A vital (and unlearned) lesson from Julius Caesar

When a band of Roman traitors was uncovered, he urged they not be killed due to the precedent it would set

Julius Caesar then stood and noted that Roman law forbids the execution of Roman citizens even for heinous crimes, and that executing the conspirators would thus require the creation of a radical and dangerous precedent: dangerous because to vest the power in the State to kill its own citizens, even if justified in the specific case where it is first done, would be to vest the power generally and thus ensure its inevitable abuse. Thus, even as Caesar ... Full Story »

Posted by Dwight Rousu

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Randy Morrow
4.3
by Randy Morrow - May. 9, 2012

These men began at first by putting to death without a trial the most wicked and generally hated citizens, whereat the people rejoiced greatly and declared that it was well done. But afterwards their licence gradually increased, and the tyrants slew good and bad alike at pleasure and intimidated the rest. Thus the nation was reduced to slavery and had to pay a heavy penalty for its foolish rejoicing. . —- No one needed to be a genius, or a furtune-teller to see the future. They all remembered the past, and most voted to execute anyway, because, of course, Catlina “deserved it,” and, all that nonsense that happened a mere 17 years earlier, well, that is just irrelevant!

A history lesson from Mr. Greenwald with obvious implications for the present.

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