To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. - Sun Tzu

Sunday, July 10, 2005

The Rise of the Empire

Julius Caesar was a Roman general whose victories in Gaul (France) gave him widespread popular support which he used to acquire dictatorial powers, although there was opposition to his rule (as shown by the Last Republican Civil War). The at-least-somewhat democratic Roman Republic was replaced with the Imperial dictatorship. Destruction, civil anarchy, and oppression was the result. So, several Senators assassinated Caesar. But, rather than at last recognize the dead (and thus powerless) man's evil, Marc Antony remained loyal and turned public opinion against the Senators. In the civil war that followed, any hope of the Senate regaining its rightful power was utterly lost.

A tyrant must have popular support, or else he's just a crazy person raving on a street corner. Thus he must be a good liar and charlatan, because the people would never support him if they understood his true intention.

Because politics is far too confusing for the average citizen to pay attention, they only understand one thing about politics: There are two sides, and I must choose one. Further obfusication works in the tyrant's favor by ensuring that this choice is the only choice. When both sides seem equally appealing and equally distasteful (though for different reasons), they might as well flip a coin. So the tyrant immediately has half the population in his pocket. As long as the tyrant is able to offer some reason- no matter how ridiculous- for his actions, he will have half of the population. Being on the side of rightness and justice did not help Brutus and Cassius.

4 Comments:

Blogger WHAT?! said...

Hear hear.

Too bad, eh?

4:24 AM, July 17, 2005

 
Blogger Dear Humanity, said...

When did rightness or justice involve death? On what basis and what terms are you using the terms rightness and justice? I sincerely hope you are not forcing modern notions of those terms to an ancient context.

10:36 PM, July 19, 2005

 
Blogger RanDomino said...

There is no such thing as an 'ancient context'. Humanity has not changed enough in the last few thousand years to alter even one major concept.

3:03 PM, July 20, 2005

 
Blogger Liz said...

Strong argument, too bad those few sentances wouldn't constitute an essay
it could be widespread

8:37 PM, July 29, 2005

 

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