Athena democracy against the facism Sparta
Antic city-state gravitates between two centralization principles
a man or a law or two competitive logics: mendiocracy against facism. The third one, the productivism seems completely absent
of the political struggle. I did not find any individual politically successful due to his personal agricultural or artisanal
productivity. Super productive individuals were in fact called slave and live at the bottom of the political scale. They are
listener and killed if they do not listen and start to talk too much.
Athenian democracy appears around 500 BC Athena had a strong
military force due to its farmer-military-citizen ready to fight for their democratic right. Athena stop two militaries invasion
from the Persian empire.
The Athenian democracy is remarkable by the size 30000 of the
300000 Athenian had the right to debate laws. Usually, 6000 citizens effectively took place in the debate, which means that
entrepreneurial, commercial, artisanal and possible farmer had the capacities to take part in the debate.
Athenian remains in the history by their high achievement in
term of conceptualization. In fact, most of the concepts used in the antic world and the modern world came from the Athenian.
They creates the concept of history, physics, atom, democracy, philosophy, … they innovate massively in mathematics
and in medicine. This high level of conceptual capabilities is the sign of a highly engaged and debating society. Concepts
are created by individuals and spread through debate before becoming politically active. Then, concepts make the debated more
efficient and increase the capacity of city-state to innovate and to decide about the launch of national projects.
But in 404 BC, the Athenian democracy has been however destroyed by a city not also without interest Sparta in order to study facism political tendency and introduce the most successfully politic
state of the western antic world: the Roman republic. Sparta
has two elected kings for 1 year and so there are not really king and equilibrate each other. The Spartan laws were oral laws
and debate special policy maker, the gerousia, a council consisting of 28 elders over the age of 60, elected for life and usually part
of the royal households. High state policy decisions were discussed by this council who could then propose action alternatives
to the Damos, the collective body of Spartan citizenry, who would select one of the alternatives by voting. The Demos comprised the citizizens with military training most of the Spartian
male. The spartian society did not produce anything and were so a pure facist society. Sparta
had a small population of 10000 military males. Sparta submits
in its vicinity a far larger population of 200 000 helots which assures the agricole activity. The helots has to provide 50
% of their output to the Spartian state but keep the property of their land. Spartian had a tradition to make a yearly campagn
against Helots to preserve their submission. The Spartiate is a pure facisted in a sens that they were unproductive. The fact
that the products was robbed from the Helots make its easier to make the more egalitarian state in term of redistribution
of the output. Political initiatives should have rather been of limited: war or not. It should so have been relativily easy
to converge. Military efficiency means that Spartan were unified under the feeling of solidary and the shame of fear. Despite
its very small size, the Spartian state was the military power of greece.
It is the only state were 100 % of the population has the same jobs: military. As Spartan did not need to have any productive
incentive, egalitarism redistribution was the most beneficial and natural social system. Sparta last a long time till its avoid war, and just show its strength but in 430 BC. Sparta starts war against Athena and ultimately submit it. However, its military population reduces and Sparta
did not have the demographic base to quickly restore its strength. If you have 100000 citizens including 10000 military. Losing 4000 military in war was not a big deal at a population growing 2 % a year,
you will go back to 10 000 years in around 2 years. But from its initial base is 10 000 reduced to a base of 6000, it will
take log(10000/6000) / 2 % = 25 years.
Athena was well advance on their time. Most of the concepts uses in the western science came from the Athenian.
Athenia had a better balance of power between the three competitive of facisme, mendiocracy and productivism than any other
state. This balance had leaded to a lot of political initiative to citizens with others interest than military. The business
community and farmers had a real political influence on their world. But, as
a political system Athena failed and was defeated by a super facist State Sparta. It leads to the conclusion
that the society can not balance on mediocratic or productivisms competition if the facism competititive logic is not civilized
by a world social contracts.
And so, one super facist state has to defeat all his enemies under his rule in an empire covering all his known
world to become able to set a new moral rule to move political competition towards the productivism and mediocratism.
