The Consent of the Governed

The Fourth of July is an especially relevant time of the year to discuss the idea of a government’s legitimacy.  After all it was the Founding Fathers’ dissatisfaction with George III’s unaccountability to his American subjects that led to the founding of our country.  Such slogans as “taxation without representation is tyranny” show that the colonists were acutely aware that they did not possess any mechanism to make their wishes known to their king.  Parliament may have been at that time much less powerful as a democratic force in the British monarchy than it currently is but it did represent the common Englishman at the highest levels of government.

The principle involved is that consent of the governed is necessary for a government to be considered legitimate.  Whether that consent is grudging or enthusiastic is a matter of degrees and in either case recognizes that the governed concedes to following the laws provided by the ruler.  In the ancient world before democracy was a thing often the legitimacy of the ruler was wrapped up in divine right.  This assumed that the king was of the same people as those ruled and his relationship with the culture of his people was deep and meaningful to them.  In such a situation the people would endure quite a bit before they would revolt because they assumed that their gods had their best interests in mind and so they trusted in their greater wisdom, even when the results were brutally hard.

But when the ruler was a foreign conqueror, an emperor of some other nation then consent was the choice between slavery and death.  But even that is consent.  It is recognition of the balance of power.  It is choosing life over freedom.  And to the extent that you want to spare your children it is a long-term agreement.

In the modern era representative government provides much more scope for consent.  The formation of a strong middle class has made democratic governments more stable and produced a society where the governed feel that their leaders are accountable to their needs.  But with the introduction of socialism and communism  in the late 19th century forces have been unleashed on democratic societies that empower the most radical and least disciplined portion of society and turns it into a tool that can be manipulated by demagogues and even powerful elites that see it as a weapon with which to subjugate the middle class.

We are in such a situation now.  The Constitution with its enumerated Bill of Rights is being ignored by the elites and their toadies in the government.  We are being stripped of freedom of speech and religion and the right to bear arms.  What is occurring is a coup d’état facilitated by the elites and empowered by the mob against a middle-class people too habituated by order and stability to react as forcefully as is warranted.

What remains to be seen is when or if the American people withdraw their consent.  If they don’t then they’ll become a conquered people no better than the Roman citizens who slowly by degrees became serfs indentured to the Roman nobles and then Germanic chieftains who owned them.

But if instead they come to their senses, they can pretty quickly re-establish their rights.  When a court, even the Supreme Court clearly breaches the Constitution it’s time to start ignoring the decisions of that court.  It’s time to withdraw consent from that government.

If a state declared itself no longer bound by clearly unconstitutional laws it will be very difficult for even the mighty United States federal government to uphold that law.  Much of the enforcement of even federal laws depends on the good will of state and local law enforcement.  Without that good will it becomes a struggle just to know if the law is being broken.  And if the State government is actually hostile to a law it could become virtually impossible to enforce.  And if the federal government is under the leadership of a conservative president it would be simple for enforcement of unpopular laws to fall completely by the wayside.  A really far thinking conservative could dismantle whole departments of the federal government whose only job it is to harass the American people with all sorts of bureaucratic restrictions on their liberties.

So, it remains to be seen if the present American nation has as much courage as their colonial predecessors.  Patrick Henry said, “give me liberty or give me death.”  We can get away with just pointing at the Constitution and saying, “freedom of speech, freedom of religion, right to bear arms, leave me alone.”

Which way do you think it will go?


Will the American People Finally Revolt Against the Tyranny of the Left

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I Suppose This is the Civil War

When all the major cities in your nation are burning and the police are under attack on the streets they are supposed to protect and the perpetrators are alleged citizens of your country then I guess you could call that civil war.

It’s a little hard to know because similar things have happened a number of times before and each time, we had some other name.  Unrest, outrage, protest.  And the actions of Antifa muddy the waters somewhat because they are anarchists and in a sense aren’t normal Americans (whatever that means today).  But with whatever caveats and reservations attached, there are now two groups in this country that cannot be reconciled to each other.  One group has allegiance to the American republic that existed before the 1960s and another one that wants to tear all that down.

