September 29, 2005
A Question For Our Times

Here’s a question for Chuck and all of you others out there smarter than I, the answer to which might help in our mutual and ongoing struggle to save America from the currently dominant forces of weakness and decay. What are some examples, from the Roman or any other empire, of figures who attempted (either in vain or successfully) to slow the decline of their civilizations? In other words, who in history has played the prophetic Robert Byrd or Howard Dean role of trying to reverse the potentially fatal weakening of a great nation led by the likes of America’s current Weakener-in-Chief, George W. Bush? It seems to me that study of the successes and failures of such historical figures might be of help to us now.

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Posted by Wayne Uff at September 29, 2005 06:45 AM
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Probably the best example of that was Augustus, who saved Rome from its ongoing collapse and ushered in a Golden Age (for the average citizen) that endured for some 300 years. Unfortunately, he did so in a bloody coup and converted the Roman Republic into a military dictatorship in the process. (Or rather, finalized its conversion, since it was bound to go that way in any case due to its structure.)

Still, if anyone's interested, I posted some excerpts from an excellent biography of Augustus that have some applicability today.

http://www.davetrowbridge.com/MT/archives/week_2002_07_21.html#000333
http://www.davetrowbridge.com/MT/archives/week_2002_07_28.html#000375

Posted by: Dave Trowbridge on September 29, 2005 11:45 AM

I don't think this is exactly what you had in mind, but what about Gandhi? There are certain parallels to the stories.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gandhi

Posted by: Buck on September 29, 2005 2:51 PM

Sir Thomas More. More understood that a man compromises the foundation of a country by refusing to stand up for the rule of law. In Bolt's masterpiece More's character chides his pragmatic son-in-law, "This country is planted thick with laws from coast to coast. Man's laws, not God's. And if you cut them down - and you're just the man to do it - do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? " More lost his head by speaking truth to power. Not a bad way to go.

Posted by: bill doolittle on October 1, 2005 6:19 AM
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