I always find it interesting when seemingly disparate things converge unexpectedly. I’ve been reading Are We Rome which is a somewhat snarky non-fiction book about the many comparisons that can be made between the Roman Empire (and its ultimate “fall”) and the current American “Empire”. One of the similarities the author draws is between the Romans “outsourcing” of their armies to the barbarian hordes and the privatization of the American armed forces to Blackwater and the like.

Meanwhile I have also been reading Moby Dick via small pieces arriving in my email everyday automatically from DailyLit.com when I came across this passage:

“As for the residue of the Pequod’s company, be it said, that at the present day not one in two of the many thousand men before the mast employed in the American whale fishery, are Americans born, though pretty nearly all the officers are.  Herein it is the same with the American whale fishery as with the American army and military and merchant navies, and the engineering forces employed in the construction of the American Canals and Railroads.  The same, I say, because in all these cases the native American liberally provides the brains, the rest of the world as generously supplying the muscles.  No small number of these whaling seamen belong to the Azores, where the outward bound Nantucket whalers frequently touch to augment their crews from the hardy peasants of those rocky shores.”

It appears we have been on track to replicate the ways of the Roman Empire for longer than I thought.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: