We need a history group.
Have we become a repeat of the Roman empire?
A rather short essay, for the Atlantic’s norm is a real eye opener and head shaker. Another scary example of history’s tendency to rhyme. [theatlantic.com]
Some, of many take away's ”a New York Times report on the discovery and display of artifacts from the gardens of Caligula, an erratic and vengeful emperor, one of whose wives was named Milonia.”
”A third new theme might take up the idea of “alternative facts.” The term was coined by the Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway to put a gloss on one set of lies; it soon became shorthand for all of them. The administration’s reliance on falsehood needs no belaboring. It gave life to conspiracy theories, undermined faith in a national election, and stoked acts of insurrection. Allies on television and on social media helped all of that along. The Romans had a word for such allies: panegyrists. There were truth-tellers throughout Roman history, but as the centuries wore on, the telling of official lies became a recognized art form. Panegyrists were paid performers, subsidized by those they celebrated. The narrative arcs—about the prosperity of the empire, about success in battle—bend toward glory. The panegyrist Mamertinus evokes the glowing nimbus of Maximian’s hair. The panegyrist Claudian describes how Honorius will make Rome great again:”
”The human life span puts blinders on perception…. And being blindsided in slow motion is the hardest fate to avoid. The historian Ramsay MacMullen once distilled the long arc of the Roman empire into three words—“fewer have more”—but only the time-lapse perspective of a millennium and a half allows us to understand such a thing with brutal clarity. The sack of Washington unfolded suddenly, in a way no one could miss. The greater dangers come in stealth.” One thing that is not discussed but which is also active in this country is the prime reason for the fall of Rome.