I was reading over Livy's The Early History of Rome (details) (this is one part of Livy's monumental 142 book series on the History of Rome! Talk about long form content....) recently and the following passage jumped out at me. It always amazes me how those in power rationalize their right to stay in power, independent of whether it's just.
To set the context, Rome has just deposed its king and monarchy and has formed a fledgling republic. The disgraced royal family travels the land trying to drum up an army to attack Rome and regain power. Talking to another king outside Rome they counsel:
I always find it useful to read rationalizations from history of topics we now regard as settled and unjust (monarchy, slavery, right to a trial, etc.) in order to gain perspective on the incorrect rationalizations I might be applying to things today that the future will see as unjust.
What do you think are the things we simply accept and rationalize today as "greatness and eminence...the noblest thing in heaven or earth" that the future will see as clearly wrong?
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