Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Heart of My Activism: An Explanation of Why the Roman Empire Fell

Drawing of Solomon Ordering the Cutting of the Baby
Yesterday, I received an anonymous criticism that I shouldn't attack the City Attorney, Robert N-Tafoya so much on my blog because even though he may be behaving un-meritoriously, I'm making lawyers look bad everywhere. The criticizer was sophisticated because he (or she) took into consideration that he already knew I wanted the public to know what was happening amongst lawyers, but he failed to provide a reason as to why lawyers like Tafoya should be protected. Here's my rebuttal.

To understand why I do what I do, I want to explore the topic of why the Roman Empire really fell. In the last few years, I've been more interested in the subject.

As an undergraduate, I took a class with the renowned classics scholar - Mortimer Chambers - who told us that the empire fell because of what Edward Gibbon said - the empire became so big, it couldn't sustain itself. I've concluded, recently, I don't believe that explanation is sufficient.

First, the fall of the Roman Empire is important for anyone in politics and government to understand. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the Roman Empire was the most enduring empire in all of human history. The Empire was birthed in 27 BC, when Octavian overthrew the Roman Republic and made himself Emperor Augustus. The Empire died with the fall of Constantinople, now known as Istanbul, in 1453 AD. That's almost 1,500 years of endurance. In comparison, America has been in existence for 239 and a half years, just 16 percent of the age of the Roman Empire. Again, in comparison, America is just a teenager compared to Rome.

But why did such a glorious and prosperous nation fall? Many scholars have taken a stab at the question, and without any real consensus, it's generally agreed upon that Edward Gibbon's theory of the fall is the correct one: The empire fell because the empire became so big and great, it couldn't sustain itself. Gibbon wrote:

"The decline of Rome was the natural and inevitable effect of immoderate greatness. Prosperity ripened the principle of decay; the cause of the destruction multiplied with the extent of conquest; and, as soon as time or accident and removed the artificial supports, the stupendous fabric yielded to the pressure of its own weight."

In other words, the Empire fell because it was like a bacteria that grew so large, the energy it consumed was greater than the amount of food it could intake, and without dividing, the bacteria dies. Well, Gibbon only gives a partial explanation.

Other explanations have pinned the blame on Christians - whose religious doctrine destroyed the fabric of the pagan society; the tolerance of homosexuality; the collapse of law, and the rise of Barbarian invaders. (By the way, I'm not an expert on Gibbon's multivolume treatise on the Roman Empire, but I've ordered the abridged copy to refresh my memory; it's been ages since I was an undergraduate and studied this topic.)

The real reason that the Roman Empire collapsed is the same reason all empires collapse: the rulers of the empire become corrupt, think of only themselves, steal from the people and neglect administering justice. If we look in the Hebrew Book of Wisdom, authored by King Solomon, anonymous wisemen, the men of Hezekiah, and Agur, Proverbs, chapter 29 gives the clearest indication as to why nations crumble. It says, "When the king is concerned with justice, the nation will be strong, but when he is only concerned with money, he will ruin his country." In other words, when our rulers are greedy, are country becomes ruined. But when, they care about justice, the nation becomes strong.

So, the fall of empires is the same story over and over again. The people who rule, become greedy and take too much from the people and the resources of its nation. As Gibbon noted, the administration of justice collapses before a nation falls. So - really what tends to happen - is that the people in charge have only one thing in mind: how to take from us to become richer and more powerful. And as Jesus said, "No servant can have two masters." Meaning, the ruler can't both be focused on getting fatter and richer, while serving his nation and its people at the same time. In short, the rulers are focused on themselves instead of doing what's right. And when they are focused on themselves, the first thing to go will be the administration of justice with our court systems.

Therefore, when rulers only focus on themselves, a chain reaction ignites. The courts of law fail. The people become upset. The surrounding nations know that the corrupt nation is becoming weaker and ripe for the taking. The rulers then deceive the masses into thinking everything is fine and focus their attention on the "circus" (the Roman Coliseum then, and Super Bowl Sunday now) and give them bread (social security, food stamps, and welfare) and direct their attention to controversial and collateral matters (ISIS and Putin).

Historic examples prove this thesis correct. Take a look at the Babylonian Empire. The night the Babylonian Emperor was killed by the Persian King, the Babylonian Emperor was drinking, feasting, and most likely having an orgy. (Daniel 5). I mean how ignorant can you be that you're partying, when the invaders are right at your door.

