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Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Fri Jan 20, 2017, 01:17 AM

2. America does indeed have similarities to the Roman Republic's long, slow decline.

And if current events are mirroring those that happened in the first century BC, we are not yet at the Julius Caesar stage; rather, we are where things stood following the civil war between Marius and Sulla Felix. But even the war between Marius and Sulla Felix wasn't the beginning of Rome's decline. For that, you have to go back two generations, or roughly 50 years before, to the time when the brothers Gracchi, Tiberius and Gaius, tried to reform Rome's political system controlled by the landed wealthy.

The brothers were populares ("men of the people" and the wealthy Senators who were their opponents were called optimates ("best men". Long story short, Tiberius and Gaius lost their lives, one by a rival mob and one by his hand to avoid the tender mercies of a second mob, and the Republic's control was retained by its version of the 1%. Approximately 50 years ago, America lost reformers John and Robert Kennedy to that peculiar form of political violence of the time, assassinations. I consider them our nation's Gracchi, and the loss of RFK and all that America could have been under his presidency is one of our history's worst tragedies.

Jump ahead to the Marius and Sulla Felix conflict, and you'll see that it was basically between a politician who believed he was entitled to the highest office in the land (Marius, wanting yet another go at being co-consul) and a crass pig who was the darling of the traditional, conservative optimates (Sulla Felix). The funny thing about Sulla Felix was that he liked to hang out with his less savory friends when he was having a good time, but the traditionalists somehow looked beyond that, much like today's evangelicals do with Trump.

Sulla eventually got himself installed as a dictator, and as a dictator, he was determined to settle scores with his political enemies, see them dead, and have their property confiscated. You can spot a similar vindictive streak in Trump. With Erik Prince whispering in his ear from the shadows, who knows how far he'll go? Trump sees "enemies" instead of political rivals. Richard Branson said when he met with Trump, all the man talked about was exacting revenge. So take that for what it's worth.

Should America continue to slide into the abyss much like the Roman Republic, I think we're one generation removed from the rise of a Julius Caesar. This Caesar type will proclaim to be a man of the people who rails against the elite, but in truth, he (like Trump) will be an optimate, a member of the 1% or at least their darling. And if he's from the military, and a general who inspires the troops to be more loyal to him than the country they serve, we are all in for a world of sorrow.

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ProudLib72 Jan 2017 OP
yortsed snacilbuper Jan 2017 #1
LineNew Reply America does indeed have similarities to the Roman Republic's long, slow decline.
Efilroft Sul Jan 2017 #2
ProudLib72 Jan 2017 #3
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