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Sat May 4, 2019, 05:41 PM

A brilliant post on Trump from Marcus Tullius Cicero.

From two thousand years ago.

Why trouble to list minor crimes -- forged legacies, business deals, fraudulent sales? For here you have someone who actually aspired to be the absolute monarch of Rome, indeed master of the whole world -- and that purpose he achieved! No one but a lunatic could describe such an ambition as honorable. For its approval is tantamount to applauding the annihilation of law and freedom and glorifying in the loathsome and dreadful act of their suppression.

Consider the paradox of the person who admits the wickedness of tyrannizing a country which was once free, and ought to be free still, but who nevertheless sees advantage in himself becoming its tyrant it he can. In the attempt to rescue him from that delusion there must be no limit to our reproaches and appeals. Who, in God's name, could possibly derive advantage from murdering his country? Of all murders that is the most hideous and repulsive: even when its perpetrator is hailed, by the citizens he has trodden underfoot, as 'Father of his Country'.

...True enough, if we follow the standards of public opinion, no greater advantage can be imagined than to be an absolute ruler. But when we apply the standard of truth instead, the man who has achieved this position by wrongful means proves to have acted in variance with his own interests. Agonies of anxiety, terrors day and night, a life on incessant plots and dangers, cannot possibly bring any advantage. 'To the throne many are hostile, many disloyal, few friendly', wrote Accius. But the monarchy to which he was referring had been legitimately handed down from Tantalus and Pelops. Whereas our own autocrat was hated on a far, far wider scale. For he had actually used the armies of Rome to crush the people of Rome; he had converted our nation....into servitude to his own person.

Think of the corruptions and sores which must scar that man's conscience and his heart! How can anyone derive benefit from his own life, if unheard-of popularity and glory can be won by its destruction? Power on this scale looks extremely advantageous. But the loads of shame and sin weighing it down deny this is so, and afford a further proof that nothing which is not right can be of advantage.


I'm reading 'Cicero - Selected Works', and while it is full of incredible insight, this passage leaped off the page and smacked me in the head.

All of this has happened before. But unlike Cicero, who was surrounded on all sides by an entire nation of MAGAnazis and spoke bravely and in public view against an enormous tide, there are now more of us than there are of them. He was executed and his body parts hung in public view by Mark Antony for resisting dictatorship; we shall survive to win in the end, and the tide will turn, and though the Throwbacks will struggle on for many generations their time is closing fast to be swept from history as the Less Thans they truly are.

They will not prevail.

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Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
Reply A brilliant post on Trump from Marcus Tullius Cicero. (Original post)
byronius May 4 OP
Kurt V. May 4 #1
UniteFightBack May 4 #2
Ponietz May 4 #6
saidsimplesimon May 4 #3
ananda May 4 #4
burrowowl May 4 #5
marylandblue May 4 #7
barbtries May 4 #8

Response to byronius (Original post)

Sat May 4, 2019, 06:11 PM

1. K&R i started Everitt's Cicero a few days ago. amazing person to say the least.

the one you're reading should be required for all dem leadership

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Response to byronius (Original post)

Sat May 4, 2019, 06:23 PM

2. And his words persisted. nt

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Response to UniteFightBack (Reply #2)

Sat May 4, 2019, 08:05 PM

6. Nevertheless

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Response to byronius (Original post)

Sat May 4, 2019, 07:16 PM

3. "Forewarned is Forearmed'

Brilliant indeed, byronius, thank you for sharing lessons from the past that we Americans ignore at our own peril.

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Response to byronius (Original post)

Sat May 4, 2019, 07:25 PM

4. Very interesting and prescient.

Thanks for posting.

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Response to byronius (Original post)

Sat May 4, 2019, 08:02 PM

5. I got a falling apart book Cicero

it is in Latin, Cicero has some great thoughts and comments.

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Response to byronius (Original post)

Sat May 4, 2019, 08:07 PM

7. Cicero thought his problem was Caesar, but

his real.problem was uneven distribution of land (income inequality in our terms) and political system too paralyzed and tone deaf to do anything about it. Which why killing Caesar dis not mark the return of the Republic, but the end of it.

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Response to byronius (Original post)

Sat May 4, 2019, 09:26 PM

8. everything old is new again.

how could i have been so naive to think it wouldn't happen here?

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