When a republic submits all monarchies
The roman republic appears 509 BC by an overdrown of the Monarchy and it by far the the successful political structure
of the ancient world. It ultimately end up by the facism competitive logic to start to move the competitive logic with the
emergence christianism towards mediacratic competive logic. The roman republic was cimented by the hatred of monarchy and
so the exitive was under the hands of two consules elected like in Sparta
for one years. The roman citizen were divided into two classes the wealthy patrician who held the place in the senate and
debated the law and the plebeian who elected representive to defend their interest named tribunes. In 287, the plebein obtain
the right to vote laws by plebiscites. The eager of roman farmer/legionary citizen to protect their freedom against Monarchies,
was the base of the military strength of Roma. The roman republic conquiert all Italy
and develop a western empire after its victory of the carthage
in 146 BC. The roman republic starts to conquiert an empire mainly to protect its freedom and then to rob and reduce to slavery
other people population. One of the caracteristic of Roman fascime is an explosion of the institution of slavery. Despite
Sparta, Rome successful accessimilate
population in the italian surrounding by giving them special political. The roman army becomes composed of legionary of non
roman stocks more attach to their general than the republican institution. This lead to several overthrough of the republican
institution by Sulla in 80 BC, Julius Caesar in 49 BC and finally Octave Augustus which establishes the imperial institution
in 27 BC. The law were replaced by imperial orders and ratified by the senate. Octave Augustus develop a network of governors
to administrate the province and a large bureaucracy. Those governers where from modest origines and so reliable to the emperor.
The victory of the roman republic leads an end of the fascism competitive over a large territories and so the mendiocratic
competive logic develop. The emperor was the source of power on the political power develop in the vicinity of the emperor.
On constrast, the emperor has difficulties to know what exactly go on in his empire and had to rely on his governors and huge
bureaucracy to get inform.
In his book, The Fall of The Roman, chapter: The limit of the empire, the historian Peter Heather illustrate the
political situation of the empire by the anecdote of the lepcis scandale:
IN AD 373
OR THEREABOUTS, the commander of Roman military force, in North Africa (in Latin, comes Africae),
one Romanus by name, was cashiered for provoking some of the Berber tribes settled on the fringes of the province to rebel.
Theodosius, the field marshal (magister militum) sent to deal with the emergency, found amongst Romanus' papers a highly incriminating
document. It was a letter to the cam commander from a third party, which included the following greeting from a certain Palladius,
until recently a senior imperial bureaucrat: `Palladius salutes you and says that he was dismissed from office for no other reason than that in the case of the people of Tripolis he spoke to the sacred ears [of the Emperor
Valentinian I] what was not true." On the strength of this, Palladius was dragged out of retirement from his country estates
and frogmarched back to Trier. Lying to the emperor was treason.
Rather than face interrogation, which in such cases routinely involved torture, Palladius committed suicide en route. The
full story slowly emerged.
The trail led back to 363,
Romanus had first been appointed. The countryside around the town of Lepcis Magna in the province of Tripolitania
had just been looted by Berber tribesmen from the neighboring desert hinterland, and its inhabitants wanted Romanus to retaliate.
He duly gathered his forces at Lepcis, but demanded logistic support to the tune of 4,000 camels, which the citizens
refused to provide. Romanus thereupon dispersed his soldiers, and no campaign was mounted. The outraged citizens used
their next annual provincial assembly, probably that of 364, to send an embassy of complaint to the emperor
Valentinian. Romanus tried to head things off at the pass, getting his version of the story to Valentinian first via a relative
called Remigius who was currently magister officiorum (something like the head of the Civil Service, one of the
top bureaucrats of' the western Empire). Valentinian refused to believe either version at first telling, and ordered a commission
of inquiry. But it was slow to get moving, and in the meantime further Berber attacks prompted the townsfolk of Lepcis to
send a second embassy to complain about Romanus' continued inactivity. Hearing of yet more attacks, Valentinian lost his temper,
and this is where Palladius enters the story. He was chosen to conduct a fact-finding mission, and was also given the job
of taking with him gifts of cash for the African troops.'
Following the emperor's orders, Palladius
travelled to Lepcis and discovered for himself the truth about what Romanus had - or rather, had not - been up to. At the
same time, however, Palladius was doing deals with the commanders and paymasters of African army units, which allowed him
to keep for himself some of the imperial cash in his care. Everything was set up for a meeting of minds. Palladius threatened
Romanus with a damning indictment of his inactivity, while Romanus brought up the small matter of Palladius' embezzlement.
