Rome And Us

I decided to try something a bit different this week. I like the single topic format, because it appeals to my natural sense of form and it makes organizing the material a little easier. On the blog, I like using history as a jumping off point for commentary about the current age, so I though it could work for the podcast. This is the first effort and I’m not entirely pleased with the result, but I figured it might be a struggle initially. I probably should have narrowed the focus and used just one period of Roman history, but you learn through struggle.

That’s the challenge with this idea. Even small events have lots of angles to them and lots of interesting people. The time constraints of a podcast mean skipping stuff in order to make a point. That’s what I don’t like about this week’s episode. I found I had to be way to breezy with the material. That’s a warning to the Roman scholars. Don’t bust my balls on my very superficial use of Roman history. While I’m at it, the Latin scholars should know my Latin was never good, despite the best efforts of my Jesuit teachers.

Part of the inspiration for this week is the old BBC series Connections presented by James Burke. Instead of a multidimensional analysis of history, I’m thinking something similar for an analysis of the present. Historical analogies are never perfect or even very precise, but they can be fun and useful. It is one of those idea that sounds good in your head, but it may be much harder to make work than I realize, so I started with something easy like Rome. The history of Rome covers just about every possible human condition.

This week I have the usual variety of items in the now standard format. Spreaker has the full show. I am up on Google Play now, so the Android commies can take me along when out disrespecting the country. I am on iTunes, which means the Apple Nazis can listen to me on their Hitler phones. The anarchists can catch me on iHeart Radio. YouTube also has the full podcast. Of course, there is a download link below. I’m now on Spotify, so the millennials can tune in when not sobbing over white privilege and toxic masculinity.

This Week’s Show

Contents

  • 00:00: Opening
  • 02:00: Marius and Sulla
  • 12:00: Slavery After Carthage
  • 22:00: The Praetorian Guard
  • 32:00: Crisis of Third Century
  • 42:00: The Cost of Citizenship
  • 47:00: Völkerwanderung
  • 52:00: The Death of Empire
  • 57:00: Closing

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Mike
Guest
Mike

Loved the show Connections! Of course, I am an old white guy so……

Denny Bilson
Guest
Denny Bilson

I don’t think America is declining. In fact it is improving everyday as it is getting more diverse and less homogenous. The reason things seem bleak now is because white men are having a hissy fit that they are going to have to compete on a level playing field. Oh by the way, it has been pretty much proven that Trump colluded with Putin and Russia to steal the election. He WILL be brought to justice VERY SOON and Russia is going to have America put the hurt on them, which is necessary for two reason: 1. Russia is not… Read more »

Bunny
Guest
Bunny
Member

Seriously Tiny, you add some “tiny” joy to my life. Your choice of names to post under always give me a giggle. My guess you are someone who is somewhat on the right who has been cucked by his wife and everything else in your life is despair and lament.
(gotta feed the troll sometimes or he will die)

John Smith
Member

*Whistles cheerfully as he sharpens his bayonet*

‘Soon, my precious… soon…’

Karl McHungus
Guest
Karl McHungus

they don’t much like it going in

wjkathman
Guest
wjkathman

Obvious troll is obvious.

“Level playing field” my ass! Affirmative action, racial set-asides, policies designed to increase diversity, etc., represent the polar opposite of a level playing field. Funny how the utopian pursuit of impossible equality requires so much discrimination against White men and Asians.

Truth is, there will never be a level playing field. Genetics alone has made it an unattainable ideal. Choose biology over wishful thinking.

Harmonium
Guest
Harmonium

I thought I put an end to trolling with my “proud homosexual” post. I achieved a record -35 downvotes! I think this proves me the troll king and tiny should retire.

Tax Slave
Guest
Tax Slave

Sorry your dick is so tiny. I take that back. You deserve your tiny dick.

Saml Adams
Guest
Saml Adams

Dear Lord, can’t Brock take the dick out of his mouth long enough to come up with something more imaginative to send out to you guys? This is actually a serious place and we expect any troll to bring some gravitas, not stale Politico boilerplate.

John Smith
Member

Bah. You are your own worst critic, Z. I saw nothing wrong with that at all. But – as always, I find myself thrust into the role as the Devil’s Advocate. It’s all well and good to limit our reflections of today’s America to Ancient Rome. But the proggies in my family would come back with this: look at what arose out of the fall of Rome – the dark ages literally set the stage for the Renaissance. That set the stage for the industrial age when set the stage for the atomic age. We are on a road here… Read more »

Darth Curmudgeon
Guest
Darth Curmudgeon

So Rome was great because it set the stage for losing Rome which set the stage for getting Roman stuff back?

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

Yup—proggie logic.

