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Lessons from the Goths for what’s happening at the U.S. southern border

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By ART CHANCE

Those of us who’ve had Western Civilization courses know “The Goths” as a group of Germanic tribes and clans that pressed against the northeastern border of the Western Roman Empire from the Second Century CE.   

After the First Century, the Romans didn’t try to expand the Empire’s northern border beyond the Rhine and Danube Rivers, although they made forays into Germanic, Persian, and other lands if threatened or attacked.   

The Romans considered all non-Romans to be barbarians (foreigners), but after centuries of contact with the Romans the “barbarians” near the borders of the Empire were as “Roman” as the Romans, both culturally and commercially.  

Ultimately, the Romans extended citizenship to many who had once been considered barbarians. Despite movie mythology, the barbarians didn’t come into Roman territory to destroy it; they came to own it or take its valuable goods. As the Western Empire weakened in the Fourth and Fifth centuries the invasions did become occupations as the Romans became less and less able to hold and defend their provinces.

All the various Germanic tribes that threatened the Roman Northern frontier can generally be grouped into the Ostrogoths and the Visigoths, the eastern and western Goths.   “Goths” is a lot simpler than trying to remember all those tribal and territorial names. Over a couple of centuries the relationship varied from cooperation and assimilation to outright warfare, as aggressive leaders rose to the fore among the Goths.   

The Goths traded with the Romans and provided troops for the Roman armies. Gothic armies fought alongside Roman armies to defeat Attila the Hun, and that brings us to the root of this story; as the Huns pushed against the Goths, the Goths moved into Roman territory.  

The Romans resisted and the Goths rendered them some humiliating defeats, notably at Adrianople in northern Greece where they killed a Roman Emperor.  Ultimately, the Goths rebelled against Roman authority and conquered much of Gaul (France), effectively all of Hispania (Spain and Portugal), and all of Roman Africa.   

Finally, they invaded Italy itself and conquered and sacked Rome, which had been inviolate for almost a millennium.   The loss of Roman Africa, the bread basket of Rome, is what ultimately led to the economic and administrative collapse of the Western Roman Empire.

How does the history of the Roman northeastern border, the Rhine and the Danube relate to the U.S. southern border today?

We have had a long and often contentious relationship with Mexico. We have fought two open wars with Mexico. Although the war for Texas independence wasn’t legally a war between the U.S. and Mexico, the combatants were mostly U.S. settlers living in Mexican Texas and the Mexican Army. 

We fought a real state v. state war with Mexico in the 1840s, in which we took most of what is now the Western U.S. from them. As late as the early 20th Century, we invaded them with large U.S. military units. Along the way we traded with them, married and interbred with them, allowed, and even enticed them into the U.S. to work. We vacationed with them, and many of them assimilated into our culture and became citizens or permanent, if illegal, residents.

Now, at the invitation of the Democrats, we’re being invaded by them, and you’re a horrible xenophobe if you cry foul.  

Well, I’ll be the xenophobe and say it: We are being invaded.

It is a leftist mantra that we need immigrants because “there are jobs Americans won’t do.”   The reality is that there are jobs that Americans won’t do because they pay less than welfare or unemployment because the competition for those jobs from illegal labor keeps the wages very low. 

You might note that when President Donald Trump tamped down illegal immigration, wages in the U.S. rose and minority unemployment fell. In case you’ve forgotten in these heady days of “no more bad orange man,” the US had the most robust economy in modern times before the scamdemic struck. 

I’m not denying the reality of the COVID-19 epidemic, but I am denying the scientific basis of the U.S. response to it; that was totally political and it worked. That said, Covid-19 was a miracle virus in that it almost completely eliminated influenza and pneumonia as causes of death.

There is, however, one job that not enough Americans will turn out to do: Vote Democrat. The Coastal Elites deplore the mostly white denizens of “flyover country” and they have determined to replace them. They are flooding the country with illegal immigrants, literally making no attempt to stop illegal border crossings. 

This is an archetypal Cloward-Piven strategy; they intend to overwhelm the law enforcement and social services infrastructure of the US with illegal aliens. Then, the only solution will be to give as many of them as they can get away with citizenship rights. 

President Lyndon Johnson’s boast that the 1964 Civil Rights Act would guarantee black votes for Democrats for 100 years started to unravel under President Trump. Now Democrats need to naturalize illegal aliens to secure Democrat power for another hundred years.

Unlike the black and brown people who have been in the U.S. for centuries, the black and brown people being imported have no experience with democratic government. Even though most black and brown Americans have historically been deprived of some of the rights and privileges of our democracy, they have enjoyed some of its benefits, and in recent years almost all of its benefits.   

