Here are some quotes that will enlighten the reader on why it is that people should revolt against empire. Because the alternative is too awful to consider. Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) is regarded as the greatest historian of the Enlightenment. His multi-volume history of Rome was both scholarly and full of humane scepticism.was an English historian and Member of Parliament. His most important work, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, was published in six volumes between 1776 and 1788. The Decline and Fall is known for the quality and irony of its prose, its use of primary sources, and its open criticism of organized religion. Although he was a Member of Parliament in England he was a long-time resident of Lausanne, Switzerland.
- The five marks of the Roman decaying culture: The policy of the emperors and the senate, as far as it concerned religion, was happily seconded by the reflections of the enlightened, and by the habits of the superstitious, part of their subjects. “The various modes of worship which prevailed in the Roman world were all considered by the people as equally true; by the philosopher as equally false; and by the magistrate as equally useful. And thus toleration produced not only mutual indulgence, but even religious concord.”
- Concern with displaying affluence instead of building wealth; Obsession with sex and perversions of sex. Prevailing contexts result in a system where“As long as mankind shall continue to bestow more liberal applause on their destroyers than their benefactors, the thirst of military glory will ever be the vice of the most exalted characters.” “Corruption is the most infallible symptom of constitutional liberty.”
- Art becomes freakish and sensationalistic instead of creative and original; Edward Gibbon famously remarked when he stated that Roman era’s declension as a place where “bizarreness masqueraded as creativity.”
- Widening disparity between very rich and very poor; “The army is the only order of men sufficiently united to concur in the same sentiments, and powerful enough to impose them on the rest of their fellow-citizens; but the temper of soldiers, habituated at once to violence and to slavery, renders them very unfit guardians of a legal, or even a civil constitution.”
- Increased demand to live off the state. “The most worthless of mankind are not afraid to condemn in others the same disorders which they allow in themselves; and can readily discover some nice difference in age, character, or station, to justify the partial distinction.”