The 2020 election will be a proxy for this clash.  We’ll see if the center can hold.  The danger is whether enough women will be cowed by the violence and capitulate.  Women (and millennials) are easily frightened and also easily manipulated by the media.  It plays on their emotions and elicits feelings of fear and guilt by confusing who is the victim and who is the perpetrator; what is reasonable and what is rash; what is justified and what is cruel.

I said the election is a proxy for the war but won’t end it either way.  If President Trump wins, which I think he will, the other side will get even crazier.  It’s hard to imagine how they’ll top this week but they will.  At this point I don’t think there is any action that is out of the question from their side.  And I mean that literally.

Now, if they win, I expect a combination of things.  There will be a lot of that talk about reaching across the aisle and reaching consensus as a smokescreen for a barrage of executive orders to consolidate control of the population.  This will involve first and second amendment curtailments.

So, either way the war will go on but I won’t pretend I don’t care who wins the election.  Winning it is the chance to act openly and stick it to our enemies.  Winning this election will finally win the Battle of the Supreme Court.  And I see that as the only avenue to finally liberate our side from the unconstitutional restrictions on free association and all the other infringements that the social justice regime has inflicted on us over the last fifty years.  Red States can write their own laws and an originalist Supreme Court can back their play and unchain the American people from virtual slavery.

Looking at the rioting and looting that has gone on in the last few days I think we may be looking at an inflection point.  New York came back from bankruptcy and anarchy in the late 80s by facing down the ancestors of the people who ripped it apart this week.  Back then they said to the criminals and losers that they wouldn’t allow lawlessness to destroy the life of the city.  But I don’t think that’s going to happen again.  The rich have coopted the neighborhoods that the middle class lived in.  They’ve filled the city with hipsters and other idiot relations of the rich.  Those people will fold like a cheap suit.  They will grovel in front of the underclass that just burned their city down.  But the major change now will be the nature of law enforcement in New York.  The cops’ hands were tied after the Black Lives Matter travesty during the Obama administration and they backed off and let crime blossom.  But that will be nothing compared to the new balance of power.  First off there will be a move to replace white men with women and minorities in a wholesale fashion in the NYPD.  And the new “more humane” laws will be a dream come true for criminals of all stripes.  But it will turn the city into a nightmare for businessmen and honest citizens in general.  I expect flight from New York to be a long term and possibly terminal event.

The rioting has done great damage to property and has demoralized the people living there.  But the event is an object lesson for anyone who is unsure of what each side stands for.  The Democrats will sacrifice the livelihood and even the lives of its citizens to appease a mob of irrational people who also happen to vote for them.  Appeasement is their stock in trade.  If you’d rather that the government protected and respected the honest hardworking people out there then you’ll have to join our side of the Civil War.

Michael Anton Analyzes the Impeachment Strategy and Summarizes the Possible Outcomes

In his sixty two hundred (!) word essay “The Empire Strikes Back” Michael Anton narrates the Deep State and Democrat controlled Media’s Ukraine-gate maneuver and how it’s supposed to justify impeachment and removal of President Trump.  Suffice it to say it is ponderous to read through the machinations they are going through to justify their treason and depressing to realize what nakedly illegal practices of their own they are trying to protect with the smokescreen of impeachment.  The Deep State and the Elites feed from the trough of federal spending that is funneled to lawless countries like the Ukraine.

I won’t attempt to even summarize his essay.  If you have an interest in these matters, which I do, you might read it.  But I’d like to quote some ideas from his conclusion.  Anton thinks that it is unlikely that even the craven Senate Republicans would be stupid enough to convict the President.  But if they did, he had this to say about the consequences:

“And it might. It worked against Nixon. It almost worked against Reagan. But let’s be clear: if it works this time, there are only three possible outcomes:

First, deplorable-Americans will meekly accept President Trump’s removal, in which case the country as a self-governing republic will be finished; the elite coup will have succeeded, their grip on power cemented. With all due respect to the vice president, this is not the way—these are not the people on the backs of whom—he should wish to enter the Oval Office. And I am confident he will not.

