Dedicated to the military history and civilization of the Eastern Roman Empire (330 to 1453)

"Time in its irresistible and ceaseless flow carries along on its flood all created things and drowns them in the depths of obscurity."

- - - - Princess Anna Comnena (1083–1153) - Byzantine historian

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Taxes and the Fall of the Roman Empire

Eastern Empire Coins

"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."
Ben Franklin

Simply it took a horde of locust-like tax collectors to fund the Roman military machine, the massive Imperial bureaucracy and pay for the opulent lifestyle of the Emperor and his large family.

So some "barbarian horde" crosses over the Rhine, the Danube or the deserts of Arabia to set up shop. Sure the Emperor's army is gone, but once the initial looting and raping is over the locals notice that the Emperor's tax collectors are also gone.

Suddenly it looks like there is an upside to no longer being a citizen of Rome.

The Muslim Conquest and Tax Reduction

From: The Grand Strategy of the Byzantine Empire by EDWARD N. LUTTWAK

What the Muslim Arab conquerors themselves humbly saw as a divine victory, Nasr Allah, can be recognized in retrospect as something even better, a political victory over both empires that won not merely vast territories but also the consent of many of their inhabitants.

The impetuous Arab advances could have been nothing more than ephemeral raids, destined to be nullified by nativist resistance, had the invaders not offered two very great and immediate advantages with their arrival.

One was a drastic reduction in taxes that had become ruinously onerous. The other was truly paradoxical: by imposing discriminatory rules on all non-Muslims, the Muslim Arabs ended the arbitrary religious persecutions that had recently oppressed a majority of the inhabitants of Syria and Egypt.

Muslim taxes could be low because the cost of Muslim rule was very low at first. The conquerors had neither a vast imperial overhead of bureaucrats and courtiers in the austerity of Mecca and Medina, nor were they trying to rapidly rebuild wrecked imperial armies as both the Byzantines and Sasanians were doing in those years. The taxes imposed by the Muslim authorities were both harshly discriminatory, because only non-Muslims had to pay most of them, and blessedly lower than the relatively well-documented Byzantine taxes, and known Sasanian taxes.

While nobody has ever been able to prove—as many have tried to prove—that the Roman empire “fell” because of excessive taxation, it was and remained until the mid-seventh century a top-down system, whereby the total amount of imperial expenditure for the coming year was determined first, the revenue needed was then calculated province by province, and that total was in turn allocated within each province among its registered taxpayers, mostly payers of the land tax, according to periodic assessments of the agricultural yield of each tract (jugatio) and the available manpower (capitatio).

Roman tax collector

It was a uniquely sophisticated and very effective system of collection, which was indeed the central advantage of the Roman and Byzantine empire over all other contemporary powers. It did mean, however, that the taxpayer had to pay a precalculated amount regardless of good or bad harvests, droughts or floods, destructive foreign raids, or even outright invasions.

An especially dramatic disaster that attracted much attention might persuade the imperial authorities to reduce the revenue obligation of the affected province, but no allowance could be made for ordinary harvest or market fluctuations, because there was no way of offsetting lost revenues: the concept of the public debt and its sale in the form of interest-bearing bonds had not yet been invented.

The purchase of remunerated government positions, which swapped a single capital payment for a revenue stream, was the functional equivalent of selling bonds to the public, but it could not be widely practiced. Hence current expenditures had to be paid for by current taxes in a strict pay-as-you-go sequence—a tolerable burden in good years but harsh in bad years, and sometimes reason enough to flee homes and lands ahead of the tax collectors.

Fundamentally, Byzantine tax collection was simply too effective. Emperor Anastasios (491–518) had his share of foreign incursions to confront with costly military operations, and four years of more costly full-scale war with ever-aggressive Sasanian Persia from 506, and he also spent vast sums on public works, among other things substantially rebuilding and fortifying the Long Wall and building the fortress city of Dara (near Oèuz, Turkey), “fortifying it with a strong circuit wall and bestowing on it . . . not only churches and other sacred buildings but colonnades, and public baths.”

