Our next stop in the failing of empires is immorality. In ancient empires immorality was usually the last sign that a civilization was in decline and falling fast. Books have been written about this fact and the first-wave American feminist intellectual, Camille Paglia, studied androgyny in ancient cultures and found that near the end of every empire that the art, and, one would also assume, the people became more androgynous. Men became more feminine, women masculine. Does this sound familiar?
The pictured male is Chester Bennington of the band Linkin Park who I’ve written about before. He was found dead of suicide a little more than a year ago after struggling with substance abuse caused in part by his upbringing and the fact that he was raped as a child. Pedophilia was part of most ancient civilizations and American life has this fact as well. Those who’ve been taken advantage of sexually live with lifetimes of pain, anger, and hurt usually culminating in substance abuse as a means of medicating the pain and other destructive behaviors. Roman culture devolved into orgies, pedophilia, and sexual aggression whereby you could consummate any sex act as long as you were the aggressor. The rise of internet pornography in modern times has lead to immorality within the American landscape as well and too has devolved into more extreme sex acts over time to view for free online.
Another similar aspect between Roman days and American deals with blood sports. In the Roman Empire gladiators fought to the death along with other methods of dying for consumption by the masses. America is not quite at that level yet, but the road trod is closing in on it. Modern American society includes sports in its various and arguably violent forms and whereas the true blood sports of its age–boxing and professional wrestling–have now morphed into the Mixed Martial Arts fights that are usually very bloody and violent exchanges between combatants. Though MMA fights have rules and there hasn’t been a death caused by a match yet, eventually after the current incarnation of MMA fighting have become passe, much like its boxing and pro wrestling forebears, it’s not much of a reach to have fights to the death. RIP.