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Humanities Section => Political/Government General Discussion => Topic started by: pr126 on February 08, 2019, 03:38:29 AM

Title: The Fate of Empires: Lessons From History
Post by: pr126 on February 08, 2019, 03:38:29 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNWXhH9Q0g8
Title: Re: The Fate of Empires: Lessons From History
Post by: Plu on February 08, 2019, 05:44:36 AM
So... are there any interesting observations to add to this, or are we just sharing random stuff from Youtube? :)
Title: Re: The Fate of Empires: Lessons From History
Post by: Baruch on February 08, 2019, 07:08:35 AM
So... are there any interesting observations to add to this, or are we just sharing random stuff from Youtube? :)

Pr126 frequently fails to comment, leaving us clueless.  I can comment.  I learn from history.  Other people, not so much.  On the other hand, the issues are so big, there isn't a lot you can do about anything, anyway.
Title: Re: The Fate of Empires: Lessons From History
Post by: pr126 on February 08, 2019, 08:54:56 AM
If after watching the video, the viewer is still clueless as what the hell was this all about, then any explanation on the content will not help.

Usually, the title of the video should be enough indication for most people.
So they can decide to watch it or move on.

Title: Re: The Fate of Empires: Lessons From History
Post by: Plu on February 08, 2019, 10:41:02 AM
The video itself is pretty obvious and not exactly presenting anything extraordinary, so I was more wondering what brought you to share it here.
Title: Re: The Fate of Empires: Lessons From History
Post by: Shiranu on February 08, 2019, 05:16:24 PM
Again... actually an interesting video, and I am glad you are sharing it.

That said, the opening premise, that Empires (on average) have a life of 200 years is just objectively wrong, and the author he quotes uses dates that I, frankly, have no idea where he got them from. It's interesting that the video starts off about talking how history is used to promote a political agenda, and then he literally turns around and uses historically inaccurate dates to do exactly that.
 
Disclaimer: The following is mostly just dates and why I chose them for the life spans of Empires. If you want the tl;dr version, this is the short of it...

Roman Empire - At least 260 B.C. (Punic Wars) to 1400s (Fall of the Eastern Roman Empire)
Arabic Caliphates - 632 (Rashidun) to 1200s (Abbasids)
Ottoman Empire - At least 1400s (Conquest of Constantinople) to 1922 (Dissolved after WW1). Arguably a continuation of the Caliphates, so could be also 632 to 1922.
Spanish Empire - 1516 (Hapsburg foundations) to at least 1826 (loss of most of Latin America)
Portuguese Empire - 1415 (African Holdings) to 1999 (surrender of Macau to China)
Imperial China - Either can do the Dynasties, which all had hundreds of years of history each, or consider Imperial Rule being from at least the Shang (1600 B.C.) to the Qing (1922 A.D.)
Hellenic Age - Around 400-500 years of Greek Culture Empire.

Now the historical explanations, for anyone interested why I chose those dates...

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A. He claims the Roman Empire lasted from 27 B.C. to 180 A.D. ... this is just outright false. The Roman Republic, which was by all means an Empire (an Empire does not require Imperial/Monarchical rule, though generally it was since this was the predominate form of government for most of history) began to expand around 500 B.C. and didn't truly fall until around 1400 A.D. when the Byzantine Empire (who called themselves the Roman Empire) was reduced to just a few holdings around Constantinople.

Obviously the Empire waxed and waned through out this period, but as a (mostly) unified Empire the life of the Roman Empire has to at least begin with the Punic Wars (260s B.C.) to the point that the Eastern Roman Empire lost most of it's holdings outside of Constantinople) 1300-1400s... a life span of approximately 1500 years.

B. Without going into as much detail as above, the Arabic Caliphates extended from the Rashidun (632) to the Abbasids (1200s)... and arguably the Ottoman Empire, while ruled by a different ethic ruling elite, was built upon the back and utilizied all the earlier bureaucratic establishments of these earlier Caliphates and could be considered a continuation of them. That would put their life span, as Arabs only, at around 600 years and if you consider the Ottomans a continuation... add another 600 years to that.

