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Tenth book in the trilogy?

TenthBookInTheTrilogy550
Would that the horrors of the age were but fantastic fiction

Edward Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in large part established what we now think of as the practice of history.  In it, he showed how the vigor and prosperity of a republic became, through transformation into an empire, such a litany of decadence, corruption, and misery that it required six massive volumes to relate.

Given Gibbon’s method of considering the successors of Rome as part of his subject, and that the Roman roots of the United States are more substantive than mere fasces decorating the walls of Corinthian-columned halls, we are presented today with a new entry for his long, sad compilation.

Plain and intentional language, reiterated by its primary author, has been declared, ex cathedra, to be of no matter in deciding the meaning of statutes “deemed to have passed” by the Congress of the United States.  Instead, the convenience of the executive – indeed, the primacy of agencies and programs – and not any article, clause, or definition found in the current Constitution – is defined as the overriding principle of law and government.

This is the exact meaning of the word “bureaucracy”, and renders all constitutional offices and arrangements superfluous.  Every tatter and vestige of the republic becomes as ornamental and obsolete as the Senates of the Old and New Romes for the millennium and a half between Octavian and the Ottoman conquest.

Congress need neither read bills put before it, nor worry about whether they have enacted something that cannot work.  New legislation to fix errors or address changed circumstances?  Not if the now-sacred program would obviously be unable to survive legislative re-examination.

It appears that the proof text for the new infallible dogma of the Ennead of the Patomac is Reagan’s “The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program.”

This brings to mind how Paul’s “In Adam all have sinned” was twisted by the followers of Augustine of Hippo into the mad notion of unbaptized babies roasting in Hell.

So now is the “consumer of health care services”, not to mention to the current and future taxpayer, burned in agony, by loss of coverage and access to care, by exploding premiums, deductibles, and co-payments, by capricious exactions from the brazenly political IRS, and yes, by de facto death panels.

The unpalatability of the doctrine of infants in Hell led the medieval Church not to reconsider “Augustinecare”, but to invent Limbo.

bruegel-the-elder-pieter-cherubs
Metaphor for our ideal state as conceived by our would-be masters?

How similar can be seen the hapless fate of supposed citizens who can elect not one (2010) but two (2014) Congresses with the primary intention of nullifying “Obamacare”, only to have the thing proclaimed dogma, required for salvation, in a Bull of Pope John (XXIV?) Roberts.  (Surely not a “Golden Bull” – perhaps a “Quantitative Easing Bull”?)

A century before Gibbon, Hobbes could write, “the Papacy is not other than the Ghost of the deceased Roman Empire, sitting crowned upon the grave thereof.”  We can now solemnly substitute the Supreme Court for the Papacy and the Republic of 1789 for the Roman Empire.

Stephen R. Donaldson had a lasting effect, with The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, similar to that of Gibbon in his respective field.  Whereas the term had been restricted to a work published in three volumes, now, in epic fantasy at least, it is an established custom for readers to fervently await, for example, the sixth book in a trilogy.

Let us therefore address the question: what number shall we give to this latest addition to the matter of Gibbon’s Decline and Fall?

Horatius

3 Comments »

  1. Horatius Said,

    June 30, 2015 @ 9:47 pm

    Another chapter in that tenth book:

    http://www.wnd.com/2015/06/supreme-court-made-obamacare-unconstitutional-case-alleges/

  2. Horatius Said,

    July 1, 2015 @ 2:02 am

    The abridged version:

    http://media.townhall.com/Townhall/Car/b/gv063015dAPR20150630054519.jpg

  3. Horatius Said,

    July 4, 2015 @ 2:41 am

    And in the “worth a thousand words” category, we have this excellent and completely apt depiction:

    http://reason.com/blog/2015/07/03/friday-funnies-john-roberts-on-obamacare

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