Where Is Cicero When We Need Him? by Rocket Kirchner

Cicéron (Marcus Tullius Cicero)

Image by sn6200 via Flickr

by Rocket Kirchner
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Rocket Kirchner (blog)
Rocket Kirchner (youtube channel)
January 25, 2016

With Gore Vidal the last man of letters gone, there is a huge vacuum in a great scope of understanding of just exactly what kind of danger American history is really in and where it is going. Cicero was the last great oratorical gasp against Caesar crossing the Rubicon taking Rome from a Republic to an Empire. What Demosthenes was to Athens speaking out about overstepping bounds, Cicero was to Rome, as Plutarch in his great work Parallel Lives writes about in detail.

So why Cicero and why now? I can see a number of reasons. His searing and insightful warnings through eloquent speech. His perfect bulls-eye compositional prose with rhythm and delivery that would cut through today’s media. Also his emphasis on friendship for something as he says is, “More important than fire and water, not for mutual advantage but for common interest cemented and limited to virtue and justice.” The salient word here being “cemented.”

Another reason for just plain Ciceronian horse sense is we are mired in the midst of today’s hyper rationalism of the reductio absurdum of Dawkins’ and Dennet’s Post Modern dead-end road of the New Atheism, offering no more than just another null set. Cicero disagreed with the early Atomists of his day such as Leucippus and Democritus paradigm that everything is reduced to atoms and atoms alone leading to the presupposition of no spirit, no mystery, no divine.

Cicero said, “The general agreement of mankind establishes probability in favor of Divine Providence.” So we see Cicero siding with the consensus of the common man of the present day Optimates and Populares over the Theorists of his day, even when Cicero could easily match wits using theory and rhetoric with the best of them, because he was the best of them.

Is it any surprise that in the Post Christian Era the great Catholic Humanists like Augustine, Erasmus, Montaigne, Gilson, Maritan, and many, many others have stated that they owe such a great debt to this Pagan stoic giant? Cicero understood the wisdom of the collective common sense, having himself been raised outside of the Roman elite in the Italian countryside where his heart always remained. But I digress.

Cicero’s whole life was on the battle of the Senate floor, and this needs to be looked at by serious thinkers who choose Republic over Empire. The public sphere in today’s American arena of the marketplace of ideas is anemic, shallow, rife with chatter, all the while rushing headlong into imperial overstretch that was the same thing that brought about the decline and fall of the Roman Empire.

And, the glaring fact that nobody is even evoking his name and his warnings and not even asking the question, “Where is Cicero when we need him?” is proof positive that we indeed do need Cicero or a likewise facsimile of him today with booming verbal authority to just rip the mask off and expose the fortress of American Imperial propaganda.

from the archives:

Chris Hedges and Cornel West: Faux Liberalism Serves the Oligarchic Cabal

Beyond Vietnam – A Time to Break Silence By Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Abby Martin and Lawrence Wilkerson: The US Empire Is Ready To Collapse

The Passing of Gore Vidal: The End of an Era by Rocket Kirchner

6 responses to “Where Is Cicero When We Need Him? by Rocket Kirchner

  1. Pingback: Statecraft VS Politics As Usual by William John Cox | Dandelion Salad

  2. If only.

    They’ll never learn Rocket, chaos rules and hubris is king. Corporate anarchy is masterfully deceptive, so long as these chosen clowns fall for the bait that they can be supreme President…the “most powerful leader in the world” so that dirty business as usual is secure and sewn up, what can change?

    Or to look at it another way, so to speak on the other hand ~ what can possibly “go wrong…..?”

    Hmm. Maybe….the weather?

    • David , I think the last great Ciceronian Orator this country had was MLK that boomed against Empire .

      but who knows who could emerge .

      • I rather agree with you about Dr MLK Jr. I was in Detroit on that infamous day April 4th when the city was locked down.

        Y’know it’s worth taking into account the role of electronic media and digital entertainment these days, when we can hear the likes of Neil Young railing against the establishment and rattling the imperialist “corporate” cage, over the airwaves. After all, we’re all trying to get our legitimate message across one way or another, from a diversity of experiential places and motives.

        So too many deaf ears perhaps?

        I was only just now listening to Bill Gates on BBC Radio 4’s classic Desert Island Discs, their longest running radio show ~ in which notable “castaways” are invited to select primarily music or significant recordings that reflect profound moments in their life

        At first I was pleasantly surprised, hearing about his background, prodigious abilities and commitment. So being a fair-minded individual, I began to moderate my opinion; but then he finally started waffling on about the necessary propriety of “demonstrably proven as safe,” genetically modified biotech seeds to cure the impoverished nutritional deficit afflicting so many in our post-colonial “oikumene” ~ oh dear!!

        I had to abandon my (sceptical) optimism totally, and just shut him down. I was faced with the stark reality of the world’s tragedy; the terrible irony that such a precociously clever spark with wealth beyond the wildest dreams of avarice, could be so utterly imbecilic…such an embarrassing caricature of authentic, deep intelligence.

        It rather perfectly epitomizes the cras lunacy of our present.

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