Upon Reading a History of the Roman Republic

 

The Roman Republic began to fall apart and degenerate into a dictatorship when the old virtues were forgotten, and comity was cast aside in the pursuit of political power.

The forms of Roman government were not adequate to resist men who no longer honored political norms.   The Roman Republic was founded in about 500 BC.  By 55 BC, Rome had divided into gangs that fought each other in the streets.  The men who tore down Rome claimed to be doing it for the poor classes, but after a time it became clear that what they were after was power for themselves.

John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

As morality and religion fall away in America, we are beginning to see what happens when the Constitution is no longer adequate to govern the people.  

In short, we have become a nation where political opposition leaders and their supporters are prosecuted and thrown in jail on trumped up charges. Where government agencies are used against the people in service of the bureaucrats.  Where science and learning are corrupted for political ends.  Where military misadventures are punctuated by military incompetence and even the very men and women who serve in the military no longer regard service to their country as important.  Where moral values are turned on their heads with people supporting murderous terrorists and cheering the destruction of shops and businesses wholesale.  Where homeless people crowd the streets.  Where the people are divided into groups based on immutable characteristics and set to war on one another.  Where young people can no longer afford housing.  Where people charged with upholding the laws refuse to do so.  Where discrimination against people based on race and sex is encouraged.  Where the victims of terrorism are spit upon.  Where higher education has become subversive, seeking the destruction of their own nation.  Where devaluation of the currency and harming the economy is looked upon as an expediency.  Where floods of foreign invaders are looked upon as a political strategy. 

Despite the best efforts of men like Cato and Cicero, the Romans could not pull themselves out of the downward spiral that led to the dissolution of their republic.  The result, after much bloodshed and dislocation, was the Roman Empire.  The Romans, however, had a big advantage over America in that there was no Communist China, no hostile gang of Islamic states, and no Russia waiting in the wings for Rome to grow weak from internal strife.  The result for us may be to be overrun rather than to become some sort of dictatorship.

Ben Franklin told us that we had, “A republic, if you can keep it.”  The Romans had a republic for 527 years, although the last 100 years were violent and bloody.  We may have ours for less than that.

Published in History
This post was promoted to the Main Feed at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 12 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Ole Summers Member
    Ole Summers
    @OleSummers

    I have always felt the end of the third Punic War marked the true end of the Roman Republic, point at which it began the path toward what was to come and away from what it had been. Cicero was about at least a half a century too late and paid with his life. 

    • #1
  2. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    I’ve been saying we were at about 100 BC, but time marches onward.

    • #2
  3. Michael Minnott Member
    Michael Minnott
    @MichaelMinnott

    A republic cannot survive two things:

    1. A disenfranchised underclass.
    2. Welfare state indigence.

    A disenfranchised underclass (think of the masses crossing our border) has no connection to its host society.  They have not put down roots and have no sense of investment in their community, or country.  This can develop over time, but it takes time.  Until that happens they are a source of social and political discontent.  This is not their fault, it is our fault for our own irresponsibility and greed (spelled cheap labor and an easily manipulated voting block).

    Placing swathes of the populace on the government’s welfare plantation turns them into political mercenaries.  They have no loyalty to community, or country, just to whoever is sending them free stuff for votes.

    Rome’s decline tracked with the rise of slave labor and decline of freehold farmers, combined with bread-and-circuses and devaluation of their currency.  This will likely be the cause of our end as well.

    • #3
  4. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    I have been thinking that Trump’s winning as POTUS is now the only way he stays free. This is very late Roman Republic stuff. 

    • #4
  5. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Michael Minnott (View Comment):

    A republic cannot survive two things:

    1. A disenfranchised underclass.
    2. Welfare state indigence.

    A disenfranchised underclass (think of the masses crossing our border) has no connection to its host society. They have not put down roots and have no sense of investment in their community, or country. This can develop over time, but it takes time. Until that happens they are a source of social and political discontent. This is not their fault, it is our fault for our own irresponsibility and greed (spelled cheap labor and an easily manipulated voting block).

    Placing swathes of the populace on the government’s welfare plantation turns them into political mercenaries. They have no loyalty to community, or country, just to whoever is sending them free stuff for votes.

    Rome’s decline tracked with the rise of slave labor and decline of freehold farmers, combined with bread-and-circuses and devaluation of their currency. This will likely be the cause of our end as well.

    Right. Now, what channel are the NFL playoffs on?

    • #5
  6. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Outstanding post.

    Horrible.  But outstanding.

    • #6
  7. Jim George Member
    Jim George
    @JimGeorge

    I agree with @drbastiat completely and request permission to publish this on my blog with proper attribution, of course. 

    How do we make more of our fellow citizens aware that all hell is about to be unleashed on all of us? 

    • #7
  8. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Jim George (View Comment):
    request permission to publish this on my blog with proper attribution, of course

    You, apparently, did not go to Harvard…

    • #8
  9. Jim George Member
    Jim George
    @JimGeorge

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Jim George (View Comment):
    request permission to publish this on my blog with proper attribution, of course.

    You, apparently, did not go to Harvard…

    Damned lucky to be able to go to LSU! Had I gone to Harvard I would have been just another woke loon!

    • #9
  10. Roderic Coolidge
    Roderic
    @rhfabian

    Jim George (View Comment):

    I agree with @drbastiat completely and request permission to publish this on my blog with proper attribution, of course. 

    How do we make more of our fellow citizens aware that all hell is about to be unleashed on all of us? 

    No problem.

    • #10
  11. Jim George Member
    Jim George
    @JimGeorge

    Roderic (View Comment):

    Jim George (View Comment):

    I agree with @ drbastiat completely and request permission to publish this on my blog with proper attribution, of course.

    How do we make more of our fellow citizens aware that all hell is about to be unleashed on all of us?

    No problem.

    Thank you. My blog is jimgeorge.substack.com.

    • #11
  12. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) 🏴 Suspended
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    I don’t think that even China is a threat to overrun the US, even if we became a dictatorship.  Empires and dictatorships can be very prosperous.  Rome prospered as an empire.  Russia is much less of a threat than China, and the Islamic nations are much less of a threat than Russia.

    Moreover, Rome did face external threats, most notably from the Parthian Empire, aka the Persian Empire.  The full Roman Empire was successful for about 500 years after the end of the Republic.  The Eastern Roman Empire, aka the Byzantine Empire, remained successful for almost another 1,000 years, though it lost territory to a series of Muslim empires, eventually being destroyed by the Ottoman Turks.

    • #12
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.