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Lessons in the Decline of Democracy From the Ruined Roman Republic

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Posted By: humboldt, 8/6/2020 12:23:24 PM

The U.S. Constitution owes a huge debt to ancient Rome. The Founding Fathers were well-versed in Greek and Roman History. Leaders like Thomas Jefferson and James Madison read the historian Polybius, who laid out one of the clearest descriptions of the Roman Republic’s constitution, where representatives of various factions and social classes checked the power of the elites and the power of the mob. It’s not surprising that in the United States’ nascent years, comparisons to ancient Rome were common. And to this day, Rome, whose 482-year-long Republic, bookended by several hundred years of monarchy and 1,500 years of imperial rule, is still the longest the world has seen.

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There are troubling similarities in the circumstances that led to the end of the Roman Republic and those which we face in the U.S. now, although I believe there here the perversion of the court system by those who would destroy our republic represents a greater threat than a military coup.

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Reply 1 - Posted by: Laotzu 8/6/2020 1:19:03 PM (No. 501911)
So long as the federal government has the incohate potential to get involved in any matter at any time, there is no end in sight to the fight-to-the-death to be in charge and the associated moral and legal corruption. The only solution to our current dilemma is a re-interpretation of the Commerce Clause to limit the federal government's role in commerce to true interstate commerce, not the made-up standard adopted under FDR of anything that affects commerce. We can only reduce the current contentiousness by putting less at stake. We can only put less at stake by reducing the federal government's role in all things. We can only reduce the federal government's role in all things though a return to pre-FDR constitutional doctrine.
16 people like this.

Reply 2 - Posted by: Dodge Boy 8/6/2020 2:33:00 PM (No. 501967)
Read up on the Rise and Fall of Great Civilizations. There are several publications on this. On its current trajectory, the United States of America is in the eight and final stage.
8 people like this.

Reply 3 - Posted by: hammondb3 8/6/2020 3:08:24 PM (No. 501992)
"The Decline of Democracy" is easy to explain. Democracies ALWAYS decline. Always. 100%. That is why our Federal Government originally only allowed the House of Representatives to be filled by a democratic popular vote. I will say it one more time. Democracies ALWAYS decline. Oh... did I say ALWAYS?
9 people like this.

Reply 4 - Posted by: TXknitter 8/6/2020 3:22:30 PM (No. 501999)
I believe then that the only real solution is what Mark Levin proposes - the Article V Convention of States. The federal government including a corrupt self-serving judiciary that reaches into each state is just never going to right itself.
11 people like this.

Reply 5 - Posted by: texaspast 8/6/2020 4:59:40 PM (No. 502040)
I highly recommend the book 'The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic' by Mike Duncan. As I read it last year I was amazed at the similarity between what was going on in Rome in the last few decades before the fall of the republic. Fantastic book.
2 people like this.

Reply 6 - Posted by: wjr 8/6/2020 6:49:20 PM (No. 502077)
Democracy does not work. It never has worked and never will work. Republics work as long as they are not perverted and altered into democracies. We are a republic, not a democracy. We do not need mob rule -- see the French Revolution for an example -- but we are moving into a Jacobin democracy phase quite quickly with folks like the jerks in Portland not being severely put down.
7 people like this.

Reply 7 - Posted by: wjr 8/6/2020 6:52:18 PM (No. 502078)
Number 5 -- look's at Simon Schama's Republic for a taste of the future. A brilliant book.
1 person likes this.

Reply 8 - Posted by: billsv 8/6/2020 10:21:47 PM (No. 502133)
During this time period Rome was plagued with several outbreaks of measles epidemics.
1 person likes this.

Reply 9 - Posted by: Trigger2 8/7/2020 5:10:54 AM (No. 502271)
The problem with the USA, is that the Ddemonrat party was created to cause insurrection and to usher in communism. Demonrats are jealous of all dictators and how rich they've become from the backs of the paeons.
0 people like this.

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