New Civilization News: The Arrogance of Power    
 The Arrogance of Power22 comments
picture19 Mar 2003 @ 21:30, by Quidnovi





The First Triumvirate, consisting of Julius Caesar, Crassus, and Pompey, came to power in 59 BC when Caesar was elected consul
The way to power in Rome was through military conquest; this gave the general a loyal army, wealth (from the conquered), and popularity and prestige at home. So the governorship of Illycrium and Gaul allowed Caesar to become the general and conqueror he so desperately desired to become.
[Caesar] was given imperium over the Roman Empire and was, for all practical purposes, above the law and the constitution. He reformed the government in many ways, but these reforms were functionally meaningless considering his absolute power. Caesar's absolute power, imperium (which made him imperator, or Emperor, of Rome), looked suspiciously like a monarchy, which, for all practical purposes, it was.
----Richard Hooker, Rome, Julius Caesar


The last to hold the title of pontifex maximus under the Roman Republic were Julius Caesar (62-44 BCE) and M. Aemilius Lepidus (44-12 BCE). After Lepidus the title passed to Augustus, and henceforth the title of pontifex maximus would be a prerogative of the emperor.

Augustus promoted conservative Republican values,...tried to restore faith in the Roman state by equating his role as pontifex maximus with religious and moral values,...and used religion to reorganize state and to establish his own rule. He assumed the title of Pontifex maximus (head priest).
His views on morality extended to laws regarding adultery and unchastity...
---The Pax Romana of Augustus


On June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was assassinated while visiting Sarajevo.
The Austrian government blamed Serbia for harboring terrorists and sent the Serbian government an ultimatum with which that country found it impossible to comply.
During the month of July, European diplomats debated whether to engage in a war to obtain certain long sought goals, colonies, and justify a huge military buildup.
---Madeline Antilla

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20 Mar 2003 @ 06:48 by catana : And so it goes
History repeats itself, and the little guys always get it in the neck.  

23 Mar 2003 @ 13:11 by quidnovi : The Arrogance of Power
Speech delivered on the floor of the US Senate
by US Senator Robert Byrd

I believe in this beautiful country. I have studied its roots and gloried in the wisdom of its magnificent Constitution. I have marveled at the wisdom of its founders and framers. Generation after generation of Americans has understood the lofty ideals that underlie our great Republic. I have been inspired by the story of their sacrifice and their strength.

But, today I weep for my country. I have watched the events of recent months with a heavy, heavy heart. No more is the image of America one of strong, yet benevolent peacekeeper. The image of America has changed. Around the globe, our friends mistrust us, our word is disputed, our intentions are questioned.
We flaunt our superpower status with arrogance. We treat UN Security Council members like ingrates who offend our princely dignity by lifting their heads from the carpet...
A pall has fallen over the Senate Chamber. We avoid our solemn duty to debate the one topic on the minds of all Americans, even while scores of thousands of our sons and daughters faithfully do their duty in Iraq.

What is happening to this country? When did we become a nation which ignores and berates our friends? When did we decide to risk undermining international order by adopting a radical and doctrinaire approach to using our awesome military might? How can we abandon diplomatic efforts when the turmoil in the world cries out for diplomacy?

Why can this President not seem to see that America's true power lies not in its will to intimidate, but in its ability to inspire?  

23 Mar 2003 @ 23:17 by vaxen : Byrd knows...
all of the answers and he is just giving himself a way out...he thinks...for when the ire of the republic, gee I wonder why he did'nt call it a democracy, greets the traitors in the Whitehouse with Mao Tse Tungs definition for power.

Byrd is a hypocrit and liar and worse then the bunch of em! "A Byrd in the hand is worth two in the Bush!"  

23 Mar 2003 @ 23:34 by vibrani : Yeah
Do you support Saddam's ideas of inspiration? 9/11? Chemical and biological warfare, killing his own people, and others? Sure, following your comments you'd say he's much nobler in his inspiration than those fighting his terrorism, tyranny, crimes against humanity.  