The people pouring into our country have never known anything but autocracy, oligarchy, or outright dictatorship.   They know nothing of the legitimate expectations of a free citizen of a republican democracy. They will do whatever for whoever provides “free stuff.”  It’s the new version of LBJ’s promise about the black vote.

The Romans thought they could make use of the Goths at little cost; they only saw cheap labor in the form of dispensable troops for their legions.

Ultimately, the Goths revolted and conquered the city of Rome, much of Gaul, Hispania, and Roman Africa. The last Western Roman emperor, another Romulus, abdicated to a Gothic leader in 476.

The Democrats have managed to control the black population in much the same way the Nazis controlled the Jews; they recruited members of the Jewish community to exercise authority on behalf of the Nazis, and there were always Jews who wanted to be the last ones killed, they were called the Kapos.   

The brown population in America is already at least twice the size of the black population; it is going to take a lot more than a few Kapos to control them.   

While the brown population has not had the benefits of republican democracy they do know how to work in order to prosper; they haven’t had the poison of American culture teaching them to resent work.

The U.S. Left has spent the last half-century wishin’ and hopin’ for their “Helter-Skelter,” a black revolution and a race war that would propel them to never-ending power. It was and remains inconceivable to them that they could lose that war.   

Now they’ve given up on the blacks; the blacks keep trying to escape the Democrat plantation, and many are turning conservative. The Democrats have set their sights on importing a whole new crop of undocumented Democrats. This won’t have a happy ending.

Art Chance is a retired Director of Labor Relations for the State of Alaska, formerly of Juneau and now living in Anchorage. He is the author of the book, “Red on Blue, Establishing a Republican Governance,” available at Amazon. 



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  • Art is right as usual. And no f’s given for saying it.

  • Ah love the Goths. They remind me….of the Aleuts.

    • This was a terse chronology. Before the Goth culture went extinct did: they become matriarchal? Did they lose their language? Did they have a final generation of extraordinarily large Goths, too? Could you pick out the Goths by their zip code (I mean the truly AUTHENTIC ones with “pure” Goth dna)? I feel as tho I’m leaving something important out.

      • Yes, You did leave something out; a meaningful, coherent applicable comment based on some topic of substance !!

  • Let’s make points.

  • Let’s pause and think of: the Mohicans.

  • Really love the articles you write. Informative, thought provoking and right on point. Keep up the good work as I look forward to more good information and enjoyment from your writings – You should be nationally syndicated as the idiots putting out work now just tow the line. There is no constructive writing or thinking anymore except for a few – Thomas Sowell for one.

  • Art, don’t forget the back door communism growing with the numbers of invaders; the “stimulus” payments, the rent and mortgage moratoriums, the “free college” being increasingly promised (like the “reparations)” also discussed), the federal “unemployment” payments, the now liberalized state unemployment payments, “free health care”, etc., etc., etc. The goal now is to give away the future and enjoy the spoils asap before it all bursts. America is “fundamentally” being “changed”, as one particular person put it, because the invasion and communist revolution run along side the social, sexual, and religious revolutions also being fomented.
    I get the feeling that lots of folks are waiting for the economic collapse we all feel is coming before reacting, but that will obviously be too late to fix anything.

  • So! Are Alaskans ready to back Dunleavy’s February 2019 budget proposal no matter what discomforts it brings a Dependent population?

    Dunleavy never stood down, he been standing tall since he took the oath. Its Alaskans who cowered, retreated, and sat down, when we found out how much discomfort our Independence will cost us, families, and neighbors.

    • Dunleavy pissed himself and hid behind Ben Stevens.

      The next tough stance he takes will be his first.

      It was Dunleavy, not us, who abandoned the statutory PFD. Who gave back the UA cuts. Who refuses to heavily red pen unsustainable budgets. Who goes silent for weeks on important issues. Who folded like a cheap suit when faced with Bill Walker’s lead recall. Who caved on Wasilla. Who said nothing in public about the legislature playing beer pong while Sara and Zack date.

      We needed a leader. We got the Cowardly Lion.

    • Sorry Jen, Your comment has nothing to do with Art’s message. Please try again with something related to what he wrote.

    • Stay on topic or stay off please!! This article had nothing to do with Dunleavy!!

      • And you became the content police when….?

        Free speech is a wonderful thing.

        • Even when ignorant hate-filled fools try to invade civil discourse where people are discussing things intelligently, I support your right to free “speech” troll. Enjoying your schadenfreude? Got your jollies yet? Having fun hiding behind your mask coward?

