August 4, 2003
The junta have of course done far viler things than this, but something about this story gives me the creeps in a way the other things (in this specific way) don’t. This action doesn’t resonate with the history of 20th century totalitarianism, riddled though that is with tales of shot messengers and spooks hung out to dry. These betrayals at least had reasons of state behind them.Jo Walton replies:
This is different. It smells of ancient Rome. It smells of decadence, of whim and spite indulged at the expense of the safety of the state. It’s the sort of thing that was done to Belissarius.
Perhaps someone who knows more than I do about the later Empire can run with this—Jo?
Ken: Google on “Flavius Aetius” sometime.As Teresa remarks: “That’s the creepy thing about George W. Bush—he’s not even up to the standards of feudalism.” [01:23 AM]
People in the Roman Empire had a lot of civil rights on paper, and a lot of civil rights by default, mostly nobody cared.
Feudalism was actually an improvement over slavery and arbitrary power. Feudalism assumed loyalty went in both directions.