Second, deplorable-Americans will revolt at the ballot box and punish the elites in a series of elections that put in power serious statesmen intent on rooting out corruption and reestablishing democratic accountability.

Or, third, deplorable-Americans’ attempt to set their government aright via ballots will not avail, as it has not so often in the past; they will realize that it has not, conclude that it never will, and resolve by any means necessary to get out from under the thumbs of people who so obviously hate them and wish to rule them without their consent.”

That third outcome is the Dissident Right’s refrain, “we can’t vote our way out of this.”

And as to the outcome for the Senate Republicans if they did convict the President:

“Oh, and let’s also be clear about something else: if the Republicans “collude” with this sham and force the removal of a president whose approval rating within his party hovers north of 90%, and whose voters scarcely understand—much less agree with—the “case” against him, they will destroy the party forever. I don’t often make predictions, because I’m not good at it, but this one is easy. They will have removed all doubt that they are anything but ruling class apparatchiks, adjuncts, and flunkies of the administrative state from which they take orders.

And let none of them dare gaslight us with the trite dismissal that Trump’s removal would not overturn the 2016 election results because the president’s replacement was also elected. Trump’s intraparty enemies hate him, and wish to be rid of him, precisely because he is not one of them, because he stands for, and represents, something fundamentally different. Getting rid of him is, for them, a way to get back to business as usual. But there is no going back. A few of them in safely anti-Trump states or districts may survive the president’s removal but the vast majority will not. A new party—a Trumpian populist-nationalist party—will arise from the Republican Party’s ashes. More blue-collar in economic orientation and less in hock to coastal and financial elites, it will do a better job of attracting Democrats and independents—possibly pointing the way to the first real national majority coalition since the Reagan era. And that new party will not welcome the traitors, who will have to make do with contributorships on CNN and MSNBC. Assuming any slots are available.”

This assessment seems quite likely.  And the Senator I’d most enjoy seeing bounced out of his seat is Mitt Romney.  I would hope that Utah would enact a recall law specifically to remove him if he were stupid enough to aid in the removal of a popular president.  In fact, even if the conviction is unsuccessful, if Romney votes for it, I hope the people of his state remove him for that alone.

Anton worked for the Trump White House in addition to being an academic.  He is almost uniquely positioned to discuss the reality of our present situation.  What I find interesting is that even a mainstream and serious commentator such as Anton is now pointing to the apocalyptic realities of what would happen if the Uni-party Establishment decides they can overturn the 2016 election results by removing a popular president.  What that tells me is that the intelligentsia on the actual right has reached the same boiling point as the rest of us.  When a policy wonk joins the Deplorables it won’t be long before the pitchforks and the torches start showing up on the scene.



CBS Advocates for Political Violence

Several sites have picked up on a trailer that CBS put out for their show, “The Good Fight.”

The plot of the episode is Democrat and Republican poll watchers confront “neo-nazis” at an election site and a riot ensues.  In the video clip above, one of the actors in the show says that seeing white nationalist Richard Spencer getting sucker punched convinced him that the correct response to political speech that offends him is physical assault.

This is an interesting decision by CBS.  They have now openly advocated for political violence where free speech laws prevent any restraint against statements that they disapprove.  This might be a legally dangerous stance to take by a company that requires a government license to exist on the broadcast systems.

I could imagine a complaint being lodged by someone to the FCC bringing into question their fitness as broadcasters.  Granted the show in question is not on the broadcast channel.  It is some kind of streaming option called CBS All Access but that is probably not a barrier against the general public complaining about a CBS property that steps beyond the bounds of responsible political opinion into the realm of political violence against Americans.

I guess it remains to be seen if this escalation is part of any larger pattern where the radical left begins using violence as their main enforcement tool against their enemies.  After all, it’s one thing for TV actors to go on a nazi-bashing spree on the small screen.  It’s a little more tricky for Antifa to get away with it anywhere except the confines of the blue state confederation.  And how many actual nazis are there in LA, NYC and D.C.?  It’s got to be a pretty limited population in those locales.

