In an interview with the Financial Times, U.S. Comptroller General David Walker stated that the United States government “is on a ‘burning platform’ of unsustainable policies and practices with fiscal deficits, chronic healthcare underfunding, immigration, and overseas military commitments threatening a crisis if action is not taken soon.” There are seven signs of a crumbling nation. America needs to know these signs.
The article added, “Mr. Walker warned that there were ‘striking similarities’ between America’s current situation and the factors that brought down Rome, including ‘declining moral values and political civility at home, an over-confident and over-extended military in foreign lands and fiscal irresponsible by central government.'”
He added, “I’m trying to sound an alarm and issue a wake-up call.”
History reveals that all governments, empires, and kingdoms of men, no matter how grand, no matter how powerful, ultimately fall. It happened to ancient Egypt, Assyria, and Babylon. Even Rome was not exempt; though it dominated much of Europe, Northern Africa, the Middle East, and parts of the Near East, and lasted for 500 years, the Roman Empire ultimately fell.
There is an old and popular saying: “Rome was not built in a day.” Likewise, the Roman Empire did not fall in one night; its decline was gradual. Not long after it rose to world dominance, several factors were already at work contributing to the empire’s ultimate demise.
Similarly, these factors are at work among the societies of the American and British peoples – and serve as warning signs of a civilization destined to fall.
1. The Family Unit
Few understand that the family unit is the basic building block of every thriving society. Within the family, young minds are first taught the importance of building character, controlling one’s emotions, setting worthwhile goals, striving for excellence – or at least this should be the case, as it was generations ago.
In Rome, parents came to spoil their children, who then grew up to become lazy adults who were irreverent, disobedient to authority, and had little respect for the elderly or the “old paths” of social norms and values. Likewise, the family unit in America, Britain, Australia, Canada, and other sister nations of the West is under constant assault. Broken marriages and fractured households are not the norm. The result? A generation of children who oppress and rule over their parents and show no respect for their elders (Isaiah 3:4-5).
The Roman Empire began with an educational system that emphasized developing character, morality, patriotism, and social values in young lives. The goal was to develop the whole person. but this was eventually replaced by an emphasis almost exclusively on academics, with no moral or ethical absolutes defining right and wrong.
Similarly, character development, patriotism, and civic duty are seldom taught in the public schools of the West, where God and the Bible are banished. God declares, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6).
The Romans were pagan idol worshipers who took the gods of the Greeks and gave them Roman names. Accompanying the assortment of false gods were lascivious religious rituals and customs. Temple prostitution, drunkenness, and other vices that appealed to the flesh were common across the empire. Similar to the Greeks, the Romans worshiped mythological figures who freely gave in to carnal desires.
Today, millions of Americans claim to worship the God of the Bible – yet their actions scream something quite different. The word worship means to “regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion.” The religion of Rome, which encouraged and empowered the people to live a life of excess, contributed to the empire’s death. The religions of the West, especially in the U.S., are no better.
The Romans were masters of extreme pleasure-seeking. They entertained themselves with gladiators (rock stars of the day) and gambled on who would live or die. They enjoyed the sight of Christians and Jews being eaten alive by wild animals. They thrilled themselves with drunken parties and sensual pleasures.
Today, advertising, news media, and Hollywood promote materialism and covetousness. A society that loves to emulate wanton lifestyles portrayed in movies and that pursues sports, gambling, theater, music, and other distractions over seeking true values is destined to collapse – as did Rome.
Originally, agriculture and land ownership were Rome’s chief sources of wealth – and became the most heavily taxed. Over time, landowners who operated large farms on the backs of slaves eventually undersold smaller farmers, forcing them out of business. In addition, importing foods from both conquered lands and more easily accessible distant foreign ports also began to take its toll. Commercial trade in Rome created a massive consumer economy that focused on services rather than production and growth – just as in modern-day America and Britain.
Today, Americans pay local, municipal, county, state, and federal taxes before even receiving their paychecks, and contend with numerous consumer taxes: sales, gasoline, vehicles, property, licenses, pets, luxury items, airline flights – the list seems endless.
As in ancient Rome, strong belief in self-determination and self-reliance has been replaced with an attitude of expecting something for nothing. Government-run systems originally intended to assist those in genuine need are now considered an entitlement.
Just as the Roman army was overstretched and overextended in foreign lands, so is the American military. Roman soldiers, once known for their precision in battle and rigid obedience to authority, eventually became demoralized. The same can be said for the American troops today.
Good News: A Kingdom that Will Never Fall
Family, education, religion, pleasure-seeking, the economy, government, and the military. The failure of these and other factors have contributed to the death of men’s governments – and are at work in the birthright nations of America and Britain.
However, there is a future government that will be established by a perfect Leader, as foretold in Isaish 9. “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be on His shoulder. His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the incrase of His government and peace there shall be no end” (vs. 6-7).
About the Author
Bruce A. Ritter writes on news, trends, and religion for Analysis Magazine. He has authored and co-authored several books, while maintaining a busy schedule as a lecturer and public speaker.