Either way, the Arabic Caliphates lasted at least 600 years and not 200 as he said, and likewise the Ottomans were in power from the fall of Byzantine (1450s) to the late 1700s... so more like 300 years.

To stay in Europe, the Spanish Empire lasted more like 400 years (and many Spaniards would argue that modern Spain is still akin to an Empire, with a ruling ethnic/cultural group controlling regions like the Basque Country, the Galicians, the Catalunyans, etc. ), the Hellenic Period which extended at least 400-500 years, the French Colonial Empire spanning from the settlements in the Americas to the loss of their African and East Asian holdings in the 1900s... just by European standards the average age of an Empire is far more than 200 years.

That number seems to have been chosen far more for sensationalism than actual historical accuracy, and that's only if we are considering European Empires. Add in the Maharajas of India, the various states of Persia, and of course the Imperial rule of China which started at least with the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BC) and ended with the Qing (1644-1922).

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Title: Re: The Fate of Empires: Lessons From History
Post by: Shiranu on February 08, 2019, 05:21:01 PM
If after watching the video, the viewer is still clueless as what the hell was this all about, then any explanation on the content will not help.

Usually, the title of the video should be enough indication for most people.
So they can decide to watch it or move on.



It is generally considered good taste to explain why you are sharing a bit of information, however, and not to insult the people you are sharing it with for being stupid for not assuming what message you want to get across with it.

I have to admit, I was going to continue watching it because I was interested (even with the historical inaccuracies within the first two minutes), but if the only reason you shared it was to listen to people agree with you and to dismiss anyone who even is curious as to why you shared it... even if they might agree with it's message... then I have no interest in continuing to do so other than to continue and poke holes in it.
Title: Re: The Fate of Empires: Lessons From History
Post by: Baruch on February 08, 2019, 07:30:38 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJz15Y6hKMM

A quick summary ...
Title: Re: The Fate of Empires: Lessons From History
Post by: Baruch on February 08, 2019, 08:18:27 PM
How about the lessons of Venezuelan history?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pK_CgcHrgNA

How your country can be just like Cuba, and barely hang on thru Soviet/Russian or Chinese subsidy.
Title: Re: The Fate of Empires: Lessons From History
Post by: Minimalist on February 09, 2019, 01:33:32 AM
Quote
unified Empire the life of the Roman Empire has to at least begin with the Punic Wars (260s B.C.)

The Battle of Sentinum (295 BC) cemented Roman hegemony over central Italy between the Po and Magna Graecia.  Since these new borders were up against non-Italian peoples ( Gauls to the north, Greeks to the south ) I submit that the entrance of the Roman Republic to the status of empire begins at this point.  The Romans were fairly lenient towards the various Italic peoples they conquered.  Foreigners were something new.  And the Greeks at Tarentum called in help from the  Greek mainland in the form of the Epirotes.

It doesn't really matter of course.  Their victories over Carthage in the First Punic War gave them Sicily, and they subsequently stole Corsica and Sardinia which the Carthaginians could not hold. 
Title: Re: The Fate of Empires: Lessons From History
Post by: Baruch on February 09, 2019, 09:21:02 AM
The Tarantines shouldn't have mocked the Roman ambassadors!  But to Greeks, Latin was .. barbarbar.
Title: Re: The Fate of Empires: Lessons From History
Post by: Minimalist on February 09, 2019, 11:09:40 AM
Yes, or as Pyrrhus is reported to have told them when he saw a well-ordered Roman camp with moat, stockade and streets, "THAT does not look "barbaric!"
Title: Re: The Fate of Empires: Lessons From History
Post by: Baruch on February 09, 2019, 01:28:35 PM
The Tarantines and Epirotes were used to fighting less organized Lucani, Brutti, or Messapi.  Basically Italians living in villages, not cities.  A little forward intelligence would have taught the Roman opponents, what they were dealing with, before they got in too deep.  To be correct, S Italy wasn't fully subdued by Rome until the end of the 2nd Punic War, when Hannibal finally had to go back to Carthage.
Title: Re: The Fate of Empires: Lessons From History
Post by: Minimalist on February 09, 2019, 02:05:38 PM
All of Italy wasn't finally "secured" until the Social Wars in the early first century BC. 

