In his book, America the Virtuous, Claes Ryn cited (p. 196) a great quote from Joseph Schumpeter’s essay on Imperialism. Does this sound at all familiar? Try substituting ‘America’ for ‘Rome’ and ‘American’ for ‘Roman’.
There was no corner of the known world where some interest was not alleged to be in danger or under actual attack. If the interests were not Roman, they were those of Rome’s allies; and if Rome had no allies, then allies would be invented. When it was utterly impossible to contrive such an interest–why, then it was the national honor that had been insulted. The fight was always invested with an aura of legality. Rome was always being attacked by evil-minded neighbors, always fighting for a breathing space. The whole world was pervaded by a host of enemies, and it was manifestly Rome’s duty to guard against their indubitably aggressive designs. They were enemies who only waited to fall on the Roman people.
For better or worse this is what I did with the last day of 2012. I guess it must look bizarre as shit but hopefully it will make some kind of sense. I wrote a Masters thesis a few years ago that touched on similar themes and would like to do a PhD on the subject at some stage.
Check this out for a little more explanation if needed: http://historicalunderbelly.wordpress.com/manufacturing-scapegoats-moral-disengagement-in-history/
“Naturally the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.” – Hermann Goering during the Nuremberg Trials.
• What a terrorist incident in Ancient Rome can teach us: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/30/opinion/30harris.html?pagewanted=all
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