The folks on the dissident right see this as confirmation that the future will be an increasingly polarized country that eventually will divide into two or more components.  Well, I’ll say it does show that the Left isn’t afraid to legitimize violence against those it sees as its enemies.  Whether that equates into a civil war is a slightly different question.

But apocalyptic conclusions aside, it is clear that CBS would like to be able to paint the people they don’t like as neo-nazis.  So if you wear a MAGA hat you’re a racist and don’t deserve First Amendment protection or even protection from assault in public.  This way of looking at things doesn’t seem to be the way these things are actually happening in the real world, even in the blue state version of the real world.  Recently a man in Massachusetts was accosted by (of all things) an illegal alien who objected to his MAGA hat.  Interestingly, even in that deep blue state, she was arrested and in fact deported.  That’s not to say that there won’t be abuses in blue states and even excursions of leftist violence elsewhere.  But it’s just not something that seems inevitable.  From my point of view what’s at the heart of this is worry on the Left that President Trump and his policies are becoming increasingly popular and his re-election is becoming increasingly real in their minds.  They want to have something to blame him for and manufacturing violence seems like a good thing to start with.  That would explain the Jussie Smollett hoax and some of the other incidences.  They really need nazis and will do whatever it takes to manufacture them.

Anyway, it probably wouldn’t hurt to complain to the FCC about CBS and see if we can’t cause them some trouble.  It seems well deserved and doesn’t take much effort.

Nothing to Lose

I guess I have to address the shooter in Pittsburgh (Robert Bowers).  What can we say about him?  Ideologically he felt the Jewish people were a threat to him.  In his mind what he did was justified.  That much we know from his statements.  But why did he do it?  I’m guessing that he no longer felt what he had to lose outweighed his desire for vengeance.  And I’m guessing this is the same situation as that other shooter who went after the Republican Congressional Softball Team last year (James T. Hodgkinson).   Another man who was willing to trade his life for a chance to kill his ideological enemies.

Looking at the details of both men’s lives, it appears that neither one would be leaving behind anyone he cared about as much as the cause he was consumed by.  Both men were basically unemployed and neither had a happy home life.  Specifically, Hodgkinson was in a failed marriage and wasn’t making ends meet with a home inspection business.  Bowers is an unemployed truck driver living alone.  Both men were obsessed with political and ideological agendas and both felt that things were going badly and it required them to take violent action to redress the situation.  I think it would be accurate to say they were both consumed with hatred.

People say that what they each did was insane.  When something like this occurs both sides of the political spectrum agree that monstrous evil has occurred and that no sane person could be responsible.  And they would be right.  Only a madman would do something like this.

But here’s the question.  Are there circumstances under which anyone would do the same thing?  Pick the most pacifistic individual, Mahatma Gandhi or Mother Theresa.  Is it conceivable that even these two would find circumstances under which they would commit homicide and think it necessary?  It’s pretty hard to believe.  But if there were innocents being harmed and no other way to save them it’s conceivable that this might be sufficient.  Now look at the other end of the compassion spectrum.  Think of violent sociopaths who basically have as little compunction about murder as we have for swatting a mosquito.  What motivation would they need to snuff out the lives of their neighbors?  Very little, maybe the possibility of stealing some cash or just for the diversion the killing would provide.

In between these two extremes is everyone else.  That includes you and me and Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer, the Pope, the Ayatollah Khamenei, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Brett Kavanaugh, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, the Koch Brothers and all the gang-bangers, drug lords and terrorists (IRA, ISIS, al Qaeda, Shining Path, Tamil Tigers, Neo-Nazis, KKK, etc.).  It also includes great aunt Sadie, your priest or minister or rabbi and even the kid playing baseball at the local ball field.