Still as Hannibal found out to his chagrin the Roman system of alliances with their "conquered" territories was such that few communities in Italy were willing to give that up for Carthaginian rule.  Poor Hannibal was a victim of thinking that his system was the only way to do things.
Title: Re: The Fate of Empires: Lessons From History
Post by: Baruch on February 10, 2019, 03:09:54 AM
Never secured?  The small farmers were forced off the land and the latifundia (corporate farms too over)... is that security?  Those dispossessed farmers became life time soldiers, loyal to their general, not the Senate ... and they overthrow the Republic.
Title: Re: The Fate of Empires: Lessons From History
Post by: Minimalist on February 10, 2019, 09:50:26 AM
From Wiki:

Quote
The Social War (from socii ("allies"), thus in Latin: Bellum Sociale;[4] also called the Italian War, the War of the Allies or the Marsic War) was a war waged from 91 to 88 BC between the Roman Republic and several of the other cities and tribes in Italy, which prior to the war had been Roman allies for centuries. The war was begun by the Picentes because the Romans did not want to afford them Roman citizenship, thus leaving the Italian groups with fewer rights. The war resulted in a Roman victory. However, Rome granted Roman citizenship to almost all of its Italian allies, to avoid another war.[5]

This war also led to a complete Romanization of Italy. The Etruscans and other Italic people quickly integrated themselves into the Roman world, after gaining Roman citizenship. Their own languages and cultures became extinct in the process.

It's an issue separate and apart from the dispossession of the peasant farmers from their land - a process which far pre-ated the demands for Roman citizenship by long term allied states.

Title: Re: The Fate of Empires: Lessons From History
Post by: Baruch on February 10, 2019, 11:36:48 AM
From Wiki:

It's an issue separate and apart from the dispossession of the peasant farmers from their land - a process which far pre-ated the demands for Roman citizenship by long term allied states.

The natural effect of endemic warfare (like we have today) and joining corporations to the state (aka fascism).  The Senate didn't see anything wrong with concentration of power away from the Plebs.  They never do, just as Belgium sees nothing wrong with the EU.
Title: Re: The Fate of Empires: Lessons From History
Post by: Hijiri Byakuren on February 10, 2019, 07:12:54 PM
What was the purpose of making this thread in the Political/Government section of the forum?
Title: Re: The Fate of Empires: Lessons From History
Post by: Baruch on February 10, 2019, 07:56:36 PM
What was the purpose of making this thread in the Political/Government section of the forum?

pr126 really .. all Western decline is the fall of Rome all over again!  Maybe, maybe not.  pr126 sees this fall as completely political, not economic or systemic.  If only we had the right messianic politicians (both authoritarian sides claim) then leadership magic could lead us out of this mess.
Title: Re: The Fate of Empires: Lessons From History
Post by: Baruch on February 16, 2019, 07:50:57 PM
If history repeats ... then what is the precedent for the current US situation?

English civil war ... legislature overthrew the executive, and ended with corruption and replacement with a Dominionist (aka Oliver Cromwell) and military dictatorship.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDsAn_u70tw

Trump being King Charles I, and Democrat House being Parliament.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ro9T5w3vEKM
Title: Re: The Fate of Empires: Lessons From History
Post by: Minimalist on February 20, 2019, 12:45:02 PM
Quote
The natural effect of endemic warfare (like we have today)


I don't quite buy that, B.  Roman victory in the Second Punic War left them the masters of the Western Med but with entanglements.  By ousting Carthage from Spain the Romans found themselves embroiled in constant small scale bickering among the Spanish tribes.  Pompey hurried back from Spain 130 years later to assist in suppressing Spartacus.  Similarly, while fighting Carthage the Romans became involved in Greek affairs and a series of wars were fought with various Macedonian rulers and assortments of Greek states as either allies or enemies.  This did not end until 148 the same time as the Third Punic War ended.

