In deep self-reflection was once a man whose passion was justice. He felt ugly when he was done, much as Dorian Gray saw himself in the mirror. Oscar Wilde and Albert Camus speak of the compromises of the beauty of the soul into its soiling by the way the world actually works. Why don’t families and teachers teach it early on in life for falling is its way, because being pristine appears to provoke jealousy even among the gods, as if god created man with the intent to exile him from Eden.
Master pieces of normative vision about the English Speaking Peoples of the World have been written by Winston Churchill and historiographies of civilizational reflection by Edward Gibbons about the decline and fall of ancient Rome, the Latin speaking peoples of the world. Standing atop the ruins of ancient Rome and walking by its forum, it would be difficult not to stop ruminating about the reasons for fall because the nostalgia for the aplomb and greatness of the antiquated and dilapidating marble, with all its goodness and ghastliness, only creates an imagination of the future that is a resurrection of the past.
The Roman empire had collapsed primarily because it failed to integrate the vast outsiders into the social fabric of Rome. The oasis of being Roman was only for the privileged few. Hence, the barbarians were always at its gates.
America’s greatness was destined by its founders. The symbolism of the madness of a few, in the English outposts across the Atlantic, of taking on the greatest empire on earth after Rome, at the height of its naval conquests around the world, is a singular achievement in the history of civilization. Brick by brick politics was reinvented as a fugue of the ideas that had risen and fallen over time since the writing of The Republic, transplanting western civilization to create a new world.
That destined greatness of power, wealth being its handmaiden, has been achieved as the United States stands, integrating within its boundaries as if to avoid the mistakes of its Roman predecessor, but tentative about the tantalizing possibility of doing the same elsewhere because civilization in Asia from across the Aegean and along the silk road is one long layered stretch which had eluded the Greeks until Alexander the Great. Egypt and Persia were the prizes that transcended even the epic voyages of Ulysses. The orient beyond was a fantasy until the barbarians at Rome’s gates from its north had conclusively ended Rome.
Theses have been proposed with evidence that the Renaissance was triggered by the transfer of knowledge from China. That the neoclassical European civilization of post-medieval Italy was a gift of the retracting Chinese fleet from the high seas. The rise of Europe coincided, whether China had caused it or not, with the Chinese civilization receding behind the Great Wall that was built to keep the barbarians away.
Today’s tango of the American behemoth with China once again reminds those with an eye on the civilizational cycle of history of the distinct possibility of a Chinese resurgence as America declines and falls.
U.S economy is projected to return to normalcy during the period 2016-2022, in the Solovian economic very long run from today, about a decade from now. The strategic dialog with China whose intent it is to let the Chinese currency float, similar to the dollar for freely buying and selling in the global financial markets, gradually. The expectation of the United States is that the culmination of nearly half-a-century of the efforts of the barbarians to vault the Chinese wall will simultaneously cause a robust American economic revival and the integration of China into the global economy. The test bed of experimentation to integrate elsewhere, so as not to repeat the mistake of the Rome of antiquity, could end up becoming a one-side story.
The more true outcome could be the dumping of the U.S dollar by Asia, led by China and followed by India and Japan, sometime as early as 2016 or as late as 2022, when American economic recovery is nearly complete after this financial crisis, 2007 being the culmination of the previous Solovian decade, to simultaneously float the stronger renminbi and the rupee to claim the intellectual assets of the west at a bargain both within their very large markets and inside the United States and Europe. Robert Solow cannot but agree that Ronald Reagan was correct and Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are wrong.
When all roads lead to Rome, it is difficult to imagine a time when they will no longer. Yet, that destiny coming ever closer is the stark reality. The plunder of the United States has already begun and it is perhaps all but unstoppable.
The sacking of Rome was its own folly.