In my estimation it’s a continuum that depends on the nature of the individual and the pressure being brought to bear to extract revenge or prevent an attack on something you value highly.  The equation is when you determine that the value of your life falls below the value of the damage prevented by some act of violence the individual will act.  And for every single human that equation is different.  Police put their lives on the line every day.  In the old days just about any man would have thrown himself in front of a gunman to save his wife (times may have changed for the millennials).  Al Qaeda inspired its members to fly planes into buildings to redress perceived western assaults on Islam.  In each case the agent is doing what he thinks is the right thing and feels logically justified in sacrificing his life.

My whole point is that in the case of the two shooters each decided that his actions and the price he would pay for them was justified under his circumstances.  Right now, we are seeing the mentally unstable with nothing to lose determining that desperate acts make sense.  We don’t want to get to a place where this calculation occurs to more and more people.  A factor that is working for us currently is the robust economy.  Unemployment is receding drastically.  That should help greatly in reducing desperation.  What isn’t helping right now is the political polarization that has engulfed us.  That will have the opposite effect, amping up the irritation felt by ideologues on both sides of the political spectrum.

These shooters are the weak links.  Their personal situations and the fervor with which they feel the ideological strain of day to day circumstances made them the snap first.  But there will be more.  If Professor Codevilla is right then this is the tip of the iceberg.  This is the microscopic effect.  Civil Strife or War is the macroscopic equivalent.  If too many people reach that breaking point then a chain reaction will occur and that will be unstoppable.  Codevilla thinks we’re already there.  Let’s hope he’s wrong.  I’ve got a lot to lose and I’ll bet you do too.

Our Revolution’s Logic – Angelo Codevilla – An On-Line Article Review

In an earlier post I said that Angelo Codevilla’s article was sure to be interesting and depressing.  And so it is.  Basically he seems to concur with the Dissident Right on the point that there is no longer any going back to one America.  His thesis is that the Progressives have let the genie fully out of the bottle and the Right is now radicalized to the point that there will be an unending ratcheting up of tactics on both sides.  And he does not think political victory by the Right will deter the Left.  They are now in the go for broke business.  And of course the most apt metaphor for this situation is the Corcyran Civil War in Thucydides.  There we see class warfare unleashed to its most diabolical conclusion, complete annihilation of the hated enemy down to the last man.  The only ray of sunshine allowed is if Republicans win the next few elections we’ll able to convince the Progressives to peacefully divide the country into mutually exclusive populations of us and them.  So the story is bleak.

Luckily I’m an optimist.  I still think we may beat the bastards.  But I don’t say Mr. Codevilla can’t be right.  He makes a convincing case.  Well, I’m still staying up for the Mid-Terms.  They should be very instructive.

It’s a very long article and there are no laughs but if you are interested in a political perspective on the Resistance and what it will spawn from a very thoughtful writer of the Right you might want to read this.  If you want the Cliff Notes version I’d say start prepping for the troubles.


Our Revolution’s Logic

Angelo Codevilla Addresses the Civil War

Codevilla is one of my favorite political writers going all the way back to the prehistory of the 2015 darkness.  I haven’t even finished reading this lengthy essay but I look forward to weighing his opinions against my own.  I’m sure it will be dark and pessimistic.  Good.  I need something to curb my unbridled enthusiasm.

Our Revolution’s Logic – Angelo Codevilla – An On-Line Article Review

Our Revolution’s Logic

12APR2018 – Quote of the Day

Always mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy, if possible; and when you strike and overcome him, never let up the pursuit so long as your men have strength to follow; for an army routed, if hotly pursued, becomes panic-stricken, and can then be destroyed by half their number.  The other rule is, never fight against heavy odds, if by any possible maneuvering you can hurl your own force on only a part, and that the weakest part of your enemy and crush it.  Such tactics will win every time, and a small army may thus destroy a large one in detail, and repeated victory will make it invincible.

