History....When Do We Learn From It?
As a round about belated birthday/anniversary present my wife and I spent yesterday at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
As an ardent student of the arts one of her favorite subjects is the Greek and Roman period. As it happens there is curently an exhibit of Roman Art from the Lourve in Indy. This made my gift shopping an easy one this year.
As we browsed through the displays of marble statues and read the history of their origin it ocurred to me that much of the good in our form of government and the freedoms we share as citizens is patterned after the Roman Empire.
Continuing on through a few more viewings and readings however, it became equally obvious that much of the graft and corruption we see in our government from the local all the way up through the federal levels has its roots in the same era.
The framework for a slave to become a freedman, obtain citizenship and have a voice, however small in his local government, along side the emperor's and Senates propensity to sell out to the highest bidder should it suit the purpose of either at a particular juncture.
So hence the question. When do we or have we learned from history? The inbreeding, arrogance, and greed of the Roman Empire ultimately led to its demise.
Are we as a democracy (oops! a representative republic) destined to suffer the same fate? Or will we choose to learn from the mistakes of the past and strike a new path? Will we use our freedoms to preserve our way of life by getting involved in the process or stand silently by as we watch it slip from our grasp?
Pertinent questions I think for citizens, candidates and current office holeders alike.
Happy campaign season!