“His view of government was that it should guard the borders of the state against barbarian aggression, promote the welfare and respect the rights of its subjects, appoint competent and honest people to high office, and enforce just laws. During the course of the past few decades, however, a regine of men and women, most of whom were unqualified for office, had set out to destroy both the stability of international order and the very foundations of lawful society. They had initiated two horrific wars on flimsy pretexts. Though they preached liberation, they had brought ony ruin upon the lands they had sought to liberate as well as upon their own armed forces, which they ground down through protracted service, often incompetent leadership, and penny-pinching fiscal policies. The liberated peoples were exposed to constant attack by local insurgents and to the rampant corruption and arbitrary rule of the imperial officials in charge of pacification and reconstruction. Moreover, while promoting such “glory” abroad, the regime had actually exposed the homeland to sudden and devastating attacks by enemies both old and new. Major cities, centers of commerce and culture, were destroyed by foreign attacks that could have been prevented. Few felt safe.”

Anthony Kaldellis opens his translation of Prokopios: The Secret History, with the above. Prokopios was writing about his government, Constantinople in 550 A.D., but the above could and probably should be applied to my government in 2012 A.D. The exact same thing is going on again, at a different technological level which has only seemed to increase the body count and the frequency of death. I don’t often express my political opinion, but reading this intro staggered me.

George Santayana: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”


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