The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 79
Causes the Fall of Empires
Causes the Fall of Empires.
It is a fact well known to students of history that the Empires which rose by conquests, force of arms, became effete mainly owing to the heavy tribute exacted by them from the nations which they conquered, and which tribute was paid in Gold. This so enriched the conquerors that they, as time passed, live more and more luxuriously, a sure forerunner of their decay. Take, for instance, the Roman Empire. During the greatness of that Republic, her monetary system—the refined conception of the Greeks—was symbolic, consisting of numerals stamped upon bronze or copper, termed "numus." The issue was controlled, limited, registered and regulated—as a State monopoly, mark well—by the Senate, which jealously guarded and maintained this privilege of stamping the legend, "S.C. Ex. Senatus Consulto," and the number on the face. This was done by decree of the Senate, and the people were given to clearly understand that their value was not contained in the material iself, but was contained and legally in the number stamped thereon. This system continued during two centuries, the brightest and best of Roman law and civilisation. When this system was changed, Rome lost her liberties, but—outwardly—the State grew apparently more powerful and dreaded; inwardly its people were no longer one with the State. The currency system was encroached upon, corrupted, and finally destroyed by the coinage of Gold. From that date it came to be dependent on conquest, plunder, mining, and slavery. It was the Patricians and capitalists who fostered and established Gold coinage, and the mixed currency of bullion-value of the Augustan age, which has come down to our own. The great advantage to the masses of the original system consisted in the fact that no man or association of men could make a "corner" of it in the interests of greed. Under the coinage system, when the Roman armies conquered a new land the people of that land were forced to work their mines in the interests of the Roman generals and patricians. Gold at once did the work which it is intended to do it increased the riches of the wealthy, and consigned the masses to homes of poverty. So the Roman Empire fell; fell because the people would no longer fight for it. "Why should we fight." said the people, "seeing that we have no homes of our own to fight for. To-day those words are repeated by our own people for the same reason. Our Gold system is manipulated by and in the sole interests of capitalists. Look, for instance, at the' rich South African mines, where the Chinamen were taken in their thousands to slave, and the white miner is allowed to starve. For what? For what but to allow those privileged under the Gold system to amass more and more wealth at the expense of the heavily taxed toiled. In reality their slaves.