Saturday, June 02, 2007

The Responsibilities of Citizenship

Parallels are drawn on the Hugh Hewitt Show, with Classical Historian Victor Davis Hanson:

Hugh Hewitt:

Now, Professor, you just mentioned the massacre at Cannae, and some people wonder whether or not this country, America, could endure any kind of sustained losses in a military conflict of the sort we are in now. Rome took, what'd you say? 600 a minute?

Victor Davis Hanson:



...and then said, 'well, we'll have to reconstitute.' Do you see the ability for a Western democracy as lax as ours to absorb such a... even minor amount of punishment as that?


Well, it's hard to know, because we've lost... we're in almost a state of paralysis, we're losing as many people in a year as the Romans lost in a minute at Cannae, so it's a staggering thing to ponder. Western society goes in cycles; the same, small little weak, rather impotent Roman Republic that was able to withstand that just 700 years later when they had... a million square miles of territory and 70 million people could not do that in the 5th century AD, so they began to pay gold to people like Atilla and the Osgoths, and they could not win at like places like Adrianople, simply because they forgot what it was to be a Roman, and whether it was better than the alternative, and what were the sacrifices and responsibilities involved in citizenship.

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