Anastasios spent much, yet he was able to abolish the collatio lustralis, a top-down capital levy on every form of wealth: buildings, animals, tools, and the slave-value of artisans, merchants, and professionals, excluding teachers but including prostitutes and catamites. It was originally collected every five years (lustrum), which became every four years in the normal way of taxes by the time of Anastasios, but either way it was very hard for artisans and small merchants to come up with the gold payment all at once (in spite of its Greek name chrysargyron, “gold-silver,” only gold was accepted by the tax collectors).

The text known as A Historical Narrative of the Period of Distress Which Occurred in Edessa, Amid and All Mesopotamia, also known as The Chronicle of Joshua the Stylite, describes the ecstatic reaction to the levy’s abolition in the town of Edessa, whose assessment was 140 pounds of gold, 10,080 solidi, evidently a crushing burden:

  • "The edict of the emperor Anastasios arrived this year, remitting the gold which tradesmen paid every four years and freeing them from the tax. This edict did not go only to Edessa but to all the cities of the Roman domain . . . and the whole city rejoiced, and they all dressed up in white, from the greatest to the least, and carrying lighted candles and burning censers, to the accompaniment of psalms and hymns, they went out... thanking God and praising the emperor . . . they extended the feast of joy and pleasure for a whole week. . . . All the artisans sat around and had a good time, [bathing and] relaxing in the courtyard of the City church and all the city’s colonnades."

Having both spent much and given up much revenue—but he also increased the efficiency and probity of tax collection—Anastasios left 3,200 centenaria of gold, that is, 320,000 Roman pounds, in the treasury at his death.11 As of this writing, the price of gold is roughly US$903 per ounce or 31.1 grams, so the surplus left by Anastasios came to roughly US$3,039,496,257—not much these days, but gold was much more valuable then, in terms of bread, for example.

At the time of the Arab invasions there was no budget surplus to hoard. Thirty years of war had increased expenditures while greatly re-ducing revenues, leaving the treasury empty or near enough. Hidden reserves—such as ecclesiastical ornaments in gold and silver that could be confiscated in a crisis—were also exhausted. Already in 622 emperor Herakleios “took the candelabra and other vessels of the holy ministry of the Great Church [the Hagia Sophia], which he minted into a great quantity of gold and silver coin.”

The result was that tax revenues had to be collected from Syria and Egypt as soon as they were reconquered after years of Sasanian occupation—and these were lands that had been taxed by the Byzantines, invaded and taxed by the Sasanians, fought over repeatedly and often looted, before being regained to be taxed again. The empire was rebuilding its strength, and its subjects had to raise the necessary gold, or else face expropriation or worse.

It was too much. They welcomed the Muslim Arabs instead, discriminatory poll tax and all.

American Empire VS Roman Empire : monetary history repeats itself

This is a short montage of a one hour and twenty minutes lecture
by Joseph Peden at the The Ludwig von Mises Institute.

Inflation and the Fall of the Roman Empire - full lecture by Professor Joseph Peden

This is the long version. Have it play while you are surfing the net. Tons of info on taxation and the funding of the Roman military machine.

Tax Collectors in 16th Century Russia
One way or another the State will get the money it wants.

Taxation, trade and urbanism in the Byzantine Empire

There was a long tradition of urban life in the Hellenistic and Roman East, but it is clear that during the Byzantine period, the nature of urbanism changed from the city-state model of Classical Antiquity.

One of the problems for East Roman provincial cities in Later Antiquity was that power became centralised around the imperial court and family and therefore it was incredibly important for powerful figures to be close to the power and patronage of the court.

Therefore there developed a clear distinction between the elites of the provinces and the elite around the presence of the emperor.

