we must learn or we will be doomed to repeat the same struggles and the same eventual collapse as they did, despite all of our modern conveniences and innovations.


Today, this lesson gets thrown around a lot in the corporate world and it’s the reason why a lot of businesses fail, it’s called micro-managing.


Everyone has probably been micro-managed before. Everyone’s probably had that one boss in the past (or present) that was constantly looking over their shoulder. Their main job is just making sure that you do your job, their way, regardless if it’s the best way or not.


They litter every rung of the managerial ladder, they rarely have any practical knowledge of the actual job itself and it seems like their only reason for being there is to make your job harder.


The problem with micro-managing is that in order for it to work well, individual innovation must be squashed. Self-reliance must be squashed. You have to make people dispensable, nothing more than cogs in a collective machine. There is no self-reliance in micromanaging, there is no individual…there is simply the machine, the good of the company and the automated processes for replicating revenue strategies that have worked in the past.


Again….Self-reliance has no place in a system of micro-managing. (Hopefully you’re starting to pick up how this whole thing relates to prepping and disaster preparedness) Individual innovation, even though it was what made the company profitable to begin with, is now replaced with a fleet of “yes-men/women” who simply exist to appease the higher rungs on the ladder.


Our country is being micro-managed; by our government and by a large chunk of its citizens. Many people today simply think that it is their job to dictate how our lives should be led, by force if necessary….for the good of the “machine”.


Friends… our country is in trouble. We ARE headed down the same path of failure that ancient Rome, as well as countless other nations have gone down before. We have failed to heed the warnings and the lessons of the past and we are doomed to repeat them.


In short…this country and its people need to remember how to stay the hell out of other people’s business and take care of itself.


Over the last 100+ years we have systematically stomped out the very ideals that this country was founded on. Much like the Roman Empire, America was born with the greatest of intentions: Liberty, freedom from tyrannical leaders and opportunity for those with the wherewithal to build a great life for themselves.


Today…well… I don’t need to tell you how little those ideals mean to a lot of people today. For many people, self-reliance is nothing more than a burden that modern society has graciously allowed us to be rid of.


People don’t want to take care of themselves. They don’t want to learn practical skills and they don’t want to be held accountable for their successes and failures. They have a certain idea of how everyone should be living their life, and by golly they’re going to do whatever they have to make sure people do it their way.


Just like the ancient Romans, people are looking towards government to legislate our way out of problems with more regulations, laws, taxes…and yet it hasn’t worked. Things are getting worse. More and more people are beginning to mistrust their government and it’s obvious that government doesn’t trust us.


We have more debt as a country than our children’s children could possibly pay off and its showing no signs of stopping. We can’t feed ourselves anymore; our armed forces are spread so thin by being involved in conflicts that have nothing to do with us all over the world that we can’t even defend our own borders from terrorist attacks even though we are giving up more of our liberties every day for the good of “national security”.


Friends…. this is how nations die.


People sometimes ask why we post articles about hunting, gardening, financial preparedness and various other skills that are seemingly unrelated to “prepping”. The reason is because one day, whether it is in our lifetime, our kid’s lifetime, or our grandkid’s lifetime, we may need those skills again. You can stockpile as much food and weapons as possible but without working towards self-reliance, your survival will only last as long as your food and ammo does.


Is America doomed to extinction?


I can’t tell you this, and neither can anyone else. Our future isn’t set in stone. However, we’ve got a long, hard road ahead of us if we’re going to pull out of this spiral and there’s no guarantee that America will make it out on the other end intact.


The media and the government can make us out to be extremists, anarchists, traitors and any other names they want to throw out there. The reality is that the individual has little to no effect on the outcome of America. However, if you prepare, if you can gain back at least some piece of your own self-reliance, the possible downfall of America will have little effect on you either.


We must fend for ourselves. We must remember the lessons that ancient Rome, countless other failed nations and Mrs. Moore have been trying to teach us, or we truly will be doomed to repeat those same mistakes again.


Thank you for reading everyone, until next time…



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  1. Papa "J"

    Excellently written. We have been trying our best to learn the old ways. It is a lot of work, but the learning curve is easier when you have food, water and heat at your fingertips.

  2. dave

    There are several other reasons why the Roman empire failed:
    1. They hired mercenaries to fight their wars for them.
    2. They gradually reduced the gold and silver content in their coinage- and less other countries would accept it in trade.

    I do not know if the Romans had people on the inside who were deliberately destroying them- perhaps someone could comment on that?
    Have you heard about the new item on the menu at MacDonalds: It is called ‘The Obama Value Meal’- you get to choose anything you want, and the guy standing behind you in the lineup has to pay for it?

  3. steve

    Nicely put and I couldn’t agree with you more.

  4. Mike Schrowang

    The quote you use is attributable to Sir Winston Churchill.

    The comparison of ancient Rome to the modern day U.S.A. is far more complex than you make it out to be. One contributing factor was that Rome surrounded herself with conscript armies culled from the vanquished nation/states that he conquered. These “mercenary” soldiers were not up to the task of protection Rome what the Goths and Vandals came over the wall.

    One camparison that rings true is the amount of greed and aravice among the politicians. In addition, Rome traded her freedom as a Republic for chains under the first true emporer; Julias Ceasar. Once dictatorship has taken hold there was no stopping the Julian family from securing the nation and setting the emporer up as a god-head.

    Indeed, I agree that we are on a slippery slope, but the errors of our ways are much different that those of ancient Rome.

  5. Muleskinner

    Rick, as a 30 year student of the fall of ancient Rome I commend you on your ability to briefly, and accurately, give the underlying causes for the eventual collapse of the Roman Empire. I would argue that once any empire sets itself on the paths that the Romans took it has doomed itself to extinction. We simply have no example of history to say otherwise. To be brief there is not one empire, that once it has decayed internally to the point that is evident within American politics, society and its judiciary, which has been able to redeem itself from the abyss. The only questions remaining are whether America will break up into sub-nations and how long the inevitable can be avoided.

  6. doug

    Hi Rick , This reminds me of something I read on the downfall of Spain . After the Spanish Armada days ,the rich started to out-source all their needs and gradually shut down all local manufacturing so that they had nothing to export . Then began the long slide to the bottom . This sound’s familiar too doesn’t it !??

  7. Leroy

    Orlov is rcorrect when he says all empires collapse, no exceptions.

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