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Number 953, December 24, 2017

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Lessons from Rome
by Jim Davidson

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Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

“It is difficult to resist the conclusion that the loss of political liberty had somehow stifled the spirit of individual initiative. It is a striking fact, as we have seen, that after the second Century AD literature and art had suffered complete decay. The same phenomenon occurred in the sphere of local self-government. Finding that they were in no real sense the master of their own destiny, men lost the sense of individual responsibility. …Under a bureaucratic government subordinates came to rely on the guidance of their chief; and few were likely to undertake the responsibility of independent action, the credit for which, if it succeeded would go to their imperial master, the blame, if it should fail, be visited upon themselves.”
— Cyril Robinson, History of Rome, second edition, 1941

Call me crazy and you'll join a long line of persons who have already done so, but it does seem to me that it is little wonder that art and literature decayed dramatically in the period following the hunting down and murder of Cicero who was one of Rome’s most famous authors. Why was Cicero, an author whose body of work was so vast, and whose influence was so great that up to the 19th Century nearly every author was regarded as either reacting against or returning to his style, hunted down and killed? Oh, he said some things that upset Marc Antony, who was politically powerful at the time. Early in the First Century BC., Antony had Cicero hunted throughout Italy and on being found, had him killed and his head and hands brought back to Rome where they were nailed to the Rostrum for all to see. Something of an object lesson there for the budding author, yes? One would think.

So, today, we have Hillary Rodham Clinton and her apparently evil psychopath husband Bill Clinton who were not content with mass murder in Texas, in Somalia, in Kosovo, and elsewhere, but also have continued to engage in revenge killings, it would seem, if we are to judge by the continuing deaths that dog everyone who ever speaks out against them. Just recently a doctor, whose dead body was found by his eleven-year-old daughter sitting in a bathtub with a knife plunged into his chest, was noteworthy for having pointed out that the Clinton Foundation had raised great amounts of money for Haiti relief and did not perform any meaningful relief activities in Haiti. I will not dignify the thought that his truth telling constituted “criticism” nor that his death should be regarded as a suicide, although those ideas are being reported in the hoax stream media.

The cost of keeping an overseas empire is very high. It is high in dollar terms, because of all the expenses of deploying troops to about 900 military bases (that we know about) and keeping them alive and occasionally capable of fighting against various “enemies” real and imaginary. Much of the dollar cost is paid over to corrupt contractor companies that rent seek for special deals and buy off politicians, so there is an obvious “benefit” to politicians and bureau-rats and military contractor companies in spending these dollars. Of course, there is also a huge cost in the lives of American soldiers, in the lives of foreign soldiers and civilians, and in the blowback which comes when the survivors of dead people overseas engage in acts of retribution, often against handy targets such as American civilians. The cost of empire includes your difficulties when you travel, the supposed “security” provided by having your body cavities probed by the filthy hands of disgusting TSA “agents” and the disinclination of people all over the world to be especially welcoming of Americans. Try opening a bank account in another country if you don’t think your welcome is limited and thin.

The system you live under is a plantation of slavery that was designed by Washington and Hamilton. Abraham Lincoln put all the American people on that plantation. Franklin Roosevelt began slaughtering Americans for profit. And Richard Nixon took away all pretence that you are entitled to get ahead in the hoax stream economy by demolishing the last connection between the dollar and precious metals. Since 1971, the disparity between the richest and the poorest has grown dramatically, and the middle class have been attacked, deprived, and destroyed, repeatedly.

The comparisons are many and varied and ought to be considered, but they are too numerous for this essay. Suffice to say that if you want to find monuments to the stupidity of the USA government, you need not look very hard to find them.

Happily, for the last 35 years, a large number of computer enthusiasts have been hard at work figuring out how to fix these problems. We have developed a wide array of technologies for communications privacy, data security, and financial autonomy. Efforts to control freedom or to limit in any way are extremely tiresome, and, today, very easy to circumvent.

A time is coming when the politicians who have been raping, fondling, and murdering children, who have a huge slush fund in Congress to pay for the silence of their many victims, and who eagerly accept more and more money to distribute borrowed money while repeatedly increasing the “debt ceiling” and pretending to care what their constituents think, are going to lose all their power. Some, I suspect, are also going to lose their lives, possibly after losing various body parts to the angry families of their victims. As ever, I need not lift a finger nor encourage a single action for me to be sure that all that needs to be done is going to happen. If I’m expected to shed a tear for the death of a child rapist, feel free to explain why that would be.

Many changes are coming. The “fall of Rome” though, should not be lamented. Rome was a corrupt, inefficient, bureau-rat ridden, and evil atrocity in itself, and not in any way a contributor to art, science, or learning. The world was well shed of Rome itself, a parasitical city that brought huge amounts of wealth from many parts of the world to itself through various forms of extortion. Until one day when they ran out of other people’s money.


Jim Davidson is an author, entrepreneur, and story-teller. He blogs at and at and is occasionally willing to post a thing or two on Facebook or LinkedIn. He’s been writing white papers for crypto currencies and doing all manner of other subversive things for many decades.

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