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In the Spiral of History - In the Shadow of Leaves
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In the Spiral of History
From Lawyers, Guns & Money, on Israel, the USA and the Roman Republic:
Simply because something must happen does not mean that it will happen

Settlements, Bailouts, and the Roman Republic


The Roman Republic faced a series of internal crises that were evident to all and that desperately required political solution; moreover, the contours of such solution were evident to most of the relevant political players, and in the abstract were achievable ... The institutions of the Roman Republic, solid enough for five hundred years, were insufficient to actually achieving the necessary solutions. In the face of crises that demanded solution, the Roman Republic crumbled, because the institutional structure created vested interests and veto points that prevented the achievement of any solution. The Republic could not save itself because its very structure prevented it from doing the things that were necessary to reform. Almost no one wanted this outcome, but no one could stop it from happening. It's not that people are stupid (although many are) or dishonest (although many are); its that the institutions make certain outcomes difficult to achieve.
and in the comments
Rob good post and good summation of the political situation in the Roman Republic in its last years. One interpretation of Julius Caesar's motives for bringing down the Republic, was that he didn't believe the existing political system could continue administering the Roman provinces. A good part of his career was spent in various postings in different provinces, in Bithnyia, Spain, northern Italy, and of course Gaul. So he had a better grasp of what the situation was like in the provinces than his political opponents, many of whom (like Cicero) hardly ever set foot outside of Rome their whole lives.
Henry | 09.30.08 - 11:49 pm

You might also make an analogy to August 1914. The Great Men of Europe certainly knew what should have happened and they knew how to make it happen. But it did not happen.

James E. Powell | 10.01.08 - 12:25 am

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