Saturday, February 11, 2017

Fit For Empire

As an antidote to reading waaay too much current events / political coverage lately, today I'm rereading Francis Bacon's Essays.

Written about 450 years ago, I figured these musings by the shrewd English philosopher and statesman would give some perspective.  

Yes indeedy.  

Turns out, people are still pretty much the same people now as then.  Political forms are different - absolute monarchs being thinner on the ground today (though that could change) - but politics is still politics.  

Then, while still remembering this morning's headlines about the beginning of sweeping deportations, I read this ancient news-flash:

" All states that are liberal of naturalization towards strangers, are fit for empire."

Bacon goes on to talk about how the Roman empire was the most welcoming of foreigners, inviting them into full citizenship.  This warm welcome and easy assimilation was the great strength and richness of their empire... the very thing that permitted their civilization to flourish and grow.  

Any present day applications come to mind?

A bronze statue of an aristocratic boy - Roman - the Met CC0

The essay is "Of the True Greatness of Kingdoms and Empires."  The Roman Empire lasted 500 years, will ours last the next 260 if we become "ill-liberal" towards strangers?

No comments:

Post a Comment