Also, look at Constantine the Great, the allegedly "First Christian Emperor." Really Constantine the Great converted to Christianity not for the purposes of the faith, but for purposes of confiscating the property of the pagans. (Martin Armstrong brought this to my attention.) What ensued after was a rebellion that divided Rome. And you see this religious conversion trick rulers play to take property over and over again too - like when Henry VIII became the Defender of the Church of England to confiscate the property of the Catholic Church. Again, rebellion follows his daughter, Queen Elizabeth with her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots.

So, Gibbon is right, in the sense that an empire falls when it becomes too big. What he really means to say, is that there either there are too many people in the ruling class to feed, or the ruling class wants too much from its population. There comes a tipping point, when it's no longer sustainable: meaning that the rulers are taking too much from the people, and the people don't have enough to live. Instead of going on a diet, the ruling class, then, attacks its own people, which triggers a chain reaction of problems, making the nation vulnerable to outside forces.

So - what does this have to do with the courts of law, Los Angeles, the City of Baldwin Park, and the City Attorney? The Mayor and Council Members of the City are just taking too much from the residents of Baldwin Park. For example, look at when they confiscated millions of dollars worth of cars, under the pre-text that Mexicans are dangerous drivers. The City's system of justice is corroding, with the tactics of the City Attorney. The only hope for a common person is to find a lawyer and then petition the courts for help.

But even there, my view, is that the entire court system, at least in state court, is unbearable for the one seeking justice. Anyone following my blog can see why. So far - the courts have done nothing to punish the City for misrepresenting my signature in court or making misrepresentations of facts and law, even after the City was impeached on record for all their misconduct. The court failed to sanction the City for filing meritless motions against my cases.

The court also said I had no cause of action against a mayor, who tried to destroy my reputation and chill my right to free speech by filing a frivolous temporary temporary restraining order. The same court, in another case I had, said my client and I, had no cause of action against an attorney, who dropped my client, then filed a lien on our case after we obtained a settlement. And on top of all that, I've obtained three court orders against the City - and the courts won't punish the City for defying those orders.

I'm concerned. And you should be too with our rule of law.

And I can see why the lawyers are upset I write about this because they're afraid its going to slash their profits. A friend in the last few weeks was sued in a lawsuit, in which she never even met the client suing her. She asked me, "Paul, how could the [New Jersey] courts even allow such a case to go forward?" I had to explain that frivolous motions aren't sanctioned in courts because big law firms (usually defense ones) make money from the clients filing them, and the big law firms have a lot of influence with the legislature and the courts. She couldn't believe it and was appalled. (For me, I've accepted it over these two and a half years, that this is our system.) In the short term, the lawyers can make money, but at the expense of administering justice for those who merit it. Ultimately, the people suffer.

This phenomenon of slow and unworkable court systems is not new in our Western World. The King's Court in England, in the Third Century, punished liars in court with the punishment of wer. Taken from Scandinavian (Barbarian) Law, wer was when the judge cut off a liar's tongue in court or had the liar pay a large sum of money to keep one's tongue. It wasn't until 1066 AD, when the French invaded, that courts abolished wer (nobody ever said the French were warriors) and abolished sanctions or imposed lesser monetary sanctions for abusing processes in court. But because lawyers could game the system more, the entire court system collapsed somewhere around 1300 AD because cases weren't being prosecuted and the entire process became overbearing for the courts. As a result, sanctions for court misconduct had to be instituted once again. Now, in historical spectrum of legal evolution and deterioration, where do you think the American courts line up?

That's why I write about all this. I truly believe, unless the heart of justice improves, we're doomed to face the same kind of ends that other empires met. Courts need to do more to discourage lying, cheating, and stealing in court - to preserve the administration of justice. Otherwise, it's rewarding those who lie, cheat, and steal, at the cost of those who tell the truth and follow the rules.

The optometrists say I have better than twenty-twenty vision. Now, if you were me, and you could see, from a far distance that the City was a train, heading straight at its citizens, wouldn't you try to do something? And, believe me: I'm trying - with lawsuits, muckraking, and everything else I could throw to get that train off course or to stop it.

In the context of history, I'm just one small lawyer, in a sliver of time, trying to change one thing, for the endurance of our republic. Hence, I've calculated that the retaliation I face is a small price to pay to achieve that end. Can it be achieved?

In 2016, the United States of America is a country known for its great technology. Look at our iPhone, iPads, Tesla cars, and the other great technological innovations we've been inventing. But what's more important, what we need to endure, and what history needs to remember us for, is for having a heart that values justice and the efficient and fair administration of it.

1 comment:

  1. Ha ha you nailed it. It looks like I found someone who can see the same thing And I am not crazy. Thank you.