More on "third world fascism"

Charles Brown CharlesB at SPAMCNCL.ci.detroit.mi.us
Thu Sep 16 09:42:51 MDT 1999



Nestor,

Thank you for the grammatical correction.
And the historical specifics. Actually, I recall
studyinjg some of the things you mention. Particularly,
one of my classics professors compared the Gracchi
brothers, who were assasinated ,to the Kennedy
brothers in the U.S.

I don't doubt that Julius was progressive relative to
the status quo ruling class at the time. However,
"SPQR" is prior to Julius , no ? The bundle
of rods , or fasces, are figured on the coat of arms
before Caesar.

 It represents
demogogy in that the Senate pretends that the
Roman people (plebs) were on equal footing
with the aristocrats
as represented by the Roman state. But even
more, the main producing class is slaves. They
are not in a democracy. Nor the imperial subjects
who are not Roman citizens. I believe plebs were
citizens, or at least did not have the lowest
status. Anyway, the Roman "Republic" was a
conquering, militarist, slaveowning empire before
it was actually named as an Empire. I mean when Julius
Caesar said, "Omnia Gaulia tre parte divis(e) es", spelling
 ( All
Gaul is divided into three parts) , he was on a mission
of conquest in Gaul.

 Mussolini was interested in this
imperial , conquering, Latin superiority
 dimension of the
Roman empire to inspire Italian chauvinism
and jingoism. He was not trying to identify
with the subtle ,relative "democratic" or
popular dimension of Julius Caesar's role
in the internal history of Rome. The bundle
of rods, the fasces, are not uniquely linked
to Julius, I don't think, but to Roman Imperial
glory before and after Julius.
Augustus Caesar's "Res Gestae Divi Augustus"
(Things Done, Acheivements of the Divine
Augustus) is bragging about alll the conquering
he had done. The generic "Caesar" emperors
are not icons of mass democracy.
"Czar" drives from Caesar, etc.


Charles

>>> Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky <nestor at sisurb.filo.uba.ar> 09/15/99 07:14PM >>>
El 15 Sep 99 a las 10:30, Charles Brown nos dice(n):

> "Senatus Romanus populusque (spelling ?)"

Latin is good, but the relationship with Fascist Italy not
so good.

Old Julius wouldn't have written it better. But the order
is reversed. The banner was "Senatus Populusque Romanus",
and the difference is not a minor one. The Senatus seems to
have been the representation of the _optimates_, while the
_populus_ [both words are tansparent to you, I suppose]
were the _plebs_, originally the fraction of the Roman
people deprived of political rights. It was after a
protracted and very complex political history that the
plebs obtained the right to have their own representatives,
the _tribuni plebis_  (the tribunes of the people).

Very few, they had power of veto and personal
inviolability while on office. Caesar was a _tribunus
plebis_ who returned to the post all its might (it had been
watered to homeopathic doses in the late Republic, and this
in spite of the struggle of the Gracchus brothers), and
discovered that military dictatorship of the tribunus
plebis with strong peasant support was the only way to
overcome the stalemate that had befallen on the late
Republic under the rule of the politically decaying
_optimates_.

The Empire can be understood as a progressive
step forward (within the framework of slavery, of course)
that democratized (among the free people, yes) the revenues
of Roman might on the Mediterranean basin. It had more to
do with the early tyranni of the Greek (personal power with
strongly progressive objectives) that preceded and prepared
the best years of the state-city (Pissistratus in Athens).

The word "tyrant" assumed a negative weight later on, and
this may probably have to do with the fact that history is
usually written by the rich and not by the poor. The
tyranni were social reformers who established the
foundations for democracy, declaring all debts due (for
example).










More information about the Marxism mailing list