24 Mar 2003 @ 09:53 by quidnovi : ?
Hmmm...{link:|Ad Hominem} attacks have never been of great interest to me, though I understand how some might find them appealing or psychologically satisfying. Whatever one's personal feelings might (or might not) be as to the person of Robert Byrd (it would appear there are people who do not like him very much here:-), the point still remains that the senator has been speaking what is on a lot of people's mind (whatever his reasons for his doing so might or might not be) and he has been making some interesting and some very well articulated points.

Now, does being critical of the current administration make one a supporter of Saddam? The idea is so preposterous that I don't even think I need to go {link:|there}. Furthermore, quoting {link:|Michael Moore}: "as Bill Maher said last week, how bad do you have to suck to lose a popularity contest with Saddam Hussein?" I don't think there is any danger of that. Do you? But again, I am sure that there are people who do not like Bill Maher or Michael Moore very much either.  

24 Mar 2003 @ 11:24 by vibrani : Bill
I'm a big fan of Bill Maher - have you read his latest book? It's excellent. In it you will see him pay tribute to Al Gore for long ago stating that we have to get off oil dependency because of the terrorists, like Saddam. He knew what was coming. Michael Moore's speech made me ill, however, I still see his films. Being critical of the administration unfortunately does make one a supporter of Saddam at this time because there is no other way to get rid of him (all efforts were exhausted) than by force. If you don't support ending terrorism, getting rid of Saddam, then what do you think you are supporting?  

24 Mar 2003 @ 11:52 by martha : old style thinking
"Being critical of the administration unfortunately does make one a supporter of Saddam"
I'm sorry nora but this is old style boxed thinking. There are more then two ways to look at anything and that includes this war. I am against the war and I am not a supporter of Saddam. I want to end terrorism but war is not the way. Please do not box me in with all those people that support Saddam. I find it offensive.  

24 Mar 2003 @ 11:57 by vibrani : Same question to you, Martha
How do you propose to handle this situation peacefully? We've all tried that, it doesn't work. For a month I've asked everyone this question and yet no one has a solution. Do you have one?  

24 Mar 2003 @ 12:03 by quidnovi : False Dilemma: the "Either-Or" Fallacy
As synchronicity would have it, it turns out that Catana just recently posted and interesting piece about Samuel Bois and the {link:|Either-Or Fallacy} which does somewhat relate to the issue at hand.  

24 Mar 2003 @ 12:03 by martha : question or not
Whether I have the answers as to how to end this peacefully does not negate the fact that there are many ways to view a problem. And simple "either or" thinking will only continue the conflict.  

24 Mar 2003 @ 12:04 by martha : oh look
we posted at the same time and both said "either or". A synchronicity!!!!!!! LOL  

24 Mar 2003 @ 12:14 by vibrani : Yes
There are many ways to look at a problem, many of the ways have already been tried. Unfortunately, only criticizing our administration does no good, either. And refusal to take action is interpreted by Saddam and a certain segment of the world, as taking sides WITH Saddam. Saddam is more than happy to have people with those viewpoints doing his work for him. If everyone was united, I really feel that he could have been forced to get out peacefully. But, thanks to France, Germany, Russia, etc., Saddam found a way to divide people and gain support. It doesn't matter to him what your reasons are, how he sees it and how it plays out is in favor of Saddam.  

24 Mar 2003 @ 12:27 by quidnovi : Many ways indeed...
...and more than one way to skin a cat: {link:|Illogical reasoning of a war against Iraq}.  

24 Mar 2003 @ 15:56 by b : No reasoning with the insane
An imperator was a Roman who won a war. Declared imperator he was allowed to triumph in Rome for a time of celebration.(at his triumph a man was assigned to sit in the imerators chariot to call out to him during the parade"you just a man." Gais Julius Caesar, Marcus Crassus, Gnaeus Pompeu Magnus, created a faction in the Roman Senate to counter the faction of the Boni who after many defeats became the so called 'liberators" who murdered Caesar,Dictator. All ancient history. Not much to relate to in todays events except betrayal, that which we still see. That hasn't changed.  

24 Mar 2003 @ 16:40 by quidnovi : All ancient history...?
Is it now?

{link:|Militarized Globalism and Empire}: Advocates, Skeptics, and Critics.  

24 Mar 2003 @ 17:15 by b : Thanks Quidnovi
Ancient history except as relates to betrayal. It is true that USA was founded upon principles of the Roman republics but democracy in the form of elected representives was vigorously applied with a structure of Judicial, Legislative, Executive. Interesting link.  

