Wednesday, June 18, 2008

UNDERSTANDING ROME, ENGLAND, AND AMERICAN EMPIRES

When a person goes to read history, they inundated with shit about Rome. All you fucking hear about is ROME ROME ROME ROME ROME ROME ROME

Find a book about the history toilets, I bet the biggest chapter in the book is about Rome and their toilets.

Everyone has a theory on why Rome fell. There are like a million of them.

I'm sitting here staring at Rome.

Rome is sitting there in Italy. Doing basically nothing. Pretending to be greek.

Some people called the Mametines of Messina get into a conflict, ask the Carthaginians for help, then betray them then ask Rome for help. Rome was like whatever, we'll help you. Then Rome beats Carthage and 'gets' the Mediterranean.

That is the first Punic War.

Rome is like, "Wow, we have the Mediterranean, this is so cool." Then they take over other places and then conquer Carthage itself in 148 BC. And then Rome really explodes because it has all this fertile land.

This is where it gets fucked up in my head.

Rome using North African food is then able to take over large pieces of land. Rome doesn't even really have any resources, it grows like olives and grapes for wine. Their population explodes and at the same time they decide to force out all the small farmers who made up the middle class and the military with this thing called Latifundia, which is a slave plantation. So all these hard working people making money paying taxes go to Rome and sit around and eat North African bread.

Britain does this too. They were importing a good amount of their food from other places while they took over the world. They were getting their resources from India and Africa.

America's empire is from oil, which comes from Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, etc. NOTE: If America didn't have oil for their farm tractors, water spraying systems which run on diesel, and planes to crop dust, there would have to be at least Richard Heinberg says 50 million people farming right. But only 1 percent farms now. Which is 3 million. If we couldn't transport the crops by semi-trucks and produce so much corn to feed animals we would only be eating meat on holidays or maybe twice a month like humans did before oil.

The biggest empires in history got their main resources to remain empires from other countries.

While the countries with the resources were shitty little countries that didn't matter.

It must be noted also that perhaps the genius of these empires is, TAKE OVER UNDERDEVELOPED COUNTRIES.

England took over countries like India, The Congo, Canada, etc. Countries where people didn't have modern technology, and their worldviews weren't full of ownership and profits. Basically worldviews that did not understand warring for the sake of porfits.

Rome took over a Europe that was still very much tribal and had no written language.

America takes over countries like Iraq and Afghanistan. Completely ruined countries with no infrastructure and no money.

A good example of not something an empire would do, would be German in World War 2 trying to take over countries that were modern and had highly developed universities, written language.

So this is what you do if you want an empire:

1. Use what resources you have to build a military.

2. Find a third world mostly illiterate country with a worldview that doesn't have anything to do with yours.

3. Go there and take it over.

4. Shortly after taking it over, find some uncle toms in that population to become their new government. Say you are only there to free them or civilize them. But while doing that employ them to get desired resources.

5. Use that third world country's resources to fund your campaign to take over other third world countries that have resources.

6. Put your own people out of work, give them stupid service sector jobs in the cities or food stamps, (bread and circuses.) Get slaves from other countries to do your hard work, (Mexicans.)

This will be your empire.

Historians for thousands of years will study your empire and stare and make grand theories and write 10 volume books on your empire.

8 comments:

jereme said...

You have explained the strategy utilized in the game of Risk.

adam said...

Risk tends not to have a very accurate resource count; Africa is much more wealthy in mineral resources than Europe, but you get 5 additional units for possessing it, while Africa only gives you 2.

Civilization, the computer game, is a better example; ideally, Civilization 3, which puts important resources in squares your civilization has to have within its borders and accessible by roads to use. Early on, with access to Iron and/or Horse squares, you can more quickly conquer territories with access to Saltpeter squares (and later, Coal, Oil, Aluminum, and Uranium), thanks to mounted and armed units' bonuses to movement and attacks.

Noah Cicero said...

I've never played risk

adam said...

