Secessio Plebis

Secessio plebis (withdrawal of the commoners, or Secession of the Plebs) was an informal exercise of power by Rome’s plebeian citizens, similar to a general strike taken to the extreme. During a secessio plebis, the plebs would simply abandon the city en masse and leave the patrician order to themselves. Therefore a secessio meant that all shops and workshops would shut down and commercial transactions would largely cease. This was an effective strategy in the Conflict of the Orders due to strength in numbers; plebeian citizens made up the vast majority of Rome’s populace and produced most of its food and resources, while a patrician citizen was a member of the minority upper class, the equivalent of the landed gentry of later times. Authors report different numbers for how many secessions there were. Cary & Scullard (p. 66) state there were five between 494 BC and 287 BC.

Contents

  • 1 Secessions in Roman history
    • 1 494 BC
    • 2 449 BC
    • 3 445 BC
    • 4 342 BC
    • 5 287 BC
  • 2 References
  • 3 Bibliography

Secessions in Roman history

494 BC

In 494 BC, in response to the harsh rule of Appius Claudius Sabinus Inregillensis, the plebeians seceded and fled to Mons Sacer (the Sacred Mountain) and threatened to found a new town. (The mountain was not the Aventine Hill where they gathered in 449 BC [see below], thus giving its name to the Aventine Secession in the 20th century AD). In response, the patricians freed some of the plebs from their debts and conceded some of their power by creating the office of the Tribune of the Plebs. This tribune was the first government position held by the plebs. The powers of the tribunes changed over time. At their zenith, the plebeian tribunes exercised the power of veto (Latin: “I forbid”), by which they could forbid or invalidate any decision or action of a magistrate, including a consul or praetor, or indeed of the whole Senate, that he deemed harmful to the plebs. The nadir of the tribunician power in the republican period may have occurred with the constitutional legislation of the dictator Sulla.

This settlement led to the foundation of the Temple of Concord.

449 BC

In 449 BC, the plebs seceded again to force the patricians to adopt the Twelve Tables. Unlike the earlier secret laws which only the priests had access to, these new laws amounted to a written and published legal code. And unlike the earlier non-published laws, the Twelve Tables presented a basic set of laws and rights to the Roman public, as opposed hidden and secret laws which gave no specific rights to the ordinary plebeian Roman. The patricians vehemently opposed it but were nevertheless forced to found a commission headed by adecemvir who in turn announced the Twelve Tables in the Roman Forum. With the announcement of the new laws, the plebs were to a degree freed from injustice and subjectivity during trials. However, they were still obliged to pay slavery debt.

445 BC

The third secession is alluded to by Florus (Lex Canuleia).

342 BC

This fourth secession is noted by Livy. The Oxford Classical Dictionary calls this an “obscure military revolt”.

287 BC

In 287 BC, the plebs seceded a final time to the Janiculum to force the patricians to adopt the Lex Hortensia, which gave plebiscites the force of law.

Bibliography

  • ‘The Growth of Plebeian Privilege in Rome’, The English Historical Review II (April 1886)
  • Forsythe, G., A Critical History of Early Rome”, Berkeley, 2005

Reminds me of the secession of the creative minds of the world in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.

Revolution on the Horizon?

Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Last night I watched this movie entitled In Time starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried; directed and written by one Andrew Niccol.

In a future where people stop aging at 25, but are engineered to live only one more year, having the means to buy your way out of the situation is a shot at immortal youth. Here, Will Salas finds himself accused of murder and on the run with a hostage – a connection that becomes an important part of the way against the system.

Time, digitally engraved on their forearm, is literally money in their world. And money is power incarnate just like in real life. There are few with over 100 years, and many with mere days. The wealthiest are millionaires. Most die around the age of 26 in the ghetto. I immediately drew the political connection to real life as it was quite obvious, much like the message about middle eastern oil in Syriana.

So I googled it. And guess what I came up with. The Occupy Wall Street Movement as Marxism mostly, with this movie as their rallying cry. “We are the 99%.” I’ve heard it takes an income of 600k per year to be placed in the top 1% of the wealthiest folks in our nation. Of course 1% is around 300,000 people and there’s a few billionaires and a bunch of millionaires in there.

The OWS protests are against social and economic inequality, greed, corruption and the undue influence of corporations on government – particularly from the financial services sector.

Does not capitalism in its essence guarantee inequality? You reap what you sow. All men are not created equal in any case. Some are born into wealthy families. Others are born in the slums of Midgar. One is born with a natural talent in one area while another is born with a natural talent in another area. Some are born deformed or with complete lack of talent. All else aside, nobody is equal and the 1% are the only people who seem to realize this. It’s all about family and money. Verily, there exist gods among men who are indeed above the common laws of man.

