From Summer Patriot comes a story about a college lecture he heard 40 some odd years ago. The main idea being that at some point the Romans stopped being Romans and became Italians. It’s the why I found interesting.
If you asked an early Italian, he would have very likely called himself a Roman. He had been born into a culture that called themselves Romans and would have self identified as Roman. It is only looking back that historians can say that Rome was gone and Italy had begun.
There are clues in the process, if you know where to look. As I mentioned in my previous post, America made steel. America made all sorts of things, textiles, toys, cars, mattresses, if it had been invented and could be manufactured, America made it. It was a point of pride to stamp Made in U.S.A. on products. Here’s just two examples. A simple open end wrench, stamped to show it’s size, the manufacturer, and where it was made. Americans bought things made in America, it was considered a mark of quality. A spool of fishing line, showing the vendor’s name, the product type, and where it was made. There were no labeling requirements, it was just something the manufacturer did, expecting that he might sell more American product to Americans.
I have just one more product to show you. It will have to stand in for all the others, your computer, TV, tools, gas grill, toys, cell phone, etc. It’s evidence that even though we still call ourselves Americans, a new name is coming. Just like those early Italians, we’re still too close to our former glory to see it.
A great empire, like a great cake, is most easily diminished at the edges.