21 aprilie este atît ziua Reginei Marii Britanii, cît și ziua Romei, apărută în 753 î.C. Dacă primeia îi dorim sănătate, să vedem ce scria, în 1944, Will Durant, în ”Caesar and Christ: The Story of Civilization”, despre Roma. Despre căderea ei. Într-unul din cele 11 volume dedicate istoriei lumii.
I. WHY ROME FELL
”The two greatest problems in history”, says a brilliant scholar of our time are, ”how to account for the rise of Rome, and how to account for her fall”. We may come nearer to understanding them if we remember that the fall of Rome, like her rise, had not one cause but many, and was not an event but a process spread over 300 years. Some nations have not lasted as long as Rome fell.
A great civilization is not conquered from without until is has destroyed itself within. The essential causes of Rome’s decline lay in her people, her morals, her class struggle, her failing trade, her bureaucratic despotism, her stifling taxes, her consuming wars. Christians writers were keenly appreciative of this decay. Tertullian, about 200, heralded with pleasure the ipsa clausula saeculi – literally the fin de siècle or and of an era – as probably a prelude of to the distraction of the pagan world.
Mai departe puteți citi aici. Și apoi vă mai puteți gîndi la ce se întîmplă acum în Europa. Nu e nimic nou sub soare.
UPDATE: Am primit de la Yeba o excepțională completare:
Durant is probably most accurately classified as an agnostic, but he says that on balance, religion has done far more good than harm for civilization. Durant contends that civilizations and cultures decline and die when they lose their moral compass. And they lose their moral compass when they lose their religion. Simply put, those contemplating crime are more likely to be detered by the wrath of God than the long arm of the law.* explicația citatului o găsiți dacă scroll down a sec.
Pentru cine zice că n-are atâta timp pentru cartea recomandată în articol,
unde există o recenzie pentru cine zice că n-are timp, iar la începutul comentariului meu BONUS; BONUS; găsiți ideea principală pe care o scot eu pentru cine n-are timp deloc-deloc, nici de recenzia unor eseuri, dar tot vrea să înțeleagă ce se întâmplă !!!
In one of the interviews that serve as interludes between the chapters of his book, Will Durant says he started his career as a liberal and became more & more conservative during his fifty year career as a historian. If he was a conservative, he was a rather liberal one. Some of the ideas he voices would be anathema to conservatives. E.g. Wealth concentrated into fewer and fewer hands should be redistributed to the have nots. Liberals on the other hand, would be distressed by other of his views. E.g. Once the wealth gets redistributed, government should not attempt to prevent the talented and industrious from re-accumulating it.
The paradox is not really paradoxical at all. Obscene wealth in the hands of a very few causes unrest (and eventually revolution) among the obscenely poor. On the other hand, if industry and talent are not rewarded, culture stagnates. Durant gives the fall of the Roman Republic as an example of an obscenely rich aristocracy committing political suicide by refusing to peacefully redistribute some of their wealth to the poor. The economic stagnation of Communist East Europe serves as an example of what happens when you stop the natural flow of wealth back to the talented and industrious.
Durant makes some statements that would get him lynched in the 21st Century American media. E.g. „Only those who are below average really want equality.”
Durant voices many other thought-provoking opinions. You may not agree with everything he says (his wife doesn’t), but you will certainly be stimulated to deep thought by what he says.I was somewhat amused by the interviews interspersed among the chapters. The reverential awe shown by Durant’s interviewer was quite neatly counterbalanced by the sardonic wit of Durant’s wife, Ariel. When Durant said something she didn’t agree with, she let you know about it and gave excellent reasons for her disagreement. Durant quite wisely did what any intelligent husband would do. He almost always let her have the last word.
”The Lessons of History”
A concise survey of the culture and civilization of mankind, The Lessons of History is the result of a lifetime of research from Pulitzer Prize–winning historians Will and Ariel Durant.With their accessible compendium of philosophy and social progress, the Durants take us on a journey throu…