24 Mar 2003 @ 23:43 by jazzolog : Re: Senator Byrd
Way, way back, as we entered the 1960's, there was a United States Senator named William Fullbright---from Arkansas. Arkansas! We in the Civil Rights Movement seemed to recall this guy dug in his heels against integration. So imagine our surprise when he began to take on President Kennedy over such matters as invading Cuba and sending "advisors" to Viet Nam. Through that decade Senator Fullbright emerged increasingly as the main friend war resisters had in the Congress. Eventually, with his authoritative leadership, the whole country was turned around.  

25 Mar 2003 @ 21:37 by ashanti : U

25 Mar 2003 @ 21:51 by ashanti : ?_

26 Mar 2003 @ 00:58 by quidnovi : Johnson's war
Thank you Jazzolog for this leap into the past---a lot of time travelling on this post, it seems. (I was just a toddler back then...)
People + information = change. Senator {link:|William Fulbright} is an interesting and timely example. In his book, "The Arrogance of Power", Fulbright wrote that "power tends to confuse itself with virtue" and a great nation is peculiarly susceptible to the idea that its power is a sign of God's favor.  

26 Mar 2003 @ 02:20 by jazzolog : Speaking Of Time Travel...
I just finished reading an essay at Online Journal that expresses more precisely the perception of my generation, here in the States, than almost anything I've ever read. I put the link up at jazzoLOG, under the comment Nationalism's Bloody Claws. I'm sure you'd like it.  

28 Mar 2003 @ 10:22 by quidnovi : Empire vs. Multilateralism
Glad, you liked the link to the {link:|Defense Strategy Review Page}, bbee, it's an interesting site that I have selected as it presents a wide variety of views on the issue.

The point is that the word EMPIRE (whether we like it or not) has become again the buzz word of our times:

1. There are those who express concerns that the New World Order is beginning to look more and more like the Old World Order.

Remember "White Man's Burden?"

"Although Kipling's poem mixed exhortation to empire with sober warnings of the costs involved, imperialists within the United States latched onto the phrase "white man's burden" as a euphemism for imperialism that seemed to justify the policy as a noble enterprise. Anti-imperialists quickly responded with parodies of the poem. They focused on the new warfare in the Philippines, the hypocrisy of claiming moral sanction for a policy they argued originated from greed for military power and commercial markets."
---Jim Zwick, "The White Man's Burden" and its Critics

2. There are those who feel that EMPIRE is a misnomer and insist that this is not what's happening at all as our aim is only to make the world a better place for all, where economic freedom and democracy are allowed to thrive.

"The American soldier is different from all other soldiers of all other countries since the world began. He is the advance guard of liberty and justice, of law and order and of peace and happiness."
---Elihu Root (Secretary of War, 1899)

3. The viewpoint that came (to me) as a shock though is the perspective of the proud "new imperialists", who coming out of the closet are saying, "of course that's what it's about. And it's about time too!":

"Being an imperial power...means enforcing such order as there is in the world and doing so in the American interest. It means laying down the rules America wants (on everything from markets to weapons of mass destruction) while exempting itself from other rules (the Kyoto Protocol on climate change and the International Criminal Court) that go against its interest."
---Michael Ignatieff, NY Times Magazine (05 January 2003).

4. And then there are those (of which I am) who feel that "The multilateral system of global governance should remain the only response to all challenges facing humanity today." To that regard, I'd like to take this opportunity to direct those that this position interest to an excellent and very {link:|pertinent piece} Kim (Ashanti) has recently posted on that subject.  

Other entries in
17 Nov 2008 @ 10:11: My 'story' I just uploaded to
8 Nov 2008 @ 16:06: A Boy Named Sue and the False American Dream
7 Nov 2008 @ 16:01: No He Can't...
6 Nov 2008 @ 09:16: History is NOW
5 Nov 2008 @ 16:58: Obamas World - Africa and the World beyond Poverty !? - but how? - what world?
5 Nov 2008 @ 14:02: Proud to be An American
26 Oct 2008 @ 15:26: Systemic Intelligence: How to teach Systemic Thinking effectively

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