For Marx and Engels, as for many radicals of their time, the civilizations of Greece and Rome were advances over what they called Oriental Despotism. But Micheal Hudson contests this. He points out that the rulers of the civilization of Mesopotamia were smart enough to forgive the debts of the lower classes and preserve their society. The Greeks, and especially the Roman rulers, would not forgive debts and their civilizations collapsed. Hudson argues that the Anglo-American Empire is on the same course as the Romans.