"When they allow a talk show host to play them like a two-dollar banjo, they demonstrate what kind of backbone they'll bring to the job later on, if we elect them. After they get elected will they continue to allow Jeff Crank to put a nickel in them and wind them up every Saturday morning?"

Barry Noreen, former columnist, Colorado Springs Gazette

Monday, June 21, 2010

OZYMANDIAS KING OF KINGS


By

ROBERT HARKINS

Rome, in the 4th century a.d., was struggling for survival against forces of disintegration that would finally take her down to ruin. The once eternal city would face the immigration of ambitious tribes who lived in traditions aberrant to Rome. Rome like Shakespeare’s Hamlet came face to face with the existential question: How to survive secure, and prosperous as its empire became multicultural?

To be, or not to be--that is the question:

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles

And by opposing end them.

The Romans would learn to accommodate contesting minority cultures, their gods, mores, and idiosyncrasies provided only that they pledged their loyalty to Rome, to the idea of Rome, to her language and civilization,—and, of course to the Roman tax.

Rome and her Latin tongue is long dead and its martial glory dusty history. We may hear the whisper of Latin in Vatican ritual, in the rare Tridentine Mass, in dusty scholarly works, and in the principles of American law. Res Ipsa Loquitur.[1] There is something left of it in a Romanian dialect and in the Romance languages. Its Caesars are a memory, consigned like fossils to hard rock, to a poem writ on cracking parchment and to the metered lines of the iambic maestro, England’s Shakespeare. In Julius Caesar Mark Antony, hailed Friends, Romans and Countrymen. He told the Romans he had come not to praise Caesar but to bury him, but even so paid tribute to the imperator and against the traitors laid him low until at last he called upon the very stones of Rome to rise up and mutiny.

The Romans embraced a Greek mythos ancient even then. They looked to Pericles and to the virtues of an Athenian law. For thus spake Pericles to the Athenians:[2]

Our constitution is called a democracy because power is in the hands not of a minority but of the whole people. When it is a question of settling private disputes, everyone is equal before the law; when it is a question of putting one person before another in positions of public responsibility, what counts is not membership of a particular class but the actual ability that a man possesses. –Emphasis added.

Rome, the eternal city, the city on the Tiber, the City upon the Seven Hills of Rome, was prosperous and powerful[3]. But Rome failed at last its mortal challenge: How to keep an empire against the barbarians, against the weight of gods neither Greek nor Roman, against invaders who cared for nothing other than for the plunder of a Roman state. Rome incorporated a Greek mythos, and for the first few hundred years of its Republic, the Greek language. Just as the blind poet Homer breathed into being a Greek mythos, so Pericles and Achilles, Hector-- and Aeneas—who legend tells fled Priam’s burning Troy to found the city-state Rome; all this the Fates wove from the Greeks into the Roman heart and soul.

The Roman man, modeling his character upon heroes of the Iliad, strived to be a man of honor and integrity, courage, patriotism and martial grace. He sought the ancient virtues from which Athens’ Themistocles built a navy of triremes to destroy Xerces’ Persian fleet. As he fought the Persians upon the sea, 300 Spartans held Hell’s Gate, Thermopylae, against the Persian Immortals to save an empire with their life and blood.[4]

Tell them in distant Sparta passerby

That here, obedient to our word we lie.

In Rome, the Romans finally ceased to believe in Rome her law, mythos and the sanctity of gods. The Romans may as well have stopped breathing. Their sense of identity failed. Their mythos destroyed they fell, weak and helpless victims, to the tribes that finally made of Rome a memory. Perhaps Americans should recall Rome’s fate and Ben Franklin’s admonition.

Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations becomes corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters. [5]

Just as the Roman citizen saw in the vile debaunch of the Roman Principate, its spineless senators, and the emperors’ avarice for the citizens’ wealth, so are Americans witness to an assault upon the American idea of moral and rational excellence or as the Greeks called it Arete. In fact, the virtues that define America, virtues born from the civilizations of Greece and Rome, and, for two thousand years, from Christian ethics and religious practice are disdained by the government, courts, academe, Hollywood and the American left. Ah, but do I exaggerate? Where is the proof?