In a devil's bargain, Palladius kept the cash, and, back in Trier,
told Valentinian that the inhabitants of Lepcis had nothing to complain of. The emperor, believing his time had been wasted,
unleashed the full apparatus of the law on the plaintiffs of Lepcis. Palladius was sent to Africa
a second time, to preside over the trials. With so much at stake far the judge, there could be only one outcome for the defendants.
So a few witnesses were bribed, and agreed that there had never been any attacks; the loose ends were neatly sewn up, probably
in 368, and one governor and three ambassadors were executed for making false statements to the emperor. There the matter
rested until Palladius' letter to Romanus came to light six years later. Two surviving ambassadors, who'd had the sense to
go into hiding when sentenced to have their tongues cut out, then re-emerged from the woodwork to have their say. The affair
duly claimed its final victims: Palladius, of course, and Romanus, not to mention the magister officiorum Remigius, and the
At first sight, there might seem nothing out of the ordinary here: negligence, embezzlement
and a particularly nasty cover-up. What else would you expect of an imperial structure caught in a declining trajectory towards
extinction? Ever since Gibbon, the corruption of public life has been part of the story of Roman imperial collapse. But while
the fourth-century Empire had its fair share of corruption, it is important not to jump to conclusions. In sources of the
time you can easily find examples of every kind of wrongdoing imaginable: from military commanders who artificially inflate
manpower returns while keeping their
units under strength so as to pocket the extra pay, to bureaucrats shuffling money around between different accounts until
it becomes `lost' in the paper trail and they can divert it to their own purposes.' But whether any of this played a substantial
role in the collapse of the western Empire is much more doubtful.
Uncomfortable as the idea might be, power
has, throughout history, had a long and distinguished association with money making: in states both big and small, both seemingly
healthy and on their last legs. In most past societies and many present ones, the link between power and profit was not even
remotely problematic, profit for oneself and one's friends being seen as the whole, and perfectly legitimate, point of making
the effort to get power in the first place. When our old friend the philosopher Themistius started to attract the attention
of the emperor Constantius in the early 350s, Libanius, a friend who taught rhetoric and was a great believer in the moral
values of a classical education, wrote to him: `Your presence at [the emperor's] table denotes a greater intimacy ... anyone
you mention is immediately better off, and ... his pleasure in granting such favours exceeds yours in receiving them.'
For Libanius, Themistius' new-found influence was not a problem: quite the reverse. In fact, the whole system of appointments
to bureaucratic office within the Empire worked or, personal recommendation. Since there were no competitive examinations,
patronage and connection played a critical role. In more than one speech to different emperors, Themistius dwelt on the topic
of 'friends', an emperor's immediate circle who were responsible far bringing to his attention the names of suitable appointees
for office. Certainly, Themistius wanted these friends to have powers of discernment, so that they would make first-class
recommendations; but he had no desire to change things in any structural way. Nepotism was systemic, office was generally
accepted as an opportunity for feathering one's nest, and a moderate degree of peculation more or less expected.
And this was nothing new. The early Roman Empire, even during its vigorous conquest period, was as much marked as were later eras by officials
(friends of higher officials) misusing - or perhaps one should just say `using' - power to profit themselves and their associates.
According to the historian Sallust, writing in the mid-first century BC, Roman public life had been stripped of its
moral fibber with the destruction of Carthage, its last major
rival, in 146 BC. In fact, though, the great magnates of public life had always been preoccupied
with self-advancement, and the early Empire had been no different. Much of what we might term `corruption' in the Roman system
merely reflects the normal relationship between power and profit. Some emperors, like Valentinian I, periodically made political
capital out of cracking down on `corruption', but even Valentinian made no attempt to change the system.' To my mind, it is
important to be realistic about the way human beings use political power, and not to attach too much importance to particular
instances of corruption. Since the power-profit factor had not impeded the rise of the Empire in the first place, there is
no reason to suppose that it contributed fundamentally to its collapse. In the Lepcis scandal, Romanus, Palladius and Remigius
overstepped the mark. Looked at more closely, Lepcisgate offers us something much more than a good cover-up.
IN THEORY, the emperor was the supreme authority when
it came to issuing general legislation, and in individual cases he had the right to modify the law, or break it, as he chose.