Because in the early mediaeval period, following the loss of the Levant to the Arabs, there was a decline in the population of the provincial cities, this accelerated the drift of the rich and powerful to the centre. The traditional aristocracy gradually lost power and needed patronage and imperial titles, plus the salaries that came with them, to retain their positions in the ruling elite. The administrative changes of the early emperors, culminating with the reforms of Justinian I, made the shift away from the traditional ruling elite complete and henceforth the elites became more and more dependent on imperial patronage and salaried positions.

This led to Constantinople becoming and even more dominant factor in the life of the empire, increasing in importance and population throughout Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages.

However, at no time did any more than around 10% of the total population of the empire live in cities, and some formerly large cities dwindled fairly dramatically in the 7th and 8th centuries, with them becoming basically walled enclosures for a group of villages, with a central administrative district, often clustered around a church or an administrative building. These were known as kastra, and these kastrons were to become a permanent feature of urban locations from the 8th century onwards.

From the end of the 9th century onwards we see a revival of urbanism in the empire, with rebuilding and even new foundations in previously non-urban settings.

As I mentioned before, the cities had separate localised elites that were linked to the elites of the capital, but with their own networks, often based around the governors, tax officials and bishops. They were not as independent as cities in the West, but the empire was a far more regulated and closely administered political entity than any western nation during the mediaeval period.

It was really only after 1261, under the Palaiologoi that you see cities with truly independent and separate status to Constantinople; Trebozond, Mistra, Adrianople etc, but many of these were not directly under imperial rule anyway by that time.
“The question of the continuity of civic institutions and the nature of the polis in the late antique and early Byzantine world have become a vexed question, for a variety of reasons. Students of this subject continue to contend with scholars of earlier periods who adhere to a much-outdated vision of late antiquity as a decadent decline into impoverished fragmentation. The cities of late-antique Greece displayed a marked degree of continuity. Scenarios of barbarian destruction, civic decay, and manorialization simply do not fit. In fact, the city as an institution appears to have prospered in Greece during this period. It was not until the end of the 6th century (and maybe not even then) that the dissolution of the city became a problem in Greece. If the early sixth century Syndekmos of Hierokles is taken at face value, late-antique Greece was highly urbanized and contained approximately eighty cities. This extreme prosperity is born out by recent archaeological surveys in the Aegean. For late-antique Greece, a paradigm of prosperity and transformation is more accurate and useful than a paradigm of decline and fall.”
Richard M. Rothaus, Corinth: The First City of Greece. Brill, 2000. ISBN 9004109226
The Walls of Byzantine Thessaloniki
Around 10% of the total population of the empire live in cities, and some formerly large cities dwindled fairly dramatically in the 7th and 8th centuries, with them becoming basically walled enclosures for a group of villages, with a central administrative district, often clustered around a church or an administrative building. 

That is an interesting summary of urban life in the East in Late Antiquity, and one that needs to be seen in contrast to the position in Italy.

Now, a brief overview of taxation in the Byzantine empire.

Regardless of the relative decline or regrowth of urban life in the empire, the main generator of wealth was agriculture.
At least 80% of all tax revenues were raised from taxation of the village units or coloni who represented the agricultural base of the empire.
The village was the demographic unit of taxation, which were broadly speaking land taxes, towns and cities were not treated any different, they were assessed for taxation on the same basis. Indeed most cities and towns were also involved in agricultural production to some degree, with a proportion of urban populations cultivating land either inside the urban boundaries or outside but close to the cities and towns.
The other main source of tax revenue was the hearth tax, basically a poll tax and there were various other taxes, such as inheritance taxes and taxes in trade and what we might call customs duties.
Tax collection was incredibly efficient and imperial tax collectors were able to generate huge amounts of money for the imperial treasuries. Agricultural land was assessed on the basis of productivity, and there were different rates of taxation for higher and lower producing areas.
Obviously, things were not static, the imperial bureaucracy was remarkably resilient and flexible and over the centuries there were different ways that taxes were assessed and collected.
With the administrative changes to the structure of the empire, with the creation of the thematic system, we see a devolution of some power and of tax collection to the theme governors.
Gold solidus of Romanos I with his eldest son, Christopher Lekapenos
Romanos I Lekapenoswas an Armenian who became a Byzantine
naval commander and reigned as 
Byzantine Emperor from 920 until
his deposition on December 16, 944.