          • I like Rich Thorne’s comment. Very apt. And, because he speaks truth, he does not need to hide behind a fake name.

    • He did too back down to Bryce and his minions. He sure did!

  • Nice essay, Art. I wish college level historians wrote half as well as you.

  • He hit the nail on the head again, “importing” future voters. The only problem I’ve seen with Trump is he did too good of a job.

  • I feel like I was reading my own thoughts.

  • A fine piece Art, but I might add a few bits. Rome faced her worst defeat ever at the hands of the Goths, 3 Legions lost in one day. This was why Rome never conquered another Territory following her humiliation in the Tuetenburg Forest.
    After that defeat Rome begin trading with the Barbarians and as you stated hired them as Soldiers. I think it was Alaric who ultimately sacked Rome, why? Because the Roman’s stiffed the Goths by refusing to pay them for their services.
    Alaric demanded all of Romes , gold, silver, silk and pepper. A Roman protested asking, ” how would you then leave us?” Alaric reportedly replied, Alive…

    • Teutoburg was under Augustus in, IIRC, 9 CE, hundreds of years before the major conflicts with the Goths. That said, after Tuetoburg, the Romans ceased trying to expand their northern frontier other than Marcus Auerelius’ forays in the 2nd Century.

  • It’s too late Art. The left has been sewing these seeds since Wilson.

    The Republic died under the quasi dictatorship of Roosevelt.

    Education was strangled by Jimmy Carter.

    Rule of Law by Clinton

    A long time ago I had a friend who was determined to ruin his life with drugs. Despite warnings from friends and attempts by family to intervene, he was determined. He surrounded himself with enablers. By his 30s he was a shell of a person. I lost track of him in his 40s. I doubt he made 50.

    He is a metaphor for the Dystopian States of America. When an entity is determined to commit suicide, they find a way.

    • There’s hope MA – in Jesus Christ. Dystopia only exists in the minds of those who have no hope.

  • History repeats itself.

  • Good for Hannibal and his end around sweep. Good for the tribes of Viking descendants has stopped Hadrian and his two walls in Great Britain. Nothing is new here. Like most great societies of the time, the Roman empire spread itself too thin and diluted it’s centurion Force with former enemies. This lesson has been played and learned time and time again.

    • Not that it matters to the gist of the article here, but I do believe that Hannibal’s sweep through the Alps and into central Italy, despite bringing the Roman Republic to the brink of collapse, was ultimately unsuccessful for him and the Carthaginians.

      • True. He stopped 15 miles too soon to find an empty Rome. Lead was a main culprit to the fall. Mental illness.

        • Like any good myth there is some truth in the lead myth, but the “Fall” of the Roman Empire is mostly and invention of Gibbon’s Anglican/Catholic brain. The Western Roman Empire didn’t “fall,” it just sort of dissolved.

          The Western Empire just went broke and could no longer support the organs of the Empire. When the local detachment of legionaries didn’t get paid, there was nobody to call. The “villa rustica” became the fortified castle and the landowner armed his own men. Law came to be in the hands of the man who owned the house on the hill and who had armed men working for him.

          Even under Goths, Visigoths, Franks, and Lombards, Roman culture and commerce continued until at least the early 800s. The “Dark Ages” descended on Europe and they really were dark as the result of volcanic eruptions and there were years of crop failures and famine. The Muslims had systematically conquered Roman Africa and turned the Mediterranian into a Muslim lake ending commerce with the Eastern Empire and The Levant. A long dark age began.

    • During Hadrian’s time, the people of Scotland and the all of England were briton speaking Celts. The viking invasions did not start for another 5 to 6 hundred years. SMH

      • Same folks. Celts came from viking country.

      • The goths were described as blonde haired blue-eyed tall people that wore animal skins much like Poland and Scandinavia which they originated from as did the Vikings. Same people some went east, some went West.

  • Why does everyone keep forgetting how the Irish – who were VERY white – were once discriminated against, both in England AND in the U.S? To whom are we descendants to apply to for recompense?

    • There may well still be a record of the contract for indenture that bought your ancestor’s passage to British North America or other British possessions. That’s how most early Irish settlers got here.

    • We don’t. But pretty much over the Catholic protestant thing now.

    • You shantyass irishmen can just quit your sniveling already. Every race has faced the same abuse.

      • What, we don’t get our say in this day and age of whining?

  • Justinian’s Flea was at least as important as the political unrest of the time.

