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OptimusMaximusFortissimo posted a topic in Res PublicaI am inclined to believe that the political structure of the United States was influenced by the political structure in the Roman Empire. U.S. Senators are a testament to this. U.S. Senators in America are reminiscent of the senatorial Roman politicians who supplemented the office of Emperor.
Hi all, I am a complete beginner when it comes to ancient Roman history but have always had an interest. I am looking for some books or perhaps online sources that are beginner friendly and do not assume much or any knowledge as my knowledge thus far is limited to Wikipedia pages that I hhave read, Warrior of Rome books and Rome: Total War haha! I am particularly interested in the Military and Political side, however, any books that also cover culture as well as these would be interesting too. Can you suggest any books for me to start out with? Thanks in advance, Chris.
I have 2 main objections to all political systems. First when a political movement gets power over state institutions it brings it's own people in the bureaucracy and they are often incompetent, corrupt or biased but they are untouchable because they have political support. Second, most political organizations have an ideology, a set of simplistic tenets that can not deal with the amazing diversity of reality, but regardless of how useless all ideologies are for dealing with real problems the action of the bureaucracy have to reflect the official political dogma. When modern European political systems appeared the appointment of politicians to directly control the bureaucracy was not in the plan. The administrative apparatus was to be appointed by the king and placed under the supervision of the Parliament. The birth of political parties and the eventual victory of elected politicians over royalty meant that a party could control both the bureaucracy and the institutions meant to check it and keep it efficient. In rare occasions a meritocratic system was allowed to work without much political interference, like the Civil Service of the British Raj, with excellent results. Now, for the first time, we have these European institutions that the national political movements can not take over and that have clear, public, competitive and merit based employment and promotions. Why this is a blow to politicians is clear, they can't use this bureaucracy to reward themselves and their friends and they can't turn it into an ideological tool. For these reasons they are always critical and hostile to European institutions. The main accuse they make is a nebulous deficit of democracy but if by democracy they mean a politicized bureaucracy I trade democracy for efficiency any day.