However, it was not really until the 11th century that we see a change in the provincial balance of power and a growth and expansion of large provincial landowning families. Under the Macedonian dynasty, land grants were made increasingly, under the pronoia system, whereby, instead of paying salaries to high-ranking aristocrats and officials, the right to tax farm was granted.
The pronoia system was expanded in the 12th century by the Komnenoi and following the period of the Latin Empire, the pronoia grants became increasingly hereditary.
Land grants were also made to the Church and from the 12th century onwards there was a transfer of land from the emperor to the great families and the Church. This led to a reduction in the amount of money available to the Exchequer and resulted in a debasement of the currency and dramatic price inflation.
Trade in the empire was generally mainly an internal affair, between towns and provinces or inwards to Constantinople. The elites derived their power and income from their estates and from their imperial salaries, they did not engage in trade.
There were some imperial monopolies, silk production, for example, but trade and manufacturing seems to have not generated enough wealth to allow speculative trade ventures outside the empire, even where this was allowed by law.
Trade was heavily regulated and tradespeople, in Constantinople at least, were organised into guilds and the guilds were subject to regulation by the City prefect.
As I said earlier, trade was internal and much trade flowed into the centre.
Clearly in the themes, there was small scale local trade, but because of the extreme (for the mediaeval period) centralisation of the state, it was trade with the centre that mattered most. Trade was taxed at a rate of 10% of the value of transactions.
It was this particularly undeveloped aspect of the Byzantine economy that allowed the Italian city-states to take such a large role in the trading life of the empire.
Exports from the empire were actively discouraged, essential goods being prohibited from being exported and over time, the concessions made to the Genoese, Venetians and others effectively removed the wealth generation from Byzantine hands virtually completely.
Read the full article

Grand Strategy of the Byzantine Empire

Dead?  -  You Must Still Pay Taxes.
"When pestilence swept through the whole known world and notably the Roman Empire, wiping out most of the farming community and of necessity leaving a trail of desolation in its wake, Justinian showed no mercy towards the ruined freeholders. Even then, he did not refrain from demanding the annual tax, not only the amount at which he assessed each individual, but also the amount for which his deceased neighbors were liable."
Secret History


Anonymous said...

Good morning , Gary .
Two post in this month is not usual .
This one , is one of the best you put it here .
Great work .
Even if you write it down also in other post , like that on Justinean tax spree .
Neverdeless pretty great and elaborate .
I enjoy a lot .
Overburden taxes are one of the ways societies colapse .
In US and Europe we go that way , and mosthly because taxes are not enough to rule the "democratic system" , with is goods and bads sides , freedom , and "buying votes with Money " States go to debt market as they do since Italian cities release "bonds" to support wars .
Now we release bonds to "buy votes" , and overburden wealth to buy even more votes , with social security perks , and services that people need and want ... and cannot understand the "quid pro quo trap that they fell in ".
As taxation without representation is more common now that before , cause the "Tax State Apparatus is all powerfull face the common tax payer ".
A system inside the system . A self ruling elite ... courted by the political powers "needed votes" of the day .
Forward .
The way Byzantine Levant and Syria collapsed is so , a "perfect social and fiscal storm " ... as you put it very well .
Good job .
The other side ... on cities , is also desserve to read . I understand that as people scarce , and power split , those cities gain more power , and the ruling class out of Constantinople gain more power too .They paid that price to found a system to rule military the whole empire , themes . But that even doesn`t work , if not , a one reason ( as many others ) as cause economic trade became less important to the wealth of the whole system .Unfortunely.
Byzantium miss a Senate , and that taxation without representation sound atitude.
We may compare Byzantium system , like the soviet one .They did not fall on the same way , but os some things , they seem alike ... absolute power , and no wealth at all .
The lesson to learn is that debt became a tool of war . Look that all the great powers on earth became so by lending Money , cause they became wealth powers and got the ways to put others on debt .
Thats so with italian merchants , with Byzantium, of British Empire before WWI , US after WWI , and WWII ... and now mighty "bond collector" China .
So democraties will go down real fast to doom , as they cannot fight economic grownth on goods and services , they need financial means on taxes and bonds to " walk the system as usual " , and they borrowed , on markets ... and dangerously on " the wrong ones , those who lend on political aims , of world imperialism , and neo-colonialism .
As Byzantium , on the near future democratic countries around the world would colapse .They are not create wealthy enough to fight back .