    • 2020 wasn’t the first time a plague from China changed the course of history. The last Western Roman Emperor abdicated in 476 CE, but Roman society dottered along and trade in the Roman world continued. The Eastern Roman Empire was at its zenith and Emperor Justinian sent Eastern troops under Belasarius to the West to return the Western Empire to Roman authority. He was very nearly successful but in 542, Justinian recalled his troops from the West to help maintain order in the East, which was being ravaged by what we now know to be the bubonic plague. It is thought that 25 million or more died of the Plague in Europe, North Africa, and the Near East. The Eastern Empire while it hung on for almost a thousand years longer never really recovered and the Western Empire was never reunited and placed under Roman control.

  • Superb content Art !!

  • Yes, and I would like to add that most of you have some goth DNA and so do the Mexicans and South Americans. Goth DNA is in R1B. The goths or Nords still kinda rule. Who cares what societies or civilizations we create these days. They rise they fall on and on…

    • We’re all related right? All blackish 20000 years ago.

  • What a miserable human Art Chance is. Retired life in Tier 1 sure has neutered his perspective.

    • Miserable he is not. Got to the trough before most. I’m happy with tier 3.

  • Although pretty well written story, I would argue that we are the goths. The United States is descendants from the Goths and Vikings. We have conquered the globe. Although seeking to join in on the fun or representative of the northern African tribes of yesteryear. Think about it, Vikings settle the United States. Vikings conquered Europe and modern day Russia. Vikings conquered the Japanese empire and gave China back to itself. Yeah the Vikings are the Aryan race the Germans sought after but what they didn’t realize was we were already everywhere. My white heritage comes from the surname McKee or son of key is the name of my clan. Kind of proud to be part of something bigger.

    • The historical record would need to be bent significantly to support your narrative.

      • Nevertheless true. All came from the Iberian and Scandinavia. Neighbors, you know, in a small world.

    • Yeah, Germanic people have spread everywhere, their blood is in most people. Some more than others… They are like dark matter, you can’t see them until you look really hard then you realize they are (bleeping) everywhere. There is a theory that the Saxons were Goth 2.0. I am intrigued by this theory.

      • Yeah you’re talking about a place about the size of Missouri. Although people didn’t have Nikes back then, they were in most ways more fit and didnt whine every time they got a splinter in their toe

        • Haha!

          I think Alaric and goths were pretty pissed to learn that the Olympios had 30,000 Goth Roman soldiers women and children killed. This seems to always be left out of the collapse of Rome. Need more motivation?

  • I think they are still arguing about whether we came from Africa.

    But I like the theory that the Scandinavians came from the french caves and Caucasian steppe.

    The Christians that reconquered Spain were Visigoth, Frankish and Spanish descendents. When they moved on the conquer the new world we in a sense have a massive yet unspoken and unrecognized gothic empire.

    • Yeah we did that much is for sure and for certain. The only question is how long it took for it all to take place. It’s not hard to see people from India and the Aborigines in Australia in the African subcontinent. Scientifically, the further north you go in the latitudes, the lighter your skin. It’s just a matter of peeling back the onion. With the migration North, invention was a necessity for survival and probably made the northern branch of homo sapiens just a little bit smarter. That led to DaVinci when at the same time people in Africa were still squatting around the scalding pot roasting bugs.

  • Bread and Circuses , food stamps and MTV. Visigoths and Immigrants, taxes and tribute. The comparisons have all been recognized for quite some time. But thank you for the article Art. Very well written and very timely. Unfortunately the people who most need to read it likely won’t.

    • Looks like a bunch have read it, but they don’t get the main point, which is that Art’s history is mostly hypothetical and predominantly racist. A lot about what happened back in the bad old-old days is still indeterminate, but that doesn’t stop people from trying to figure it out. That doesn’t mean it’s correct. Like the commenter’s name says, Question Everything. Don’t believe it just because it sounds good. You need evidence. Real evidence.

      • And once more someone trying to be a smart— proves they’re not smart enough; people like you have made “racist” the refuge of the stupid.

  • Very interesting and apt discourse by Art Chance and a variety of responses varying from learned to low-brow. The topic, and its comparison to current troubles in the USA is intriguing and troubling.
    .
    Any discussion of Rome is always complicated by the fact it existed in so many forms for over twenty-five centuries if you include modern Italy. From Etruscan origins to the republic, the emperors, Pax Romana, the Papacy, the Schism, the technology, architecture, the culture, the conquests, the influence and the downfall(s). A historically romantic and exciting saga.
    .
    Art brings features of this saga home to America today. Let us not forget, America is the greatest nation to ever exist, primarily because it is founded upon the principals of individual liberty guaranteed as a birthright to each of its citizens. This concept is based upon the ideals of western civilization that were received, preserved, and passed through to us, in part, by…. the glory that was once Rome.

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