  • The revisionist historian writes out of history the political contributions of the Puritans and denies the obvious truth that America is a country founded upon Greco/Roman and Christian principles.
  • A popular college history book, Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, characterizes, in every chapter, America and Americans as inherently evil, avaricious and irredeemable.
  • School children are invited to experiment with lethal sexual practices. Academia has embraced cultural and moral relativism, tribal multiculturalism and Christian antipathy. Secular atheism is taught in grade schools as Christian children are punished and silenced for the expression of their religious beliefs.
  • Recently an adolescent girl was ridiculed for wearing rosary beads to school. And Comedy Central features a cartoon in which a statue of the Catholic Virgin Mary spurts menstrual blood upon a “Chicago style” pope who speaks in the accent and character of Al Capone. Kevin Jennings, an O’Bama appointee is popularizing homosexual sexual experimention in the name of diversity.
  • A play is shown in Ft. Worth, Texas intended, so its Gay writer claims, to reconcile Christian “straights” with “gays.” Christ and the apostles are characterized as homosexuals, and Joseph as a chronic alcoholic. Reconciliation? Really?
  • Democrat Senator John Kerry, among others, supports a law that will accede to gay demands that they be permitted to donate blood directly into the blood banks used by all Americans. Gays claim falsely that the AIDs test will screen for the AIDs virus. In fact, the test is not all that reliable. Moreover a window of several months exists in which the AIDs test will not detect an individual actually infected with AIDs. The U.S. military is presently caring for about 20,000 males infected with AIDS who upon entering into the military were presumably AIDS free.
  • I wonder, will we recall what we were doing—as when the 9/11 Towers fell—when our President stood by smiling as Mexican President Philippe Calderon condemned Americans who live in Arizona for their racist ways? Will we remember the Democrats, our elected representatives, who stood, and applauded raptureously in a standing ovation, a Mexican president for his condemnation of Americans and a sovereign American state?

I have taken from George Orwell, author of Animal Farm and 1984, the name Renegade Liberal; a name he applied to English leftist intellectuals enthralled by Stalin, Mussolini and Hitler and used it to identify American renegades. For example, the name fits perfectly the late Walter Duranty, a writer for the New York Times who knew that Stalin, by confiscating their milk, meat, vegetables and grain, would starve to death about 8 to 10 million Kulaks. Even so, he published to the Western world the lie that Soviet Russia, the land of Stalin, was overflowing with milk and honey— that accusations that he was starving his own people, were “anti-Russian” propaganda.

Orwell’s Renegade liberal is the antagonist of reason and religious practice. He is the postmodern nihilist and tribalist. And so I write to the theme of defiance. Americans will not preserve their cultural and religious heritage by voting Republican every four years. Americans must, because they own this legacy, take back their country and ethos, their history, creed and Constitution.

In this quest Americans must not and will not fail. For where is there a nation still speaks Latin? I leave you with a traveler from an antique land who told the story of Ozymandias, King of Kings? Struggle and defy the Renegade! For this must not be our American fate: Where nothing beside remains, round the decay of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, where, “The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

I met a traveler from an antique land

Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone

Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,

Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown

And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,

The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.

And on the pedestal these words appear:

`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:

Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,

The lone and level sands stretch far away.[6]



[1] Res Ipsa Loquitur. The thing speaks for itself. Conduct that his obviously negligent.

[2] [2] LORDS OF THE SEA supra.

[3] Professor Luke Timothy Johnson, Ph.D. Emory University. The Greco-Roman Moralists. The Great Courses, Philosophy & Intellectual History.

[4] John. R. Hale, LORDS OF THE SEA, The Story of the Athenian Navy and the Birth of Democracy. (Viking,2009).

[5] (Smyth, Writings of Benjamin Franklin, 9:569)

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