Anonymous said...

Its sound eary , i know , but wealth is fadind in the west , as then happen in the east before .
Monetary flowns , will carried away home sovereignty rule , more or less , if dependance from borrowed Money growns wild ... as in America since the sixtees , i guess , and Greece , and Portugal now .

Anonymous said...

"They welcomed the Muslim Arabs instead, discriminatory poll tax and all."

This assertion isn't borne out in any of the primary sources that I know about. Certainly not in the histories of Sebeos and John of Nikiu - both of whom were from persecuted religious minorities.

Archduke Piccolo said...

Interesting read. The histories I have encountered certainly suggested that after the Arab conquests in the Levant, Byzantine rule was not missed by the locals. Taxation is usually given as the reason, but it might have had something also to do with the sympathy of the iconoclasm of eastern Christianity and Judaism with the iconoclasm of Islam, or perhaps religious controversies relating e.g. to Arianism.

Anonymous said...

look Archduke Piccolo !!!
thats a small way to think in it !!!
short sized one !!! doh !!!
low too , far to low !!!
sympaty ?! ... if it did ( that i don`t believe ... althought i learn on major rift and sects at time ... but iconoclasm came after , and arianism you put it on egipt , cause in cirenaica was over after vandals defeat ), ... it was mosthly only for a short period ... and for taxes overburden reasons surely ... they didn`t know s*** from those newcomers thoughts, and ways ... only , ruse, hoax , and violence in battles ... and they tired of those , from 30 years of war between Byzantium and Sassanid Persia ... no army , no Money , and a bankrupt country ...
After they learn from the locals ( cause they came straight from the inner arabian desert ... mosthly ) how to build sea ships ( not small coastal rafts ) , and siege Constantinople with a massive brand new sea fleet ... and army ... and fail ... and wait till the locals translate those left greek and roman volumes in Damascus to learn how to take advantage from other people learnings , ... for their own benefit , ... then ... theres cames LUCY ?! " No siriiii !!!!"
Theres came hard proselitism ... or if that not work ... Jyzia !!!!!!!!!
Then as Money scarce for that ... no way to skip a forced conversation , or slavery ... ( and the few traitors from locals too ... quislings of the day ... )
A short welcome ... and a big awakening for 1400 years nightmare ...

Anonymous said...

I listen to that conference you put it ( the short 9 m version ) and that confirm what i always thought on politics , and economics .
As wealth going scarce in Roman late centuries , and emperors need to reinforce border legions , and the whole administration ... as monetary flows , lack hard metals , cause Spain gold mines over , and Dacia gold plunder over ... as Partia is not a war option , nor Africa , or Germania ... for gold , silver and plunder resources ... the Empire closed in on borders .
Trade not a option , and a bad one ( as today ) cause Romans still crave for silk, spices , and bad consumism habits ... romans gold and silver coins flip to the other side ( side who do not need roman goods ... but only hard metals , gold and silver )... and as those been more scarce ... inflation rules in . Cut the coins , or else only devalueted the roman currency , and made prices go higher in foreign and local trade .
But romans cannot live ... i mean ... the elites , and the ruling class..., without those bad consumism ways.
So "king" inflation sets in , and rules . The ruling elite need more taxes to keep troops , and the civil servants happy , and at work ... so more tax burden on everybody else .
Even those local tax collectors and local rulers go way cause as nobody got no more Money , they as dignataries must replace those on the emperor wishes for more tax Money .So they run away as the conference says.
Without knowledge for creating those kind of bonds , middle age europe creation , or another way to borrow Money from foreigners countries , or people , Roman Empire going to colapse , and more faster , as invaders from Central Asia push , border tribes needy to find security inside Roman borders .
They cannot cope with it , as locals life got worse , and romans got no ideia how to deal with it . So they join with foreign allies , to fight another more dangerous tribe ... and the last Money, and precious metals , and jewels , flowns to pay security border to Huns ,and others ... the land was lost to the barbarians , and as grain lands of Lybia , or egipt , lost , and the islands of Sardinia , Corsica and Sicily too ... Rome was sack, and the west part of empire colapse .
( follow next )