The fall of Rome was paved with good intentions—so it’s all OK.

paul scott
Guest
paul scott

In my opinion the last two podcats have been a tour d’ force.

joey junger
Guest
joey junger

“Success is buried in the garden of failure” as someone said, though I wouldn’t call this experimental podcast a failure. I’m curious, though, as to your more general theory of history and whether or not you agree with the “Great Man” concept. Nietzsche said “the goal of humanity lies in its highest specimens” like a Caesar or Napoleon. Do you think an idea’s “time comes” or does a big enough personality have to seize the moment? Even though this crisis has been building in the West for awhile, no one before Trump got this much traction with the issues people… Read more »

Tamaqua
Guest
Tamaqua

Nietzsche did go insane, so I’d take most of his pronouncements as tainted.

The man and the hour have to meet. The collapse of orderly society enables ambitious men to grasp power, as Caesar, Napoleon, Lenin or the Austrian lance corporal. Sometimes an apparatchik bends a party to their will as the slow, subtle path to power, as Stalin or Mao or the Clintons.

Trump, befitting his origins, is an opportunist who correctly read the zeitgeist. Remember, Trump is a former non-ideological Democrat supporter. Trump more closely resembles a belligerent Andrew Jackson, mixed with a dose of John Hancock.

Member

“feeding an army of fifty thousand people…”

Clang! Hey, we’re not PC here. You can say that armies are men.

Member

I would like to expand on your treatment of the destabilizing effect of mass slavery which followed in the wake of Rome’s victory over Carthage. My source for information here is from the great Theodor Mommsen. The critical period was from the defeat of Hannibal to the birth of Caesar: about 200 B.C to 100 B.C. The massive influx of huge numbers of cheap slaves came first from Sardinia, then from Carthaginian controlled areas, including southern Spain. As the wars against the Macedonian and Seleucid powers rolled on, even more slaves poured in from the eastern Mediterranean. Talented, highly educated… Read more »

Tamaqua
Guest
Tamaqua

If Trump has Praetorians in place, as I think Mattis and Kelly were selected to be, the civil war might not come to pass. Mattis, if you didn’t know, is a very knowledgeable historian, who carried a copy of Marcus Aurelius’s “Meditations” with him to Iraq. “When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly. They are like this because they can’t tell good from evil. But I have seen the beauty of good, and the ugliness of evil, and have recognized that the wrongdoer… Read more »

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

“Using abundant capital to seize control of land from free citizens was one of the most damaging aspects of Roman behavior”. All I could think of, at that point, was Bain, Cerberus, and their VC brethren. Yet another relevant element of Roman history.

Member

This has been my read on this era for a long while. Thanks for putting it so succinctly.

De Beers Diamonds
Guest
De Beers Diamonds

Post-Punic Rome also has parallels to 20th century South Africa. The Boers lost control to the British due to an influx of British miners in the Johannesburg Gold Rush. The British furthered their domination by importing Indians and Chinese to serve as cheap labor in the mines when production moved underground. The remaining white miners fought a brutal strike in 1922, leading to their replacement by blacks. Fast forward to today, the mining industry has collapsed due to geologic reasons and corruption associated with the unions. Hundreds of thousands of mostly black miners were thrown out of work, and government… Read more »

De Beers Diamonds
Guest
De Beers Diamonds

The farmers of South Africa are another interesting parallel. While the high levels of racially motivated murders have attracted international attention, it isn’t as well understood as to why urbanized blacks (EFF) hate the farmers so much. The population boom in the 20th century created a large tranche of cheap labor, and in the post-apartheid times there has been considerable illegal immigration from the rest of Africa. Guess who was employing those illegals.

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

I enjoyed your podcast, well done. I think I’ll get my ‘Rome’ series out and watch it again this weekend.

Karl McHungus
Guest
Karl McHungus

Interesting to note that Rome had no police force, nor did they have prisons.

Tax Slave
Guest
Tax Slave

Kill ‘em on the spot. Teach your children how to use weapons.

Member

They had no understanding of graduated sentencing. A prison sentence for anything was as good as death.

Member
Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

Doc’s link is a wki:
“The cohortes urbanae (Latin meaning urban cohorts) of ancient Rome were created by Augustus to counterbalance the enormous power of the Praetorian Guard in the city of Rome and serve as a police force. They were commanded by the urban prefect.”

Karl McHungus
Guest
Karl McHungus

You don’t need to watch the watchmen, if you replace them on a regular basis.

Din C. Nuffin
Guest
Din C. Nuffin

For the second time since you began the podcasts, closed captioning was available. Sucks to be deaf sometimes (but sometimes it’s peaceful).

Tax Slave
Guest
Tax Slave

Zman, another home run.

Primi Pilus
Guest
Primi Pilus

Super presentation — well balanced, interesting and timely. More history please.

Primi Pilus
Guest
Primi Pilus

… a timely addendum given the subject — as I finished reading this, I saw Tom Steyer’s new impeach Trump petition advertisement on the daytime game show being watched in my house (can’t stop the wife’s indulgence in that vice; she’s otherwise quite sane). Good example of hyper wealthy, self-absorbed lunatics spending milliions to destroy our system.

