Rome Goes On Strike

In the 5th Century BC the people of Rome, upset at poor governance went on strike in what is called the Secessio Plebis. Most of the Roman plebians simply packed a few things and left the city for a nearby hill.

They were passive in their actions and posed no threat to Rome other than that the city would fall without most of its population around to do any work. Not to mention there would be only a small number of people left to defend the city from its numerous nosy neighbors.

The plebs left the city because they were mistreated the upper class Patricians who took advantage of their literacy to intimately acquaint themselves with the laws of Rome and swindle the Plebs out of land and money. When a Romen Pleb had no more money or land left, all they could give was themselves and they did. They were slaves, forced to work off their debt.

The Plebs were screwed over. The Patricians knew the rules, cause they made the rules. They took advantage of the lowly Plebs and the Plebs did the only thing they could, they left and without them Rome would wither quickly and fall without the labor required in a big city.

Here we are again today and we have another comparison between the United States and Rome. The Patricians are todays elite. They are politicians, bankers, CEO’s, government appointees, and everything else that determines are fate. Again the Plebs get screwed in the same way, as todays American workers work off the debt of the elites. The difference is that in Rome the debt was individual to each Pleb and today the debt is that of the nation and we are all bear the burden of it.

The Romans ‘prepped’ and were able to withdraw themselves from Rome. As a result they were able to get the changes they wanted. The Plebs were given more power and couldn’t be so easily swindled.

America needs a Secessio Plebis today. Threaten to simply cut off the government. Remind them that the power flows upward and that they won’t get far if nobody is willing to work for them.


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Posted on April 1, 2013, in Hope for America, No Hope For America, The Life of Man and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. A couple of problems with this idea:
    1) there’s nowhere to go that isn’t either the same or much worse.
    2) People who have gainful employment aren’t going to abandon their jobs in this economy, they’re currently very grateful to have them (and sweating about losing them).

    I believe the stability of the Roman republic depended on the preservation of military power by yeoman freeholders. People with a stake in society are more likely to have a desire to defend it. This was a population where (by the middle of first century BC) approximately three out of every seven people were slaves. There were plenty of forced workers. As Roman legions captured large numbers of foreigners this raised the scale of agriculture on the countryside and it became common for wealthy landholders to own numerous estates farmed by gangs of slaves.

    • True Liz there isn’t really any place we can go but I think the point is that if people just stopped participating it would demonstrate no confidence in the government. Even for the Romans the economy was bad at the time but they weighed the choices and one was worse than the other. Still for them it was probably easier to walk away since they were more in touch with the earth and could take care of themselves.

      I also think the reality is that today most of us are slaves. It’s not caught and chained slavery, but slavery of debt, or overbearing large government that has creeped its way into controlling every aspect of our lives.

  2. This was possible because the economy of the time wasnt built on debt and used a hard currency. Because we’re operating on faith based currency, the banks and powers that be have both the ability and motive to not let something similar happen as a ‘protest’ type event. Long term variations of ‘going Galt’ are probably the only viable option, and the majority of men this appeals to are either the middle aged thay had every thing taken from them or young men in their 20’s seeing the system isnt worth buying into in the first place.

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