Stonewall Jackson


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23MAR2018 – Quote of the Day

Thucydides: The Civil War at Corcyra

Ancient Greek History contains many parallels to the upheavals of our own time. The revolutions that swept through all of Greece during the Peloponnesian War (the war between the Athenian Empire and Sparta and her allies) were not unlike the French Revolution and the proxy wars fought between American and Russian allies during the Cold War.  In these civil wars neighbors and even brothers would clash and commit unbelievable atrocities in the name of either the democratic or the aristocratic cause.  The ferocity of the fighting reflected the knowledge that if the tide turned, retribution would be equally horrific.  In this episode of the war the people of the island of Corcyra have divided themselves into an aristocratic faction supporting the Peloponnesians (Sparta) and a democratic faction supporting Athens.  The fleets of the two super powers are sparring off the coast of the island and the factions have been battling on land in increasing barbarity.  The Spartans are at first victorious at sea and the democratic faction is panicked into negotiating a truce with the aristocratic faction.  But when the Athenians chase the Spartan fleet away the democrats see their chance and butcher their less numerous aristocratic countrymen in Robespierrean fashion.  The summation by Thucydides at the end of this story is very well known and seems to have a timeless quality.  If you are interested in reading the whole story of The Civil War at Corcyra read Thucydides Book 3, Chapters 69 to 85.

Meanwhile the people of Corcyra, dreading that the fleet of the Peloponnesians would attack them, held a parley with the other faction, especially with the suppliants, in the hope of saving the city; they even persuaded some of them to go on board the fleet; for the Corcyraeans still contrived to man thirty ships. But the Peloponnesians, after devastating the land till about midday, retired. And at nightfall the approach of sixty Athenian vessels was signalled to them from Leucas. These had been sent by the Athenians under the command of Eurymedon the son of Thucles, when they heard of the revolution and of the intended expedition of Alcidas to Corcyra.

The Peloponnesians set out that very night on their way home, keeping close to the land, and transporting the ships over the Leucadian isthmus, that they might not be seen sailing round. When the Corcyraeans perceived that the Athenian fleet was approaching, while that of the enemy had disappeared, they took the Messenian troops, who had hitherto been outside the walls, into the city, and ordered the ships which they had manned to sail round into the Hyllaic harbour. These proceeded on their way. Meanwhile they killed any of their enemies whom they caught in the city. On the arrival of the ships they disembarked those whom they had induced to go on board, and despatched them; they also went to the temple of Herè, and persuading about fifty of the suppliants to stand their trial condemned them all to death. The majority would not come out, and, when they saw what was going on, destroyed one another in the enclosure of the temple where they were, except a few who hung themselves on trees, or put an end to their own lives in any other way which they could. And, during the seven days which Eurymedon after his arrival remained with his sixty ships, the Corcyraeans continued slaughtering those of their fellow-citizens whom they deemed their enemies; they professed to punish them for their designs against the democracy, but in fact some were killed from motives of personal enmity, and some because money was owing to them, by the hands of their debtors. Every form of death was to be seen; and everything, and more than everything, that commonly happens in revolutions, happened then. The father slew the son, and the suppliants were torn from the temples and slain near them; some of them were even walled up in the temple of Dionysus, and there perished. To such extremes of cruelty did revolution go; and this seemed to be the worst of revolutions, because it was the first.

For not long afterwards nearly the whole Hellenic world was in commotion; in every city the chiefs of the democracy and of the oligarchy were struggling, the one to bring in the Athenians, the other the Lacedaemonians. Now in time of peace, men would have had no excuse for introducing either, and no desire to do so; but, when they were at war, the introduction of a foreign alliance on one side or the other to the hurt of their enemies and the advantage of themselves was easily effected by the dissatisfied party. And revolution brought upon the cities of Hellas many terrible calamities, such as have been and always will be while human nature remains the same, but which are more or less aggravated and differ in character with every new combination of circumstances. In peace and prosperity both states and individuals are actuated by higher motives, because they do not fall under the dominion of imperious necessities; but war, which takes away the comfortable provision of daily life, is a hard master and tends to assimilate men’s characters to their conditions.

