Like Rome, the United States was based on the idea of conquest, plunder, and distributing the spoils
Like Rome, the United States relied on expansion and plunder to achieve the welfare of its people, so it set out west across the two banks of the Mississippi to the Midwest and from there to the West Coast (located on the eastern banks of the Pacific Ocean) and from there to the conquests in East Asia.
Lula da Silva’s victory in the presidential elections in Brazil represents a threat to the hegemony of the United States over Latin America, and a renewal of the existential threat posed by a free Latin America to the survival of the United States as an imperialist power that dominates the world.
In July 1776, 13 colonies on the western coast of the Atlantic Ocean gained independence from the British Empire, declaring the United States of America. It was in the minds of the founding fathers of the United States, led by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison, that they were reviving the Roman Empire and that the United States was a re-incarnation of the Roman Empire that dominated the western part of the ancient world between the first centuries BC and the fourth century AD. It was also in the minds of these founding fathers that they should avoid the fate of the Roman Empire, which collapsed in the early fifth century AD at the hands of Germanic invasions that came from the East from the Siberian steppes.
The Legacy of the Roman Empire
The Roman Empire had dominated the Mediterranean world and with it the Western world between the first centuries BC and the fifth century AD. It had reached safe borders in the south, represented by the Sahara Desert in North Africa and the Aswan Highlands in southern Egypt. In the Levant, the Euphrates River and the Syrian desert formed its borders with the Sassanid Empire and the Arabian Peninsula. In Europe, the Atlantic Ocean formed its natural borders in the west and north, while the Rhine and Danube rivers were its borders with the Germanic tribes that had settled in eastern and central Europe since the second century BC. Across the rivers Rhine and Danube, the Roman emperors would wage wars against the Germanic tribes for six centuries in order to carry out plunder against these tribes on the one hand and to prevent these tribes from crossing these two rivers and entering the Roman lands to share with Rome its wealth and power.
The Roman Empire at that time represented the region in which wealth got concentrated in a global system based on the Rome-China dichotomy. Rome was the center of wealth and influence in Western Eurasia, while China constituted the center of wealth and influence in Eastern Eurasia. As for the Germanic tribes, they formed the areas that were impoverished as a result of the practice of ancient Rome’s policies of plunder, which formed the first pillar of the wealth and influence that they enjoyed for six centuries. The pressures of the Germanic tribes who lived east of the Rhine and North of the Danube on the Roman Empire were similar to the pressures exerted by the “illegal” immigrants in our time to migrate from their countries ravaged by the colonial West to obtain a share of the wealth that was concentrated in the capitalist West. The Germanic tribes at that time were labeled barbarian primarily as a result of their poverty and not as a result of their “backwardness”, knowing that many Germans had previously been kidnapped or recruited in the Roman army to be a tool against their fellow countrymen, and many were able to occupy the highest positions in the Roman Empire. In the early fifth century, Germanic peoples, represented by the Goths, Lombards, Vandals, and others, were able to cross the Danube and swept through the western part of the Roman Empire, destroying Rome on their way.
Like Rome Like USA!
All this was in the mind of the founding fathers of the United States when they gained independence from the British Empire, and when they proclaimed the Constitution of the United States of America. Like Rome, the United States relied on expansion and plunder to achieve the welfare of its people, so it set out west across the two banks of the Mississippi to the Midwest and from there to the West Coast (located on the eastern banks of the Pacific Ocean) and from there to the conquests in East Asia. Along the way, it captured states that were part of Mexico, such as Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, and California. More than a century after the founding of the United States, the “imperial” country now occupied the entire area between the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean, except for a strip of land in the north that separates it from the Arctic Pole, which has become an icy desert separating the United States from the north from Russia (the heart of Eurasia), while The Rio Grande in the south defined its southern borders.
There was a great similarity between the United States on the one hand and the Roman Empire on the other. Like Rome, the United States was based on the idea of conquest, plunder, and distributing the spoils. Like Rome, the United States wanted to establish its own protected world in the face of the new barbarians represented by the poor peoples who were plundered and impoverished by the United States. While the Atlantic Ocean defined the borders of the Roman Empire to the west and north, the same ocean defined the borders of the United States to the east, while the Pacific Ocean defined the borders of the United States to the west. While the Sahara played the role of defining the borders of the Roman Empire in the south, the icy desert of the Arctic played the role of defining the North American frontier (though Canada is an extension of the United States). Finally, just as the Rhine and Danube rivers formed the borders of the Roman Empire in the east, separating it from the Germanic peoples, the Rio Grande played the role of the boundary between the United States on the one hand and the “Latin American barbarians” on the other.
Latinos…the new Teutons?
Latin Americans were destined to be exposed to the longest wars of American domination and exploitation. Since the middle of the nineteenth century, the greatest expansion of the USA has been achieved at the expense of Mexico, all the way to the Rio Grande. The latter formed the boundary between the United States on the one hand and Latin America on the other. Just as Rome waged wars of expansion and plunder across the Rhine and Danube, so through the Rio Grande the United States waged wars of hegemony and plunder against Latin Americans. In order to deny the accusation of causing the impoverishment of the peoples of Latin America, the United States treated them as barbarians, the way Rome did with the Germanic peoples. Thus, in Washington’s eyes, Latin Americans turned into corrupt people who are drug addicts and immorals, lazy and do not work, with limited thinking and horizons. Just as the Germans sought for centuries to cross the Rhine and Danube into the Roman Empire to obtain a share of the wealth plundered from them, so Latin Americans seek in many ways to emigrate and cross the Rio Grande to the promised paradise of the United States to take a share of the wealth looted from them and from other peoples throughout the globe.
Just as the Germans adopted a Christian doctrine different from that of Rome, which is Arianism, to be an “ideology” defining the identity of the Germanic tribes, so the peoples of Latin America, in their rebellion against American liberalism, resorted to socialism as an ideological determinant of their political identity in the ongoing struggle between them and the United States. In the context of achieving their independence from American hegemony, the peoples of Latin America resorted to their socialist revolutions, which recently began to spread like wildfire throughout Latin America. In Argentina we find the socialist Alberto Fernandez and his deputy Cristina Kirchner, in Bolivia we find the socialist Luis Arce, the successor to the revolutionary leader Evo Morales, in Colombia we find the socialist Gustavo Petro, and in Chile we find the socialist Gabriel Boric, in Venezuela we find the socialist Nicolas Maduro, and in Nicaragua we find the socialist Daniel Ortega. In Cuba, we find the socialist Miguel Diaz-Canel, the successor to the revolutionary leaders Fidel Castro and Raul Castro, and in Mexico we find the socialist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, and recently the socialist Lula da Silva won in Brazil to make most of the countries of Latin America governed by socialists who are hostile to American imperialism.
American leaders have long been aware of the “existential threat” that Latin America poses to them. Just as Rome, which was only separated from the Germanic tribes by the Rhine and Danube rivers, whose crossing was easy, the United States is separated from Latin America only by the Rio Grande. Just as Rome practiced plunder against the Germanic tribes, which made those tribes set out to take revenge on the force that had long persecuted them, so the United States is aware that the awakening of the peoples of Latin America will prevent them from continuing their policy of plundering the goods of the peoples of Latin America that may set out to punish the power that has long oppressed them. This made major American geopolitical thinkers such as Alfred Thayer Mahan, Nicholas Speakman, Robert Kaplan and George Friedman warn of the existential danger to the United States from the south through the Rio Grande, and this made former US President Donald Trump think about building a wall along the border with Mexico, to avoid the fate of fallen Rome at the hands of the Germans 16 centuries ago.