The Roman Empire existed to serve the needs of its namesake city. Valuable natural resources, slave labor, wood to heat Rome's public baths, and even the water to fill those baths; all flowed into Rome from around the Empire. Of course, history tells us that the Roman model of the multitudes supplying the needs of the few eventually collapsed amidst significant social upheaval. But, this didn't stop other societies from creating their own empires, and the past is littered with the wreckage of their efforts.
Today, despite the dismal track record of empires, we see the developed nations of the world following a path similar to that trod by the Romans 2000 years ago. Using economic leverage instead of military conquest, countries like the United States, Japan, Germany, and England are able to enjoy a standard of living that requires a large percentage of the world's resources be funneled to a small percentage of the world's population.
While the method has changed by which the multitudes are "encouraged" to supply the needs of the few, we are still following the Roman model and may very well suffer the same end.
Submitted by Virtual Newsroom