He could condemn to death, or pardon, with a single word. To all appearances, he was an absolute monarch. But appearances
can be deceptive.
Valentinian, a long-time soldier before his
accession, had first-hand experience of supervising the Rhine frontier; based at Trier,
he was close enough to investigate promptly any untoward incident. But a problem arising in Africa
was a very different matter. The first Valentinian knew of the Lepcis episode was the sudden arrival at his court of two diametrically
opposed accounts of it, one brought by the first legation from the provincial assembly, the other from Romanus via the magister
officiorum, Remigius. Trier placed Valentinian about 2,000
kilometres away from the scene of the action. As he couldn't leave the Rhine frontier to investigate one relatively minor
incident in a rather obscure corner of North Africa, all he could do was send a representative
to sort out the facts for him. If that person fed him misinformation, as was the case here, and ensured that no alternative
account reached the imperial ears, the emperor was bound to act accordingly. The essential point that emerges from Lepcisgate
is that, for all an emperor's power, in both theory and practice, Roman central government could only make effective decisions
when it received
accurate information from the localities. The regime of Valentinian
liked to style itself as the protector of the taxpayer from the unfair demands of the military. But, thanks to Palladius'
false report, the emperor's actions in the case of Lepcis Magna had entirely the opposite effect.
A leap of imagination is required to grasp the difficulty of
gathering accurate information in the Roman world. As ruler of just half of it, Valentinian was controlling an area significantly
larger than the current European Union. Effective central action is difficult enough today on such a geographical scale, but
the communication problems that Valentinian faced made it almost inconceivably harder for him than for his counterparts in
modern Brussels. The problem was twofold: not only the slowness
of ancient communications, but also the minimal number of lines of contact. The Lepcis problem was exacerbated not only by
the snail's pace of such communications as there were, but also by the sheer paucity of points of contact: two in the first
instance (the ambassadors, plus Remigius representing Romanus' view), supple supplemented by a third when Valentinian sent
his fact-finding mission in the person of Palladius. Once Palladius verified Romanus' view, that was two against one, and
Valentinian had no additional sources of information. In the world of the telephone, the fax and the internet, the truth is
much harder to hide. Beyond the immediate vicinity of his base on the Rhine frontier, Valentinian's
contacts with the city communities that made up his Empire were sparse and infrequent.
Insight into the problem is provided by another extraordinary
survival from the later Roman Empire: papyrus documents preserved through the centuries by
the dry heat of the Egyptian desert. (As fate would have it, most of the archive ended up in the John Rylands Library in Manchester, a city famous for its rainfall.) These particular papyri,
purchased by the great Victorian collector A, S. Hunt in 1896, come from Hermopolis on the west bank of the Nile at the boundary between
Upper and Lower Egypt. One key letter got separated front the rest, ending up in Strasbourg. When identified as part of the same collection, it became
clear that these were the papers of a certain Theophanes, a landowner from Hermopolis and a fairly high-level Roman bureaucrat
of the early fourth century. In the late 310s he was legal adviser to Vitalis who, as rationatis Aegypti, was the finance
officer in charge of the arms factories and other operations of the Roman state in the province. The bulk of the archive refers
to a journey
Theophanes made from Egypt
to Antioch (modern Antakya in southern Turkey,
close to the Syrian border), a regional capital of the Roman east, on official business, sometime between 317 and 323. The papers don't provide
a narrative of the journey - we can only guess what the aim of the mission may have been - but something in its own way more
valuable: packing lists, financial accounts and dated itineraries which, between them, bring Roman official travel vividly
Being on official business, Theophanes was
able to use the same public transport system that carried Symmachus to Trier,
the cursus publicus, which comprised neatly spaced way-stations combining stables - where official travellers could obtain
a change of animals - and (sometimes) travel lodges. The most immediately striking documents are those dealing with Theophanes'
itineraries: daily listings of the distances he managed to cover. Having begun the journey to Antioch
at the town of Nikiu in Upper Egypt, he eventually rolled
into the city three and a half weeks later on 2 May. His daily average had been about 40 kilometres: on the first part of the journey, through the Sinai
desert, he made only about 24 kilometres a day, but speeded up to about 65 once he hit the Fertile Crescent. And on a breakneck final
day into Antioch, scenting the finishing line, his party covered
over a hundred. The return journey took a similar time. Bearing in mind that Theophanes' official status allowed him to change
horses whenever necessary - so there was no need to conserve equine energy - this gives us a benchmark for the bureaucratic
operations of the Roman Empire. We know that in emergencies, galloping messengers, with many
changes of horse, might manage as much as 250 kilometres a day. But Theophanes' average on that journey of three and a half weeks was
the norm: in other words, about 40, the speed of the oxcart. This was true of military as well as civilian operations, since all the
army's heavy equipment and baggage moved by this means too.