The one problem with Civilization 3 is that the repercussions for running out of a resource aren't nearly high enough.

that boy i used to know said...

as iunderastand it england took over place s like india and ruled the world
adnd then set up trade asanctions so we biought and sold chaeaply between our coloinsed snactions lots of them
and industrialised the world and traded off it
so all the cheap labour from india went straight to us and noone else
india etc traded solely with us
as i undertsatan dit
that s why wel ruled the world
and now were all high and mighty with iraq and stuff
it goes on all the tim
but ima bit dfrunk
and in 2200 300 years
americans woill say weve always rulled the middle east
just something happeneed 2 in 2008 and thats the reason
that s alñl

SemproniusDensus said...

I'm tired of people with almost no education in history enlightening us with "lessons from history". It is impossible to boil down the causes for the rise and fall of Roman and British Empire and then proceed to compare them to America in six simple steps suggesting an apocalyptic fall. You're absolutely correct when you state that there are millions of theories on the fall of the Roman Empire. There is a reason for that. The rise of and fall of empires are some of the most complex subjects in history.

When Rome conquered the Mediterranean, it did not enslave an underdeveloped Carthage and begin pillaging its resources. Carthage and Rome were two of the most powerful city states in the Mediterranean and I believe in the 3rd century Carthage was arguably even more powerful than Rome. Furthermore, Carthage developed, like Rome, by controlling through either alliance or conquest, similar city-states which vied for the same control Carthage held in the 3rd century. Rome evolved through the same process on the Italian Peninsula. Their land holdings at that time did not come about primarily through the conquest of underdeveloped countries, though it must be noted that this did happen. Rome and Carthage were merely doing what the Assyrians, the Persians, the Macedonians, the Akkadians, China, India and almost all of humanity for all of existence has sought to do.

When Rome emerged the victor, it did proceed to expand and build an empire though the reasons for its success are not simply that it continued to pillage underdeveloped cultures. Rome's conquest of Europe yielded very little resources and instead dragged Rome into a unending confrontation which eventually proved its downfall over the course of half a millennium though this is likely just one of many causes for collapse. Furthermore, the Germanic tribes of Europe were far from peace - loving members of society who did not understand want or warring for resources. Instead, the Germanic tribes were very aggressive tribes who worshiped and highly honored warriors and often engaged in warfare with each other. Had they the resources to conquer Rome, they would have. Same goes for the Celts and Africans. Egypt had a society based on the exploitation of farmers by a centralized state. As for the rest of the Mediterranean, while the Greek city-states might not have been as aggressive, with the exception of the Macedonian expansion, they did favor an extremely exclusive society which included the extensive use of slavery.

The biggest empires in history got their main resources to remain empires from other countries, who in turn SOUGHT TO DO THE SAME THING for the entirety of history.

"England took over countries like India, The Congo, Canada, etc. Countries where people didn't have modern technology, and their worldviews weren't full of ownership and profits. Basically worldviews that did not understand warring for the sake of porfits."

While Empires do sustain themselves from resources across their empires (which is why it is called an empire), empires from history did not rise just because they went around and pillaged underdeveloped countries who did not understand "warring for the sake of profits." That statement is so naive and absurd that it belies an ignorance of the fundamental processes of understanding history. This is not to say that countries have never pillages underdeveloped countries. However, to assert that the creation of empires involves only this or that the countries that were pillaged were poor peace loving people who knew nothing of warring for the sake of profit is to simplify a complex matter and make it utterly ridiculous.

America did invade Afghanistan and Iraq and if you haven't noticed, this has been terrible for the economy. American's not sustaining itself because it's exploiting Iraq and Afghanistan. You cannot simplify the concept of empires to hate-mongering war machines who decide to pillage underdeveloped peace-loving societies in order to cram it into your own world view and impose it on others, which ironically is what your are accusing empires of doing. There is a reason Rome is so widely studied and it is because history DOES repeat itself and because Rome was instrumental in the development of the world. To understand the present, one has to understand how the present came to be.

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