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View Diary: "Newsbusters" Has A Sad About Something I Wrote. Well Allow me to Retort... (208 comments)

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  •  I don't think either of them failed. (1+ / 0-)
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    Athenian democracy was more explosively creative in its relatively short lifetime than all other Greek states combined in all of the rest of their history combined.  Its ideas seeded the entire Mediterranean, even if the states that resulted failed to equal its freedom or brilliance.

    The Roman Republic channeled its democratic passions - which in Athens were unstable and chaotic - into a relatively stable legal framework that allowed it to survive and prosper for 400 years before its uglier elements started to tear at the political fabric of liberty.  It was so successful that it died of its own excesses, becoming so rich in territories and slaves that the Republic itself was swallowed up by its own imperial machine.  

    Every civilization at the time had the same ugliness of slavery and brutal military conquest underlying it, but Rome had built something brilliant on top of that violent base, and the "barbarized" Roman citizens of the Pax Romana were a lot freer and more prosperous than they ever were as illiterate Iron Age tribesmen.  The fact that they did not have the same freedom and inquisitiveness as the Roman Citizens of the Republic only means that the same genius was spread more thinly over a wider territory and greater population.

    If a democratic state's creations survive and are built upon by future democracies, it is not a failure.  America, even if it were to end tomorrow, would not have been a failure.  For all that Americans are despised for spreading useless crap like McDonald's to the world, it was this country's brilliance that outshone and defeated the 20th century totalitarian states.  This country that showed humanity a universe of unlimited possibilities by walking on the Moon.  This country that gave mankind a collective mind in the Internet.  We have succeeded.  We have advanced the species.  Our contributions are immortal as long as humanity survives, as are those of Athens and Rome.  And I don't think we're done yet.

    In Roviet Union, money spends YOU.

    by Troubadour on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 06:47:12 PM PST

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