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Welcome to my blog, Solomon's Conservative Wisdom. The name of this blog comes from my middle name and the historical & biblical figure King Solomon. This group is dedicated to conservatism, and I invite all conservatives to join, I really don’t mind non-conservatives joining. All I expect is a respectful debate. So tell everyone you know.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Glenn Beck Missed a Huge Opportunity Yesterday.

Yesterday Glenn missed an opportunity to point out one of the first nations to be brought down by progressive policies, Rome. First watch this clip from Tuesday June 29th's show then I will explain below, the point you want to see starts at 7:30;

Now while Glenn's "chart" isn't 1oo% accurate the bump he points to isn't ancient Babylon, Egypt, Persia, or Greece. It is ancient Rome the world's first real superpower.

Now I expect someone is going to come along and mention ancient China, I am not dismissing China, but China didn't have the republic, the essence of the free market, and had some other chaotic ideas that I won't go into right now. So back to Rome, from it's republic founding Rome had three main things that made it great, first the first republic in (known) human history and the rule of law over the mob mentality of the Greek democracies, which was to quote from a familiar source "building on a rock," second was the free exchange of ideas and a free market which encouraged trade and prosperity as well as the great Roman engineering marvels, third was the concept that developed later on of being a Roman wasn't about where you came from but what your culture was, in other words if you spoke the Roman language, acted like a Roman, and a few other things you were a Roman, there is more to that but you get the idea. (By the way, does that sound familiar?)

Now as Rome grew in size and power it its capital, Rome, grew as well and as that city's population grew the government, specifically the emperors, started feeding and entertaining the massive population, for FREE. As you can imagination that can be quite costly, it was the first welfare program in human history that I know of, and as you can guess as word of this spread more people came for the free goods. (Again, does that sound familiar?) Also early on one of the emperors tried something we also have tried, price controls, in 301AD Diocletian issued his "Edict on Maximum Prices" (that's the actual name by the way) attempted to curb inflation via price controls, it was unsuccessful, counterproductive, and quickly ignored, yet another progressive idea that was shot-down by reality and has been ignored by history. (See, The Problem with the Gold Standard.)

Two last points on Rome I want to make that is important and that is on it's borders and military, first as Rome grew weaker from many poor policies, many progressive, is grew lax on enforcing its borders, specifically with Germania, and as this lax policy was allowed to continue many barbarian tribes came into Roman lands, several would set up their own kingdoms in Roman borders and cause trouble. The best example of this comes from the Vandals who's name became synonymous with lawless destruction, setup a kingdom in North Africa, and are well known for their sacking of Rome.

Lastly was the Romans weakening military power as less Romans served in the Roman military they relied more on those from the Germanic tribes to pad their military numbers, these Auxiliaries learned the Roman tactics and how the Roman army fought. This was less a real policy decision then one born of a cultural lack of Roman citizens joining the Roman military. Either way, this allowed the barbarians to learn how to counter the Roman military with knowledge of their own tactics and how to get around them. Which lead to the collapse of the western half of Rome.

So in a nutshell Rome was the first superpower to be brought down by socialistic and progressive ideas.


P.S. I have some back post ideas I didn't get to this last weekend due to being too busy. I hope to get to them in between new posts.

Also for any interested, Diocletian retired four years (from 301AD after his "Edict on Maximum Prices") later from being emperor and died six years later in 311AD. Which also was the time period between when Nixon put in his price controls and his "retirement", though he died twenty years after his "retirement."

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