Re: Are We Rome? We Are Rome.
A fine essay, apart from the statement we do not use slaves when, in point of fact, USA employs millions of wage slaves, whether illegal immigrants in the vegetable fields of Florida or native-born serfs in the needle trades of Los Angeles (currently reviving as their substandard wages are comparable to what coolies earn in Chinese factories.) Few visiting toilers, who are blatantly exploited and work under the sword of deportation, dare to protest their plight to Labor Department authorities that, under the Bush regime, are deliberately understaffed and frequently indifferent. Ever more Americans--- as mounting credit card debt figures reveal --- are unable to make ends meet at minimum-wage jobs, and are, in fact, legalized wage slaves drowning in a rising sea of red ink, without even the prospect of "good union jobs" to rescue them. Thousands of them have enlisted as the military is the only employment they can find and are dutifully risking their lives in Iraq to support their families. As costs climb from rigged gasoline prices to health care to soaring college tuitions, "nickel-and-dimed" Americans are despairing in vast numbers of ever getting ahead. Surveys show they believe their children will not have the same opportunities for advancement as their own fathers. Seeking scapegoats for their plight, this growing underclass are finding the villains responsible denounced on talk radio and Internet sites such as "Stormfront." It is not too much of a stretch to say these exploited and hopeless people constitute a malleable, disenfranchised army of haters poised to vote for, or do the bidding of, the totalitarian-minded leadership in the White House. They may not be "slaves," per se, but they are, veritable indentured servants running on an economic treadmill until they drop from exhaustion. If humanitarian leadership in American society cannot help this underclass become aware of their condition and better it, life in this new imperial Rome will only grow harder, uglier, and more brutish.