As John Locke, a highly influential philosopher in terms of the U.S. Constitution, writes, the rulers of individual nations are in a state of nature with respect to eachother, while all of their governed subjects are equal yet burdened by a social contract which alienates at least some of their natural rights – rights which the rulers may enjoy.

Are we just now realizing how similar to an oligarchy the U.S. has turned out to become since its days of bondage to Britain? Doubtful. I’m sure there has always been a sharp distinction between rich and poor in every society (Plato wrote about it 2,400 years ago).

Is the OWS movement ideologically similar to Marxism? The media certainly seems to be portraying them in such a manner. I don’t think the fact of financial inequality should be the main focus of OWS though. If anything, it should be the vast influence that the (wealthy) private sector has on political matters.

In light of globalization and wars in the name of democracy, national security and freedom, which is indeed an impious lie, is a revolution on the horizon? Doubtful. People are either too afraid or too lazy or too contentedly ignorant.

I, for one, can assure you that if I were part of the 1%, I would never allow it. As I am not, I can either choose to settle with what I have and what is possible for a commoner to obtain or I can fight. But then again, there are countries much worse off than the U.S. Yet the U.S. is where I was born and live and where my conscience leads me is yet to be determined.

What would you do if you made 600k+ per year?

When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.

Religion as Escapism

Escapism

Noun

The tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy.


Religion as escapism?

Metaphysics as escapism?

Epistemology as escapism?


Ethics, Politics, Morality as – Will to Power?

Science as – Religion?

All of these as – Distraction?


Enlightenment?

Recreational Mary Jane Proposals Pass

By Associated Press, Updated: Friday, November 9, 3:29 PM

Should marijuana be treated like alcohol? Or should it remain in the same legal category as heroin and the most dangerous drugs? Votes this week by Colorado and Washington to allow adult marijuana possession have prompted what could be a turning point in the nation’s conflicted and confusing war on drugs.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder was to talk Friday by phone with Colorado’s governor, who wants to know whether the federal government would sue to block the marijuana measures. Both states are holding off on plans to regulate and tax the drug while waiting to see whether the U.S. Justice Department would assert federal authority over drug law.

The Obama administration has largely turned a blind eye to the 17 states that currently flout federal drug law by allowing people with certain medical conditions to use pot, something banned under federal law.

“In a situation like this, where our law is at loggerheads with federal law, my primary job is to listen first,” Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said Wednesday.

Hickenlooper opposed the ballot measure and has downplayed the likelihood of a commercial marijuana market materializing in Colorado.

“Based on federal law, if it’s still illegal under federal law, I can’t imagine that 7-Eleven is ever going to sell it,” he said.

Meanwhile, marijuana activists are waiting for a Washington, D.C., federal appeals court to decide whether marijuana should be reclassified from its current status as a dangerous drug with no accepted medical use.

Last year, the Drug Enforcement Administration rejected a petition by medical marijuana advocates to change the classification, which kept marijuana in the same category as drugs such as heroin. Reclassification of marijuana could open the door for more research into its medical use, so marijuana activists consider reclassification a major step.

Marijuana advocates hope the federal government maintains its current posture of mostly ignoring states that flout federal law by allowing medical use under certain circumstances.

The U.S. government has cracked down during the past two years on more than 500 marijuana dispensaries in several states, but no one has faced federal prosecution for personal use.

“It would certainly be a travesty if the Obama administration used its power to impose marijuana prohibition upon a state whose people have declared, through the democratic process, that they want it to end,” said Brian Vicente, co-author of Colorado’s marijuana measure.

Earlier this week, Justice Department spokeswoman Nanda Chitre said enforcement of the federal Controlled Substances Act remained unchanged.

“In enacting the Controlled Substances Act, Congress determined that marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance,” Chitre said. “We are reviewing the ballot initiative and have no additional comment at this time.”

Eric Brown, a spokesman for Hickenlooper, would not say whether the governor planned to disclose the details of his call with Holder.

If Colorado’s marijuana ballot measure is not blocked, it would take effect by Jan. 5, the deadline for the governor to add the amendment to the state constitution. The measure allows adults to possess up to an ounce of marijuana, and six marijuana plants, though public use of the drug and driving while intoxicated are prohibited.

Colorado’s measure also directs lawmakers to write regulations on how pot can be sold, with commercial sales possible by 2014.

In Washington state, marijuana possession of an ounce or less would become legal on Dec. 6 if the measure is not blocked, though setting up a state-run sales operation would take a year.

