“The New Dominate”
Ana Marina Garza, Ph.D. (ABD)
A crisis gripped 3rd Century Rome with such severity that it threatened to dismantle the very prosperity of the empire and reveal, once and for all, the cracks in the post-constitutional Republic of the later day Principate. War on the imperial frontier, and the Roman Army’s inability to stop the invasions by the Germanic peoples, left the empire besieged. And not just from without. The rule by strongman military generals on the militarized borders led to the inequitable seizure of private property, the funds used by Roman generals to buy the loyalty of their soldiers, who supported their seizure of the emperorship and their donning of the imperial purple. This political trend - emperors chosen on the violent hinterlands - not only led to 22 emperors in 33 years; the selection process led to an unequal tax system that was nothing more than kleptocracy. With the citizenry ready to rebel against the unceremonious Barracks Emperors—their fortunes dashed, their money inflated to worthless depreciations—and the frontiers of the empire dominated by a near-constant military conflagration, the Empire was restored by the reorganization of the empire, whereupon the size, and in turn the strength, of the government was enhanced by an enlarged bureaucratic corps that obeyed an even more absolutist Roman emperor.
This was the Dominate.
The United States faces these same challenges in the 21st Century, albeit the lexicon of world imperial hegemon has changed. Too much power is now concentrated in the hands of a military elite who rule by proxy of their command over the embattled armies on the far-flung front lines of today’s War on Terror. As of late, and ever since the Troubles, the war has entered the very heart of America’s cities. Recent violence has lead even some of today’s best thinkers to contemplate the possibility of the US's re-territorialization. The esteemed Americanist Warden Wood has even said that the Troubles exist as extant examples of wild frontiers, characteristic of the borders between modern nation-states, yet having none of the characteristics of geographic peripheries. Instead these walls within walls, like Rome’s own Aurelian Wall to stave off the German invasions, are much like the wars in the Middle East and Eastern Africa. So too are the commanders powerful.
Yet America is faced with a momentous opportunity, one that can draw from the same sources that influenced cutting-edge Americanism of the past, when the institutions of democracy, individualism, and free enterprise came into existence. The origin of these qualities and, for the point of this research, serves as this research's methodological point of analysis, is the wild frontier, both as a place and an idea that allows these aforementioned qualities to flourish. These places just need to be "won" again, these very places within our own nation. The key point is the process by which these American qualities form. In not so simple terms, the key word is violence. That is how to regenerate our national fortunes.
Ironically, America greatness can only be restored through the enlargement of the government. Unlike Diocletian, the Roman Emperor who ended the rule of the Barracks Emperors and ushered in the era of the Dominate, any call to give more power to the government will be greeted with the hoots and hollers of a dissatisfied and cynical public. While Diocletian could enjoy the pomp and circumstance of royal absolutism to persuade the Roman public, America can rely upon the theme of the values of progress to assuage it of any doubts in a more powerful government, yet only if it trumps up the value of the things which America values best and promises to restore. Democracy, individualism, and free enterprise. Previous generations touted these qualities and later academics pinpointed the genesis of them on the wild frontier. By any other name it is called conquest. In the psyche of America that is triumphalist in its national celebration, it is called the "Winning of the West."
How to do this?
The best hope for America lies in the support for total privatization of every sector of American life, which will not only replace the former offices and services controlled by the federal and state governments, but the enlargement of services for the public under the suzerainty of private organizations.
One field that bears mentioning are private security contractors created by the Mandate Acts and the Diversionary Acts. Until now only used overseas, these private organizations bear mentioning because they can serve the goals of privatization, and in the long run, the expansion of the federal government, yet all under the guise of American values. More so with these private military contractors. They can be justified to the American public through the mention of the things that made America great—and so can again. Through the open recruitment of a mythos-infected public, they will do what Americans of past years did before: win a continent and make a nation through hard work and sacrifice. Progress will continue, the nation will endure, and move forward....