The other striking feature of Theophanes' journey is its complexity.
As might be expected, given such rates of travel, only the top echelons of the Roman bureaucracy tended to travel outside
their immediate province - hence, lower-level officials wouldn't know their counterparts, even in adjacent regions. Egypt, for most purposes, ran itself, so Theophanes didn't usually need to know people in Antioch, and neither, for that matter, did he know people anywhere else
en route. Vitalis armed him, accordingly, with letters of introduction to everyone local communities were left - as the municipal
laws we examined in Chapter 1 imply - to be autonomous, largely self-governing communities.' Keep Roman central government
happy, and life could often be lived as the locals wanted.
This is a key to understanding much of the
internal history of the Roman Empire. Lepcisgate illustrates not so much a particular problem
of the later Empire, but the fundamental limitations affecting Roman central government of all eras. To comprehend the operation
of government fully, the logistic impossibility of day-to-day interference from the centre must be considered alongside the
imperial centre's absolute legal power and unchallenged ideological domination. It was the interaction of these two phenomena
that created the distinctive dynamic of the Roman Empire's internal functioning. Given that
administratively impossible for central government to control everything, anything to which it did add its stamp of authority
carried an overwhelming legitimacy, if put to the test. What tended to happen, therefore, was that individuals and communities
would invoke the authority of the centre for their own purposes. At first sight, this could suggest that the imperial finger
was constantly being stuck into a whole host of local pies, but such an impression is misleading. Outside of taxation, emperors
interfered in local affairs only when locals - or at least a faction of local opinion - saw an advantage to themselves in
mobilizing imperial authority.
We have already seen this pattern at work
in the early imperial period. As the Spanish inscriptions (pp. 38-9) show us, Roman-style towns existed right across the Empire
as a consequence of local communities adopting municipal laws drawn up at the centre. In particular, the richer local
landowners had quickly appreciated that securing a constitution with Latin rights was a path to Roman citizenship, which would
qualify them to participate in the highly lucrative structures of Empire. The story had its shadier side, of course. A grant
of Italian status was so valuable to the leaders of the community involved that they were willing to do whatever it took to
win the privilege, often by courting patrons at the centre who would put in a good word for them with the emperor of the day.
This kind of relationship between centre and locality was the bedrock on which the Empire was built."
The historian Peter Heather describes us the political situation of an empire which has growth up to protect
a huge number of its subjects from the risk to be raid by foreign enemy but he is now facing the problem of the blindness
of his decision center (the brain) who relies exclusively of the information from the local authorities to decide. We have
a brain where the eye and hear can change the information according to their own need.
However, the Roman
Empire as the Chinese empire in the East has created a situation where most of the citizens do not live anymore
with the fear of being killed, or plundered. It is a far contrast from the preceding period where Roman where in the constant
fear of being attacks by Gauls as it had happened in 387 BC.
Brennus (or Brennos) was a chieftain of the Senones, a Gallic tribe of the Adriatic coast of Italy, who in 387 BC, in the Battle of the Allia, led an army of Cisalpine Gauls in their attack on Rome. It has been theorized that Brennus is actually a title rather than a name.
The Senones captured
the entire city of Rome except for the Capitoline Hill, which was successfully held against them. However, seeing their city devastated, the Romans attempted to buy
their salvation from Brennus. The Romans agreed to pay one thousand pounds weight of gold. According to legend, during a dispute
over the accuracy of the weights used to measure the ransom of gold Brennus demanded, he threw his sword upon the scales and
uttered the famous quote "Vae victis!", which translates to "Woe to the conquered!". (Source Wikipedia.org)
the roman empire, every generation could expect to be invaded and plundered at least twice in their life time. They had so
to be able to train themselves to face a permanent risk of war. In the conquest of Gauls, Ceasar expands by diplomatically
facing Helvete than German invasors and justity the presence of the Roman army to the Gauls by securing their territories
from a foreign threat.
