Two Republics

America does not have a right to exist. America is simply a collection of ideals bound together by the belief that men have inalienable rights that can neither be taken nor given. However, the thing about inalienable rights is that one must buy into this belief that they can neither be taken nor given. When this belief set is no longer held, man will allow themselves to be bound to those that they are willing to allow to enslave them. Inalienable rights are a foundation. And on that foundation are built further principles into the system of governance defined by our founding fathers. A system of self-governance rather than tyrannical rule is the next precept that follows in American’s philosophy of inalienable rights. The methodology of self-governance builds upon the ideology of inalienable rights by way of allowing citizenry to vote or select representation that maintains that the passage of laws governing the tribes of the land will not inflict harm on what are believed to be ideals that man cannot give or take away. But when these rights are no longer found at the core of the citizenries ideology, or the model of self-governance turns toward tyranny and forces rule upon its citizens without choice, the Republic is not failing it has already fallen.

In what is now considered the latter days of the Roman Republic, the citizens of Italy and the government were in a state of turmoil. The growth of the Republic brought with it great wealth and acquisitions, but it brought a tremendous divide and began creating factions in the political system. The largest of the dividing factions consisted of “old money” families with great fortunes as well as various classes and land owners whose main desire was for the continuation of the Roman State known as the Optimates. The other largest faction consisted of families with political power that began to amass the poor or “the mob” as support. This second faction used social issues to manipulate the lower classes for their bidding. This group, known at the Populares had only political ambition at their disposal, and used the needs and desires of the common man to gain a foothold and political capital.

At the center of the Populares movement were two brothers, Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus, often referred to as The Gracchi. The Gracchi began social programs and influenced the passage of social regulation that slowly began eating out the heart of the Republic and created a snow ball effect of consequences to the economic and social system. The growth of the Republic required new recruits. But social policy said that the Legion could not take recruits that were landless. And land owners were not entering the military because the economic system was forcing small farms into failure. Rich land owners would then buy up these farms and continue to prosper. While those that did not own land were not allowed to be recruited by the Legion to have a chance to turn their life around and make something out of themselves. Furthermore, these landless individuals were no longer hired by landowners because the landowners could import slaves at a cheaper rate. The result was Romans across the middle and lower classes out of work. Because of the lack of small farms food supplies began to run short. The solution to these problems became more government involvement, more social programs, and attempts at greater government power.

The Gracchi are credited with the foundations of socialism and populism. Their time is considered the period of the fall of the Roman Republic and the institution of the Caesars and the Roman Empire. The only reason that history exists is that one learns from it. The situation in the Roman Republic is as different as it is similar to the Republic of the United States of America. But the time line is intriguing. America has not always been at the forefront as a world leader. In fact for the majority of her lineage she has been relatively shut off from most world events, or arguably at least events outside of her hemisphere. It was really not until we as a people came out of World War II victorious, our country unscathed and our factories and people ready to work and help rebuild Europe that we emerged as a first world power. And in the last 60 years we have slowly forgotten the lessons of history. We have built up our social programs, we have awarded the lazy, we have punished diligence and hard work, we punish prosperity, and we even punish our citizens for dying. We redistribute because life is not fair. We create programs to create work to provide citizens benefits and when those programs do not create jobs we simply enforce benefits through taxation without choice.

When the people allow their government to forget the social contract between them, the system is broken. When the citizens speak out against their government and the government ignores the will of the people and responds in tyranny that, “We’re going through the gate, if the gate is closed, we’ll go over it, if it’s too high, we’ll pole vault over it, and if it’s even higher, we’ll parachute in,” the system is not broken, the Republic has fallen. The next six months are potentially some of the most important in our nation’s history. It is time we learn from past, retake our country, and rebuild the Republic.


Originally published at The Daily Caller.

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