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Old 12-07-2015, 11:27 AM
Location: Fortaleza, Brazil
2,993 posts, read 5,040,716 times
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Does anyone here was ever interested in the politics of the Roman Republic before the times of Julius Caesar?

Do you think politics in the Roman Republic at that time were very different of politics in most democratic countries today, or do you think there are many similarities, and the way politicians act today have not changed much in relation to politics of that time?

How different is the Senate of the United State today compared to the Senate of Rome, for example?
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Old 12-07-2015, 11:43 PM
Location: Aloverton
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I don't think political fundamentals are much different now than in the Roman Republic. The powerful people will maintain their power. They will either cut the public in for a decent share, at which point they are entitled to squabble over the rest and get rich with minimal interference, or they fail to cut the public in, and face potential for discontent. In that case, they can suppress the discontent with propaganda, religion, policing, or whatever they think will keep the public from interfering with their pursuit of power.

The U.S. Senate differs markedly from that of the Roman Republic in its functions, but it has many similarities in its makeup. The lowliest, dumbest U.S. Senator is a person of immense power and prestige, whose influence is courted by many. With the exception of rare Catos, most U.S. Senators are of patrician stock, and are harder to get rid of than cancer once they get into place. The biggest impact of the U.S. Senate is that it gives less populous states a disproportionate voice in national decisions, including presidential elections. There are arguments to be made for and against that, but it is the reality. Without the Senate, Wyoming for example (roughly 0.1% of the U.S. population) would have so little influence that it might as well have no representation at all. That'd be rough on a state whose people manage and live on an area the size of Austria and Hungary combined. In Alaska's case, with maybe 0.2% of the population and about a third of the national land area, even more so.

Our quaint national conceit is to imagine that we are somehow special, and a departure from history. We're not; ours do better than some in the past and present, worse than others.
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Old 12-08-2015, 04:40 AM
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Exactly the same. You had the Optimates who supported aristocracy, and the populares who leaned towards Democracy. Certain institutions assuaged either group--the Senate the Optimates, the tribunate the populares. The world keeps turning and always ends up in the same place.

A word to the wise--contrary to popular belief, it is always the left that destroys a republic. Caesar was a populare. There are those who point out that Sulla, an optimate, set the precedent for Caesar by naming himself dictator, but this is incorrect, as that was only a response to the five illgal consulships of Marius, Caesar's uncle.
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Old 12-15-2015, 06:38 AM
Location: Fortaleza, Brazil
2,993 posts, read 5,040,716 times
Reputation: 1703
Interesting inputs...

How many politicians we have today who are like Lucius Sergius Catilina?

More, I guess, than politicians who are like Marcus Tullius Cicero...
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