Anonymous said...

( from above )
The east survive , cause they pay security , got more trade , and wealth , but that cannot hold so many invaders away , one the east Sassanians , or allow to keep western lands free from vandals in africa , or goths in Italy , or then the Bulgars too ... as east empire got so many borders they also need great armies , so Money , to keep away barbarians ... but thats another story .
As a future lesson , we may learn also with the british in China ... british carve for tea ... tea trade was a prosperous business for some ... but China only want silver for trade , not other british or foreign goods ... they got all they need ... so only silver keep trade flowing betweem Britain and the whole world , and China .
As silver over , british traders are shum away from coastal trade China allow trading cities . Then they found a comoditie other that silver that chinese need ... opium ... and then by the barrel of gun ships they force that on China .
That and chinese inner self centered conformation and backwardess on modern guns ... made China colapse too .
As tea leafs flowers found , and then centuries ago the silk worm ... that trade no more needed , cause India replace China as a tea grower and suplyer .
Inflation cause also to the colapse of Spanish-Habsburg dinasty , as silver from Peru and gold from the America scarce too , as they fight in central europe to keep an empire against the will from those they saw as heretical luterans .
The thirty years wars finnaly put a peace between european powers , religious foes , and then they must find other destinies , inside torn europe or outside , so a massive flow of people go to the americas , some to africa and asia to find a way to survive and prosper .
So the lessons of history , are there for us to see .
As today no matter those new ways to collect Money to put societies working , those may also bring countries down .
Depression , and inflation , are récipes to doom , as others to keep a farcical reality ... democracies may last shorter than we think , cause rulers don`t face the issues , and keep borrowing Money , to buy votes , to kept power ... in the process ... as the Romans ... they may lost the countries too .
Thats also the way also to neo-colonialism .
Better got fine tune economics , and self sustain monetary policy , than to be a slave from Money markets . Thats not a good récipe to keep sovereignty ... and freedom .

Anonymous said...

But they did not learn that , cause even most of then are colluding with foreign dictatorship powers , to be more rich , and wealthy ... even if in the process they lost the country self ruling power .
Democracies may face beeing ruled by criminal gangs , that collude with others criminal gangs from outside .
The way votes must be bought to keep power is the ... spark ... and the whole beginning for the change from a real democracy , to a totalitarian regime , or a despotic one .
Romans Emperors at the end of the road , put all the Money in those that may kept then with power . The military ( cause they are the source for allowed violence and coercion on people ) and the civil servants ( cause they are the source for allowed violence and coercion on the people ... too ) .
If nothing else refrain the absolute power ... then :

Aldous Huxley

“A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.”

― Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

Anonymous said...

As Democracy be subverted by criminals , or Despotic rulers , so the need for :

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Text of the 2nd Amendment

The 2nd Amendment was ratified on December 17, 1791 along with the other nine amendments that make up the Bill of Rights. While it is a very short amendment, its exact meaning in terms of what types of weapons are protected is still in contention today.

Anonymous said...

Islam is most welcome yes .
By traitors.
Good post Gary .

Anonymous said...

question to you 1.56 AM
what do you mean with :
"Then as Money scarce for that ... no way to skip a forced conversation , or slavery ... ( and the few traitors from locals too ... quislings of the day ... )" ????