De Beers Diamonds
Guest
De Beers Diamonds

The Right should know better than to depend on TV ads. Journolists are the keystone in the Left’s bridge. Ad buys lead to commissions for people like Karl Rove and other hangers-on. Network profits cross-subsidize the losses on sportsball broadcast contracts. Facebook/Google ads is even worse. Most of the donor money would be better spent just giving it to Mike Cernovich or other clowns.

paul scott
Guest
paul scott

Absolutely

Reziac
Guest
Reziac

Well, you might not have been entirely pleased, but I thought it among your better efforts.

Shrugger
Guest
Shrugger

Appreciated this show Z-man–I actually learned a lot about ancient Rome.

james wilson
Guest
james wilson

Best hour anywhere. Btw, you listed a limiting principle.

Harmonium
Guest
Harmonium

Loved the praetorian guard/fbi comparison. You embody the best of derb when he was at his height. I read in gibbon that one of the praetorians actually forced the emperor to marry his daughter to him. And he was very low class, like a former gladiator from Slavic lands.

Harmonium
Guest
Harmonium

No, I thought it was one of the best yet. I like this better than simply a discussion of the dissident right for example, because anyone could do that. One thing more ominous about our situation compared to the crisis of the third century is that, while the various Germanic/eastern barbarians caused a brief discontinuity in civilization, in reality their genetic capital was as good or even slightly better than the romans’. We are dealing with fecund, low iq populations predominantly. So the situation is more akin to the Arab and Turk occupations of Italy in the late antiquity early… Read more »

Harmonium
Guest
Harmonium

What I mean, if this was not sufficiently clear, is that the European barbarians had in their genetic potential the ability to restore or even surpass Roman civilization, as we ultimately did. With the groups the US is being overrun with, everything would suggest that they do not have the potential to maintain first world levels of civilization, judging from their countries of origin and IQ measurements. So the situation we face is more like that of the Arab occupations of southern Italy, where one can almost see a line within the same country where the economy and level of… Read more »

Saml Adams
Guest
Saml Adams

If this counts, had to truck one of the kids down to Philadelphia for a rowing regatta, one of my older sons, who is in college tagged along, Decided to play the podcast on the way down. His reaction was “who is this guy? This is really interesting.”

LineInTheSand
Guest
LineInTheSand

Do you worry that your kids will report you or reject you for crime think?

Saml Adams
Guest
Saml Adams

One of the recently gave me a “Pinochet’s Helicopter Tours” t-shirt. What do you think?

Member

Can you post a link for the closing music? Lovely song.

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

That’s Saga’s version of “Tomorrow Belongs to Me”. She’s a Swedish nationalist singer (and very good). Youtubes of lots of her work are out there.

Gorgar
Guest
Gorgar

Resurrected Gorgar pleased, wants to know:

when will you close one with the Skrewdriver cover?

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

Z, you don’t articulate just what you don’t like about this week’s work, but I think it is masterful. Proper storytelling, which is ultimately how we communicate our culture to each other, has a beginning, a middle, an end, and a lesson. Each segment follows the pattern, the segments double back on and reference what was told before, and the entire arc of segments has its own progression and lesson. There is also a subversive element to this week’s work. I intend to share it with some normies, who I want to get sucked into the narrative, and only later… Read more »

LineInTheSand
Guest
LineInTheSand

Off topic. New meme: I’d rather have Trump collude with Putin than Paul Ryan or John McCain!

paul scott
Guest
paul scott

Any doubt Zman has on the format structure, of the single theme can be cast aside. This episode and the last were riveting listens.
Within this the podcast, clean divisions and a comparison to the now >>the power of the watchmen, watching the watchman themselves, the dilution of value of money and citizenship, the nothingness of diversity. This was masterly.
Over with the boss Remus, he is reluctant to extract quotes from zman such is the cohesive structure. He said to pull out one part is like pulling out a pillar, so tight is the structure.

Drake
Guest
Drake

Bravo! You hit on many of the events and themes that come to my mind and some that have not. That conflict between Marius and Sulla was pivotal in so many ways. Sulla didn’t draw first blood and wasn’t the first to break the rules – but once they were broken, he was ruthless. After he had himself declared Dictator, Dulls really tried to fix all systemic flaws in the Roman system that led to the conflict. But (as our host says) the real problem was that people had lost respect for the rules so Sulla’s reforms barely outlived Sulla.

Drake
Guest
Drake

And the middle class! Yes. Rome was a middle class city at first. Citizen soldiers of moderate wealth who fought the wars and went back to their farms. That was their source of resiliency. Same as the American Founders.

Slaves and taxes destroyed the Roman middle class. By the end of the Empire, pleblians were selling themselves into slavery to avoid crushing taxes (which did not apply to the patrician class). When I hear current Democrats talk tax policy, I swear they have the same planned for me.

Member

There is nothing new under the sun.

History provides the lessons needed to secure our future, but only if our peoples choose to learn from them.