The Roman empire has changed this politic logic. The facism logic is institutionalized by a network of tax
collector who get a commission on the taxes they collected from the empire. The roman legion which break down revolts usually
fiscal and protects the border. The tax collector are supported from the legions. Most of the taxes are centralized on Rome and then dispatched back to the province to support pay legions.
In this centralization tax mecanism, the emperor and Rome
hold the power by being the center where the taxes are concentrated, the army recruited and then dispatched. It is illegal
for a provincial governor to recruit his own army to assure the defence of the province. So, as the incident of Lepcis demonstrates
the decision to dispatch an army has to come through Rome.
occurs in 58 BC, when pro consul Julius Caesar becames governor of Gauls cisalpine and uses locally collect taxe to raise
four legions to start the War of Gauls against the Helvetii which starts a migration to settle in Gauls. The recruitment through
local taxes was illegaled and Ceasar had to justify it by the Helvetii threat on roman alliis. Even so, Ceasar got numeruous
enemy who believes that Caesar wants to establish a tyranny. In 49 BC, Caeasar finishes to conquer Gauls, but he had to dispatched
his illegal army to face a trial in Rome and risking exil
or jail. Caesar did not dispatched his self recruit army and moved to take Rome with one of his legion after crossing the Rubicon. His legionaries
confidents on their tactical superioties of their general or willing to secure a land for their retirement decident to follow
their general against a rebellion against the Roman republic. The big civil war last up to the Battle of Munda in Spain in
45 BC. And, Caesar did end the republic roman by being nominate life dictator in 44 BC.
concept of centralized taxation is still the rule in modern state. In France,
an experimentation has been done by forcing companies to pay a taxe directly to University with the right to select the University.
The idea is to give a political power of companies over the University system to force Universities to adapt to the business
needed. In the area of networks, you can imagine a complex fiscal network from wealth producer: citizens or companies paying
their taxation directly to the administrations, schools, army, hospitals with the intermediary of agency and the capacities
of the tax payer to negotiate the right service for the right price. It was the case in many primitative society and despite
being inefficient to maintain a strong army to face an invasion, it was rather socially stable. People accepts to pay taxes
because they need the service but they also to have a power of negotiation to adopt the service to their needs and budgets.
But unfortunately, it stops to be so 2000 years ago, when the Roman emperial power
understood that the base of their power is centralized taxation. At the end of the roman empire, this taxation would end up
at around 60 % of the agricultural output and justify by the Persian Sassanide threat on the East Border in nowadays Syria and Iraq.
Taxation becomes the tools of transfer of power from the citizens to the central of government. At this time, it is not yet
necessary to justify and moralize this transfert of political power. The facist order roman legion give a good reason to pay:
pay your taxes or be crucified.
roman society, the facist competitive logic has been legalized and so stabilized. Inside the roman world under the rule of
one emperor, there is no political group or ambitious individuals, which is also to strengthen his political position by fact
of law. So, the only way for example to increase his self political power, it is through the mediocratic logic. Most roman
citizen of the empire will so past administrative exams to enter in the administration to serve the emperor or others civil
servants around the emperor. The emperor hold his power by collecting the taxes and its redistribution so it should satisfy
the most civil servant by offering a life long situation and fire him in case
of disobedience. This position will create individuals highly politize which will face situation in which they will have to
balance their social position against their conscience. To keep their job and for the safety of their families, they will
have to forget their conscience to the efficiencies of the imperial system. This is the first point of the powerful cultural
revolution of Christianity.