Colorado’s Republican attorney general, John Suthers, is a vocal critic of marijuana legalization. But he has vowed to defend Colorado’s constitutional amendment in a legal battle with the federal government.

Marijuana business owners gathered in Denver for a two-day conference cheered the votes — but kept a close eye on their smartphones for word of a federal response.

Denver attorney Robert Corry told the crowd at the National Marijuana Business Conference that President Barack Obama sent a signal about marijuana when he made a record number of campaign visits to the battleground state this year and never talked about the marijuana vote.

“Silence equals consent. The time for the federal government to talk about marijuana legalization is over. The election has passed,” Corry said to applause from the crowd. “Marijuana got 50,000 more votes than Obama on Tuesday. Don’t think they didn’t notice that.”

But Corry quickly added that the federal marijuana approach will ultimately decide the question.

“Let’s face it: the federal government is a fearsome force. They have the guns, they have the jails, they have the power,” he said.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Recreation

The choice of nutrition; the choice of climate and place: the third point at which one must not commit a blunder at any price is the choice of one’s own kind of recreation. Here, too, depending on the degree to which a spirit is sui generis, the limits of what is permitted to him, that is, profitable for him, are narrow, quite narrow. In my case, every kind of reading belongs among my recreations – hence among the things that liberate me from myself, that allow me to walk about in strange sciences and souls – that I no longer take seriously. Reading is precisely my recreation from my own seriousness…

Should I permit an alien thought to scale the wall secretly? – And that is what reading seriously would mean.

Patriocracy

Government of the people that support the government, by the people that support the government, for the people that support the government.

Americans are polarized and angry. In the crossfire, the loudest voices drown out reason and facts with fear and anxiety. Patriocracy explores the extreme polarization in America that cripples the country from tackling its most serious problems. Whether it’s the national debt, healthcare reform, the war on terror or illegal immigration, Americans are shouting at each other instead of listening to each other.

Patriocracy brings an all-star cast of Senators, Congressmen/women, top Washington journalists, pundits and academia to the screen; giving their candid and comprehensive insights into the factors behind extreme polarization. Former Senator Alan Simpson, Bob Schieffer (CBS News), Pat Buchanan, Eleanor Clift (Newsweek), Ken Rudin (NPR) and Senator Kent Conrad are just a few of the high-level Washington personalities who offer their valuable perspectives on extremism in Washington and across the country.

Through raw and uncensored video of angry demonstrations and town hall meetings, Patriocracy offers a detailed examination of how Americans have become so polarized over the past decade, drilling down to the wealthy and anonymous forces that contribute to an environment of uncertainty and anxiety.

As America enters the 2012 election season, more money than ever will be spent to manipulate and sway voters by fear and emotion. Patriocracy sits in the dead center of this monumental tug-of-war, educating viewers so they do not fall victim to manipulation as they cast their ballots.

Patriocracy is produced and directed by award-winning documentary filmmaker, Brian Malone and is Executive Produced by well-known producer, Stephen Nemeth.

Open Letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein

Senator Dianne Feinstein,

I will not register my weapons should this bill be passed, as I do not believe it is the government’s right to know what I own. Nor do I think it prudent to tell you what I own so that it may be taken from me by a group of people who enjoy armed protection yet decry me having the same a crime. You ma’am have overstepped a line that is not your domain. I am a Marine Corps Veteran of 8 years, and I will not have some woman who proclaims the evil of an inanimate object, yet carries one, tell me I may not have one.

I am not your subject. I am the man who keeps you free. I am not your servant. I am the person whom you serve. I am not your peasant. I am the flesh and blood of America.

I am the man who fought for my country. I am the man who learned. I am an American. You will not tell me that I must register my semi-automatic AR-15 because of the actions of some evil man.

I will not be disarmed to suit the fear that has been established by the media and your misinformation campaign against the American public.

We, the people, deserve better than you.

Respectfully Submitted,

Joshua Boston

Cpl, United States Marine Corps

2004-2012

New York State Celebrates First Same-sex Marriages

By Basil Katz and Neale Gulley | Reuters – 3 hrs ago

NEW YORK/NIAGARA FALLS, New York (Reuters) – Wedding fever hit New York on Sunday, as hundreds of gay and lesbian couples lined up to be married on the first day that same-sex marriage was legal in the state.

In western New York, two grandmothers became the state’s first legally wed same-sex couple, one month after Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law making New York the nation’s sixth, and largest, state to allow gay marriage.

