There are all kinds of theories as to why the Roman Empire went downhill but there is no doubt that it did, just like there is no doubt that the USA is going downhill. The USA has had many integrity issues with our government and corporations that has cost us our leadership position in the world. Our economic policy may or may not destroy the economic balance in the world (We are always in debt and never paying out bills. We owe the Chinese billions of dollars with no way of paying them), but there is no doubt that every nation is in economic trouble.
I met my future father-in-law in 1965 and one of our conversations was that the USA was declining just as the Roman Empire had declined. As time goes on I see his predictions coming true.
It is well accepted belief that lead destroyed the Roman Empire. The Romans were way ahead of all nations of their time in engineering. The Romans had running water but they obviously did not have steel, iron or plastics.
The Romans brought water out of mountains and other areas by inventing aqueducts. These were made of clay, and stones and transported massive amounts of water for centuries. But lead was used for plumbing and other products, including lead in wine.
Here is a quote from an article I found on line.
Lead was a key component in face powders, rouges, and mascaras; the pigment in many paints (“crazy as a painter” was an ancient catch phrase rooted in the demented behavior of lead-poisoned painters); a nifty spermicide for informal birth control; the ideal “cold” metal for use in the manufacture of chastity belts; a sweet and sour condiment popular for seasoning and adulterating food; a wine preservative perfect for stopping fermentation or disguising inferior vintages; the malleable and inexpensive ingredient in pewter cups, plates, pitchers, pots and pans, and other household artifacts; the basic component of lead coins; and a partial ingredient in debased bronze or brass coins as well as counterfeit silver and gold coins.
Most important of all was lead’s suitability as inexpensive and reliable piping for the vast network plumbing that kept Rome and the provincial cities of the Roman Empire supplied with water. Indeed, the very word “plumbing” comes from the Latin word for lead, plumbum. The lead pipes that were the vital arteries of ancient Rome were forged by smithies whose patron saint, Vulcan, exhibited several of the symptoms of advanced lead poisoning: lameness, pallor, and wizened expression.
Addicted to Lead
The Romans were aware that lead could cause serious health problems, even madness and death. However, they were so fond of its diverse uses that they minimized the hazards it posed. Romans of yesteryear, like Americans of today, equated limited exposure to lead with limited risk. What they did not realize was that their everyday low-level exposure to the metal rendered them vulnerable to chronic lead poisoning, even while it spared them the full horrors of acute lead poisoning.
Roman aristocrats, who regarded labor of any sort as beneath their dignity, lived oblivious to the human wreckage on which their ruinous diet of lead depended. They would never dream of drinking wine except from a golden cup, but they thought nothing of washing down platters of lead-seasoned food with gallons of lead-adulterated wine.
The result, according to many modern scholars, was the death by slow poisoning of the greatest empire the world has ever known. Symptoms of “plumbism” or lead poisoning were already apparent as early as the first century B.C. Julius Caesar for all his sexual ramblings was unable to beget more than one known offspring. Caesar Augustus, his successor, displayed not only total sterility but also a cold indifference to sex.
The first century A.D. was a time of unbridled gluttony and drunkenness among the ruling oligarchs of Rome. The lead concealed in the food and wine they devoured undoubtedly had a great deal to do with the outbreak of unprecedented epidemics of saturnine gout and sterility among aristocratic males and the alarming rate of infertility and stillbirths among aristocratic women.
Still more alarming was the conspicuous pattern of mental incompetence that came to be synonymous with the Roman elite. This creeping cretinism manifested itself most frighteningly in such clearly degenerate emperors as Caligula, Nero, and Commodus. It is said that Nero wore a breastplate of lead, ostensibly to strengthen his voice, as he fiddled and sang while Rome burned.
The point of all this is that the people who ran Rome/Empire were poisoned with lead that affected their minds and the thinking process. Through the years their integrity towards each other declined like we see in this former great nation. The standards of decency have declined in a similar fashion to the Roman Empire.
Today we still have avarice and greed just like in the Roman Empire, both in government and corporations but today the cause is not due to the toxicities of lead, and unlike in Roman the mental decline is not just the rich but it extends down to all the people including the poor.
Today the cause of disease and mental decline is in the food, the water and the air. One of the biggest causes of mental decline in the USA is fluoride in the water. This causes “dumbing down” and depression. Fluoride reduces the lithium in the body, which results in depression. As an aside, if you have depression from fluoride and you take the drug Prozac, which has 3 molecules of fluoride in its chemical formula, you depression will get worse and can lead to violence.
One of the biggest scams today is statin drugs for cholesterol that is supposed to prevent heart disease. The truth is that cholesterol has nothing to do with heart disease and the statin drugs cause a loss of thinking ability – dumbing down of all who take it. I would venture a guess that more than 50 % of the people in power or authority today in the USA is on a statin drug.
The solution to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and degenerative diseases is the elimination of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and most carbohydrates.
To be fair we also need to have healthy unadulterated food in the food supply. We don’t have lead like the Romans but we have chemical agriculture with toxic chemical fertilizers with heavy metals, lead being just one, along with herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides. We also have plastics in the food and drugs in the water supply. We have toxins in the air we breathe. We have poor food adulterated with chemicals to trick our taste buds into thinking we are eating something good when we are eating toxins.
Is our leadership, empire building, intrusive interfering of other nations business, greed/avarice and downright dishonesty caused by a decline in thinking due to chemicals and poor food?
I don’t have all the answers but it looks like our decline is reminiscent of the lead poisoning of the Roman Empire. Can we change? I doubt it because greed at a corporate level is no easier to stop than greed on and individual level.
I think the best we can do is take care of our individual areas and try to lead a healthful life while helping other likeminded people in our area. This means healthy local food, detoxification, filtration of water and avoid air pollution as much as possible.