Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bread and Circuses

The following post was contributed by Taylor Bryant:

To effectively control a large group of people is not easy. People are generally disorganized, uneducated, disengaged from independent logic, and rely heavily on emotion to make decisions that affect their lives. To lead such a group, the leading establishment should exploit and capitalize on the interests and sometimes even the weaknesses of those they wish to control. This unethical manipulation should not be confused with the purity of leadership, as leadership is a half art, half skill that is a positive when used correctly.

Guess which methods are being used to steer Richmond County? It certainly isn't leadership.

The people of Augusta have fallen victim to the "Herd" mentality, and have split themselves, to the great advantage of those that govern this area. We have been lured and misled by those we have placed on high pedestals through elections and appointments. Why should such a town as ours, rich in resources, natural beauty, and great people, be forced into a perpetual tug of war with the likes of our peers or neighbors? Why should we be soothed by promises of sold out ball games and conventions, opulent botanical gardens, state of the art science centers, and even drag strips? Why do we concern ourselves with luring the once a year tourist, instead of trying to keep our neighbors from moving to adjacent counties and states?

This is not a new tactic. In 100 AD, Roman poet Juvenal wrote Satire X, chastising the use of cheap food and entertainment to appease and distract the masses, and rise to power. This would be known as "panem et circenses" or "bread and circuses."  The key to Roman power was to keep the "polis" intact by keeping the people instantly gratified therefore not focused on Government. It is harder to complain with a full belly and state of the art entertainment facilities.

History is Juvenal's redeemer. The Roman "Polis" was terminally flawed, and has failed.

So Augustans will continue to be apathetic to the bigger picture. Content with dollar draft beer, buffalo wings, and their stadiums. They will root for the destruction of one another through ordinances, laws, and zonings. I,  for one, have no appetite for bread, and would rather watch the circus that resides in the Marble Palace.

Taylor Bryant

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1 comment:

Brandon Reese said...

Not to mention, when the bread starts to rot, it's not as appetizing and it starts to stink.