Christian political revolution
311, more than 350 after the foundation of the empire by the emperor Augustus, the emperor Constantine the Great autorizes
the proliferation of Christianity through the Edict of Milan. Christianity has a religious dispise by Roman citizen, the move
of the emperor towards mark a major change in the political values of the subject of the empire.
end of the republic, most of the upper class Roman declares themselves follower of the stoicism hellenistic philosophy.
the development of self-control and fortitude as a means of overcoming destructive emotions; the philosophy holds that becoming a clear and unbiased thinker allows one to
understand the universal reason (logos). A primary aspect of Stoicism involves improving the individual’s spiritual well-being: "Virtue consists
in a will which is in agreement with Nature." This principle also applies to the realm of interpersonal relationships; "to be free from anger, envy, and jealousy", and to accept even slaves as "equals of other men, because all alike are sons of God."
prime directives are virtue, reason, and natural law. Stoics believe that, by mastering passions and emotions, it is possible to find equilibrium
in oneself and in the world. Greek philosophers such as Zeno and Cleanthes, and later Roman thinkers such as Cato the Younger, Seneca the Younger, Marcus Aurelius, and Epictetus, are associated with Stoicism. Stoic philosophy is often contrasted with Epicureanism.
The Stoic ethic
espouses a deterministic perspective, in regards to those who lack Stoic virtue; Cleanthes once opined that
the wicked man is "like a dog tied to a cart, and compelled to go wherever it goes." A Stoic of virtue, by contrast, would amend his will to suit the world and remain, in the words of Epictetus, "sick
and yet happy, in peril and yet happy, dying and yet happy, in exile and happy, in disgrace and happy." For positing a "completely autonomous" individual will, and at the same time a universe that is "a rigidly deterministic
the foremost popular philosophy among the educated elite in the Greco-Roman Empire, to the point where, in the words of Gilbert Murray, "nearly all the successors of Alexander [...] professed themselves Stoics."
basis of stoiscism is to strengthen the individual by being capable to adopted the full control of himself. The religion was
extremely suitable to a warrior society which had to take a point to the individual sacrifice for the common cause and the
benefits of the common cause. Stoicism could be compared to today Zen Buddhism which can be understood as the philosophy of
Samurai. The samurai would search for a perfect control of themselves to succeed in combat.
of the republic look down Asian for their taste for good meal, their epicurism feminism character and their wickness at fight.
Julius Caesar was venerate by his legionaries for dorming on the floor in his tents during cold winter and risking his life
during the fight. It is an attitude of stoicist roman general. It was not the attitude of Asian king to improve the moral
of the soldier by sharing their destinies.
the start of the empire, Roman starts to have a taste for good meal, to be indiferent for politics and to accept the imperial
institution. The move of the empire was the start of a cultural swift in the western roman world.
Roman were involved in politics and ready to fight to maintain their individual political power but at the start of the empire,
Roman starts to like Asian (Greek and Egyptian) meals, and have a more. The institution of slavery took a major proportion
at the end of the republic. During the 70 BC slave rebellion of Spartacus,
Italy is reported to have 1 millions slaves for a population
of 7 millions. This new population was imported from abroad through warfare and during successive generation were slowly affranchised.
The roman citizen also was given to more and more people leaving in all the corner of the empire. So, we assisted to the growing
political significance of a population trained to be submitted to the authorities had a very different values system than
the combative roman republican.
century AD marks a spreading of Asian cult like the egyptian deis Isis or the persian god mithras. Most asian country lives
under Monarchy and so spread religious value supporting Monarchy. The emperor Augustus establishes his imperial cult as a
immitation of the god king pharaon. Like most god of an agricultarian society, Augustus pretend to be bornt the December 25th
from a virgin enfanted by the god Sun. The imperial cult starts by the initiative of Anatolyan greek and spread easily and
fast in the Eastern part of the empire. The roman aristocracy in the western part attaches to the lost republican values accepts
the emperor on the base of the benefits he gave them and not the imperial cult. Those benefits were games, free wheat and
an administrative career in the imperial bureaucracy.
context and from the lowest part of the society a new religion appears: christianism. Christian did not a chose a super man
as a son of god but one of them , Jesus of Nazareth, a man crucifies as a rebel leader by Ponce Pilate under the accusation
of King of the Jews. Jesus is a man who shares their hardship and so inspires them compassion not only for Jesus for themselves.