Anonymous said...

to you 11.31 AM
wrong word , i mean this :
Then as Money scarce for that ... no way to skip a forced convertion , or slavery ... ( and the few traitors from locals too ... quislings of the day ... )

thats right now

at 3.48 AM also :
As tea leafs flowers found , and then centuries ago the silk worm ... that trade no more needed , cause India replace China as a tea grower and suplyer .
i mean
As tea seeds flowers found , as then centuries ago the silk worm ... that trade no more needed , cause India replace China as a tea grower and suplyer .

one who write fast and furious miss a lot of wrong letters ...

Anonymous said...

Now i understand .
And by traitors you mean those farcical radical left wingers, that even if not converted , wear ethnic clothing , and put that s***** hat , to impress the locals palookas, as too foreigners, or locals from outside religious cults , and so planning "ethnic vote catcher on then " , and incite reaction on others ... i guess .
A provocateur radical moron . Surely .
Don`t you mean as too , those traitors , who as "colaborators" , vichy , or quisling style , thrive on life by colluding with a foreign foe ? , and for money , not ideology ... the common assumption for traitors ?
Communists too , for both , ideology , and money ?
Even those who stay aside on political campaigns , victimazing themselves , or others that play tricks as an insiders moles ?

Anonymous said...

on you 11.50 AM
you read my mind ...
thats all , and a lot more ...
a world wide conspiracy , on crime , and strange connections between chosen people to rule the world ... on an undemocratic system ...
and a world that people vote , or doesn`t happen , or is a farse ... that even they do not know about ...
well , it`s all a farcical world , that we live on ...
the only thing that matter to those higger above , is power , and the absolute power
playing Gods !!!

Anonymous said...

You a dreamer !!!
What do you think , our world is ?
A jungle .
A concrete , and brick , urban jungle .
And we all are fighting for peanuts , as others at the top of food chain , eat other more delish treats from this planet . Predators . With predatory habits of course .

Anonymous said...

You both too gloomy .
That ruse , will not go along as far as it did for now .
Mark my words .
Inside , and outside , reaction will come to put that ruse , and conspiracy , away .
On the move as we speak .

Anonymous said...

Nice post .
I wonder if Romans had found more gold and silver ,they realize the better way to cope with inflation ,or they would going along with the same outbalanced trade deficit , and overburden the common tax payer , to support the military and the civil servants .
As a despotic society , the empire , lacking new sources of income , and a kind of moral breakdown , and decay , as Gibbons said , i reckon they would fail on it .
They need a more balanced trade , and a renewal economics that a stretch budget, and a misguided one cannot hold.
As private investors scarce , and public one fails to revive public works that would bring wealth around , they bound to fail .
Lack of monetary currency , and credit , inflation , trade outbalance , forced migrations on a trouble economics , equal , doom .

Anonymous said...

You picture the Romans , as the West is now .
Is a kind a strange comparison .
Moral decay ,and traitors inside borders .

Anonymous said...

Don`t be so harsh .
It the same all over .
Mankind the same .
Look at China .
First Money , than Food , than Gamble , after that more food , then more gamble , than luxury gadgets .
Moral bankrupth is all over .
What Partia , or Sssanians got better than Romans ?
They collapsed too .
Its a revolving door , century after century .

Anonymous said...

could you go back to English? well ... your marauders

Anonymous said...

nice post mr.gary
like it a lot ... and the vídeos too
lack more sultresses ... please !!!

Anonymous said...

I like a lot too .I read it , as a time gap between my shows .
Real instructive .
Its like Detroit area . In all the subjets . Invasion and all .
Do you know Dearborn ?
Yes !!!
Now you know what i mean .

Anonymous said...

I dig this piece .
Surely as we bought almost all europe debt , spend will be ok , so the faith of the EU , will not be the same as that of the Roman Empire.

Mario Draggi

Anonymous said...

well, I really liked it a lot !!! I will adopt these policies ... paul krugman