Kitty Lambert, 54, and Cheryle Rudd, 53, from Buffalo, New York, were married just after midnight at Niagara Falls’ State Park’s Luna Island, with the traditional honeymoon capital Niagara Falls as a backdrop.

Lambert, an art gallery manager, choked up during the religious service, answering “Yes, yes, yes!” when asked if she was making the choice of her own free will.

“We’re achieving that real American dream to be treated like everybody else and be protected under all those laws,” Lambert said later.

The women danced on stage after being married to pop star Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory.”

In New York City, couples and their families and friends formed a line around the block to be married at Manhattan’s marriage bureau.

The first to be wed were Phyllis Siegel, 77, and Connie Kopelov, 85. The couple, who have been together for 23 years, emerged triumphant from the city clerk’s office, and Kopelov, in a wheelchair, brandished their marriage certificate as a crowd of supporters cheered.

“I am breathless,” Siegel said. “I am happy.”

Officials, expecting a rush of gay couples wanting to get married, initially set a lottery capping the number of marriages on Sunday to 764 couples but later accepted all 823 couples across all five city boroughs.

Douglas Robinson, 60, and Michael Elsasser, 56, said they were particularly happy because their two adopted sons, Zachary and Justin, were there to support them as they got married.

“The state recognizes us as a real family now,” Robinson, who works at a bank, said, adding “even though we’ve always known we were a family.

“The next step is to get full equal rights with the federal government,” Robinson said.

New York City Council speaker Christine Quinn told reporters she is planning her own wedding with longtime partner Kim Catullo but not before next year. Quinn, who is widely expected to run for mayor, said the marriages were a triumph for human rights.

“Marriage equality is alive and well in every borough in New York City,” she said.

DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE

Speaking on ABC television’s “This Week with Christiane Amanpour” program, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he saw the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York as boosting momentum for its passage in other states.

New York is the sixth and largest U.S. state to allow gay marriage. Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia also do so.

“It’s going to grow very rapidly, partially because New York is such a bellwether and so visible and so when we do something a lot of people, they don’t necessarily copy it, but they look to see whether it would be appropriate for them as well,” he said.

Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois and New Jersey have approved gay civil unions, and gay marriage is specifically banned in 39 states.

Civil liberties activists say New York’s legalization of same-sex marriage sends a message to Congress that it must repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

“New York is sending a powerful message to the rest of the nation today as we once again lead the way for equal rights,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat.

The Defense of Marriage Act was signed into law in 1996 by Democratic President Bill Clinton. President Barack Obama has said he would support a bill meant to repeal the law.

The law prohibits same-sex couples from receiving marriage-based federal benefits such as Social Security survivor benefits, health benefits and the right to file taxes jointly.

Officials estimate legalizing gay marriage would add some $400 million to New York’s strained economy over the next three years.

Bloomberg, who had pushed for same-sex marriage, is set to officiate at the marriage of two men who belong to his City Hall inner circle at Gracie Mansion, the mayor’s official residence, later on Sunday. (Reporting by Basil Katz in New York and Neale Gulley in Niagara Falls; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Paul Simao)

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How language and society mistranslated the Bible over time:

Leviticus uses the word “abomination” 16 times, with the Hebrew word “sheqets” being used in describing dietary prohibitions (for example prohibiting shellfish and pork), mostly in Leviticus 11, and once for physical uncleanness (Levitcus 7:21), while “tô‛êbah” is used often for idolatry (Dt. 32:16) and specific other sins (Deuteronomy 24:4), for people who disobey God (Deuteronomy 25:16), and collectively for lists of sins ( Leviticus 18:27–30; Proverbs 6:16-19).

“Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is abomination”. (Leviticus 18:22, KJV)

Living Bible: “Homosexuality is absolutely forbidden, for it is an enormous sin.” (Leviticus 18:22, LB)

New Living Translation: “Do not practice homosexuality; it is a detestable sin.” (Leviticus 18:22, NLT)

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“Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” (Leviticus 18:22, NIV)

“If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” (Leviticus 20:13)

“Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.” (Romans 1:26-27)

“Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom-both young and old-surrounded the house. They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.” (Genesis 19:4-5)

“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

“Knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.” (1 Timothy 1:9-10)

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“If thou think thyself to be Christian, thou shalt read Kierkegaard and work out thy own salvation with fear and trembling. If thou think thyself to be Atheist, thou shalt work out thy own salvation with fear and trembling. If thou thinketh not, thou shalt be free.” (Testament III 3:12, JSV)

thou shalt. thou shalt not. thou, thou! thou thou! Mr. Thou! You angry… me?

Thou shalt teach morality in history class (and/or at home).