In choosing this new god, most Christian does not look to acquired superior capabilities to succeed better in their ambitious;
they chose to be part of a community, united under a common moral code.
conversion of Constantine
did Constantine find in Christianism ? Constantine is a succesful
military general, fighting and winning civil against other emperor, assassinating Maxentius,
his wife and his son, does not have any psychological character of a believer even less of a converter. There are some studies
about the psychology of converts mainly on Asian converters in Korea and
China. The ratio of converter is usually
3 women for one man. These ratio is corroborate by some study of Christian Community by an inventory of donnation. A christian
community in Tunisia prove to have 3 times
more women than man. Between male newly converter in new asian communities, you will hardly find an male individual with an
ambitious character like Constantine. It does not mean that
Christian children born from Christian can not be ambitious. The act of free conversion necessitated a reject of the current
values and a search for new values. To be bornt in a religion and staying in the religion of your parents is a completely
different process that will should be study in the chapter concerning genetics.
Constantine does not
have any reason to enter in a Christian community. He does not have any attraction for the Christian fraternity. He found
a religion which was one of the largest of the empire (from 2 % to 10 %). At the time of Constantine,
the province which has the largest Christian population was the African and the Asian. The Celtic northern province was indeed
very little Christianize.
he finds a body of citizen in search of a brain. And, Christianity should be understood as a social process
evolution towards a society where the largest part of citizens accept that decision concerning their destiny of the one of
their children will be taken by very few of them.
to the concept in the gospels of Mathew. 5, Jesus taught the beatitude, a glorification of submissive characters of the disciple
 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs
is the kingdom of heaven.
 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness:
for they shall be filled.
 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
 Blessed are the
pure in heart: for they shall see God.
 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the
children of God.
 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom
 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil
against you falsely, for my sake.
The parabole of the god shepherd in the latest of the gospels,
written when Christianity starts to be a separated religion, is even more revelatrice:
am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the
sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters
it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd; I
know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for
the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and
there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it
up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority
to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.
Believers are considered to be a sheep, who need to accept
the authority of Jesus to stay in the path. The sheep, who believes that he can find the path by himself, will be eaten by
The process is having disciples accepting to put themselves
down to deny their own capabilities, is extremely unconvenial and up to now I did not find any example in any others institutionalized
religion. In China
in 450 BC, Confucianism inforced a brain/body system by completely different kind of arguments. Confuscius justify the necessity a decision center on the person of the emperor. He will then explain the limitation
of the person as the reason of the imperial wrong doing. And then, Confuscius concludes that coordination of China gave to Chinese subject have more benefite to obey collectively the commands
of the emperor than to follow his own and eparse individuals choice. Confucius like most spiritual leaders never humiliate
his disciples by contesting their own judgment.
process is And it will find some
political value of the Christian scripture
influence of our genes
From this first genetic differentiation, the human nature develops
multiple characters with different individual benefits. One of them is the age differentiate. We are genetically programmed
to have changed of personalities according to the age. For example, children have a fearing individualist psychologist. In
face of dangers, they try to save themselves first. We all know characters that can be qualified of selfishness, which can
be attributed to the youngest. The young are always selfish because they have to stay alive and accumulate the maximum potential
(or properties) to secure their capacities to have children. For aged and middle aged individuals, the psychologies are completely
different. Individuals tend to give away their belongings toward the youngest and are usually ready to sacrifice their life
for their children. Another age-oriented attitude is learning programs. Human being likes most living creature is “programmed”
to learn different things at different age. Young girl are playing to be a mother at 6 and a nurse at 10. Young boy play to
war with their friend in the wood at 6, and to trading game or hunt building at 12. Those ages dependent psychology has one
major thing in common is this age is not a constant and varies considerably from an individual to another. Some individual lose their childish fear or their childish greediness very young. Others will keep
it to a very old age and might die before losing it. The age dependent psychological characters are extremely important in
order to consider in the variation of personality pool according to the environment. They depend of genes, which are limited
number of function so government could consider changing them without risking endangering the health of the newborn. For people
who are traveling and live in different continents, we have the tendency to see others childish according to some character
and they see us also childish according to other criteria. For example, adult African looks childish toward European due to
the directness toward the other sex or high attraction toward physical performance. Adult European looks childish toward an
Asian by its tendency to say jokes or sarcasm. Adult Asian looks childish toward European by its tendency to accept the authority
of the knowledgeable. Those characters were often believed to be a cultural artifact but in fact, you usually have the culture
that our genes can adopt. It will important to consider later why nature are programmed us to resist cultural changes and
the also variation between country and continents.