The difference is the scale.  The US military is drawn from a terribly small percentage of the population who are saddled with the burdens of military service even though they are allegedly "volunteers" ( a lot of them have no alternatives.)  The Roman legions were still composed of citizens primarily from the peasant classes who had to leave their farms when called up.  It was a system which worked very well in small scale warfare in Italy and which completely broke down when troops were dispatched for extended periods to remote areas such as Spain or Greece/Asia Minor.  The farms went to shit and were bought up by the nobility while the peasants were impoverished thus decreasing the future manpower pool.  The whole thing collapsed after the disaster of Aurasio when the Senate suddenly realized that they had no one left to meet the requirements for service.  Ecce Marius!
Title: Re: The Fate of Empires: Lessons From History
Post by: Baruch on February 20, 2019, 07:09:58 PM
Well, we can "involvement" question for the US.  Draft all young men and women, and send them on a war of conquest ... they can't come back until they are successful.  Then we will be more Roman-like.  But that is not ... not ... something I would like!  You can hate the draft, or hate the volunteer force, or just be a pacifist.  If a pacifist, I can cook you up in a cannibal pot with the right seasonings.  I hear pacifists are particularly tender ;-)

Yes, armies led by senatorial amateurs ... are often disastrous.  Maybe a good enough reason to end civilian rule.
Title: Re: The Fate of Empires: Lessons From History
Post by: Minimalist on February 20, 2019, 09:41:14 PM
You mean the way our conscript army performed in Vietnam?

We may have to hire illegal immigrants to fight our wars.  You know, the same way 'Murricans won't work in the fields!
Title: Re: The Fate of Empires: Lessons From History
Post by: Baruch on February 20, 2019, 11:30:27 PM
You mean the way our conscript army performed in Vietnam?

We may have to hire illegal immigrants to fight our wars.  You know, the same way 'Murricans won't work in the fields!

Bad leadership, top to bottom, a victory doesn't make.  See Sun Tzu ... fight no unnecessary wars.  And the best war is where you have defeated your enemy before you even start.  Too bad nobody ever read him ;-)

Yes, the Romans hired Germans to fight for them, particularly after Christianity took hold ... how did that work out again?  Beta males aren't worth anything.
Title: Re: The Fate of Empires: Lessons From History
Post by: Cavebear on February 22, 2019, 10:05:39 AM
So... are there any interesting observations to add to this, or are we just sharing random stuff from Youtube? :)

You mean like the everpresent obnoxiously repeated comic strip you inflict?.  No.
Title: Re: The Fate of Empires: Lessons From History
Post by: Baruch on February 22, 2019, 12:58:56 PM
You mean like the everpresent obnoxiously repeated comic strip you inflict?.  No.

That comic strip is more true than anything I have seen you post ;-)
Title: Re: The Fate of Empires: Lessons From History
Post by: Cavebear on February 22, 2019, 03:01:33 PM
That comic strip is more true than anything I have seen you post ;-)

A thought expressed repeatedly eventually fails to be a thought...
Title: Re: The Fate of Empires: Lessons From History
Post by: Baruch on February 22, 2019, 06:31:33 PM
A thought expressed repeatedly eventually fails to be a thought...

A lie told often enough, if a big enough lie, becomes a truth.
Title: Re: The Fate of Empires: Lessons From History
Post by: Cavebear on February 22, 2019, 07:01:05 PM
A lie told often enough, if a big enough lie, becomes a truth.

No.
Title: Re: The Fate of Empires: Lessons From History
Post by: Baruch on February 22, 2019, 07:16:31 PM
No.

The Gestapo will be visiting you shortly.  Now called Anti-fa.
Title: Re: The Fate of Empires: Lessons From History
Post by: Cavebear on February 22, 2019, 08:45:20 PM
The Gestapo will be visiting you shortly.  Now called Anti-fa.

They are more a fiction of your mind than they are a reality to me.