When troubles had once begun in the cities, those who followed carried the revolutionary spirit further and further, and determined to outdo the report of all who had preceded them by the ingenuity of their enterprises and the atrocity of their revenges. The meaning of words had no longer the same relation to things, but was changed by them as they thought proper. Reckless daring was held to be loyal courage; prudent delay was the excuse of a coward; moderation was the disguise of unmanly weakness; to know everything was to do nothing. Frantic energy was the true quality of a man. A conspirator who wanted to be safe was a recreant in disguise. The lover of violence was always trusted, and his opponent suspected. He who succeeded in a plot was deemed knowing, but a still greater master in craft was he who detected one. On the other hand, he who plotted from the first to have nothing to do with plots was a breaker up of parties and a poltroon who was afraid of the enemy. In a word, he who could outstrip another in a bad action was applauded, and so was he who encouraged to evil one who had no idea of it. The tie of party was stronger than the tie of blood, because a partisan was more ready to dare without asking why. (For party associations are not based upon any established law, nor do they seek the public good; they are formed in defiance of the laws and from self-interest.) The seal of good faith was not divine law, but fellowship in crime. If an enemy when he was in the ascendant offered fair words, the opposite party received them not in a generous spirit, but by a jealous watchfulness of his actions. Revenge was dearer than self-preservation. Any agreements sworn to by either party, when they could do nothing else, were binding as long as both were powerless. But he who on a favourable opportunity first took courage, and struck at his enemy when he saw him off his guard, had greater pleasure in a perfidious than he would have had in an open act of revenge; he congratulated himself that he had taken the safer course, and also that he had overreached his enemy and gained the prize of superior ability. In general the dishonest more easily gain credit for cleverness than the simple for goodness; men take a pride in the one, but are ashamed of the other.

The cause of all these evils was the love of power, originating in avarice and ambition, and the party-spirit which is engendered by them when men are fairly embarked in a contest. For the leaders on either side used specious names, the one party professing to uphold the constitutional equality of the many, the other the wisdom of an aristocracy, while they made the public interests, to which in name they were devoted, in reality their prize. Striving in every way to overcome each other, they committed the most monstrous crimes; yet even these were surpassed by the magnitude of their revenges which they pursued to the very utmost, neither party observing any definite limits either of justice or public expediency, but both alike making the caprice of the moment their law. Either by the help of an unrighteous sentence, or grasping power with the strong hand, they were eager to satiate the impatience of party-spirit. Neither faction cared for religion; but any fair pretense which succeeded in effecting some odious purpose was greatly lauded. And the citizens who were of neither party fell a prey to both; either they were disliked because they held aloof, or men were jealous of their surviving.

Thus revolution gave birth to every form of wickedness in Hellas. The simplicity which is so large an element in a noble nature was laughed to scorn and disappeared. An attitude of perfidious antagonism everywhere prevailed; for there was no word binding enough, nor oath terrible enough to reconcile enemies. Each man was strong only in the conviction that nothing was secure; he must look to his own safety, and could not afford to trust others. Inferior intellects generally succeeded best. For, aware of their own deficiencies, and fearing the capacity of their opponents, for whom they were no match in powers of speech, and whose subtle wits were likely to anticipate them in contriving evil, they struck boldly and at once. But the cleverer sort, presuming in their arrogance that they would be aware in time, and disdaining to act when they could think, were taken off their guard and easily destroyed.

Now in Corcyra most of these deeds were perpetrated, and for the first time. There was every crime which men could commit in revenge who had been governed not wisely, but tyrannically, and now had the oppressor at their mercy. There were the dishonest designs of others who were longing to be relieved from their habitual poverty, and were naturally animated by a passionate desire for their neighbour’s goods; and there were crimes of another class which men commit, not from covetousness, but from the enmity which equals foster towards one another until they are carried away by their blind rage into the extremes of pitiless cruelty. At such a time the life of the city was all in disorder, and human nature, which is always ready to transgress the laws, having now trampled them under foot, delighted to show that her passions were ungovernable, that she was stronger than justice, and the enemy of everything above her. If malignity had not exercised a fatal power, how could anyone have preferred revenge to piety, and gain to innocence? But, when men are retaliating upon others, they are reckless of the future, and do not hesitate to annul those common laws of humanity to which every individual trusts for his own hope of deliverance should he ever be overtaken by calamity; they forget that in their own hour of need they will look for them in vain.