Revelations 17: 5 (Amplified Bible) And on her forehead there was inscribed a name of mystery [with a secret symbolic meaning]: Babylon the great, the mother of prostitutes (idolatresses) and of the filth and atrocities and abominations of the earth.
I believe Babylon is the symbolic name for mankinds rule of the earth. As in Daniels interpretation of the dream of nebucannezer. The babylon spoken of here, the woman on the beast is the last incarnation of that rule, or the new roman empire. Jesus is supposed to come and destroy the last world empire and replace the empires of men. (see below)