Twelve Maxims from Caesar for the US Election Year

In Caesar's Ghost, Masters of Command by Barry StraussLeave a Comment

I asked Caesar’s Ghost to comment on the Republican primaries but he declined. “The race is run,” he said, pronouncing Romney the candidate. When I asked him to explain, he said his legate would be in touch. No sooner did he speak than an e-mail arrived with the following words of wisdom from the dictator.  CAESARIS DICTATORIS SENTENTIAE XII “It’s …

Barry StraussTwelve Maxims from Caesar for the US Election Year

Retreat

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As the year 2011 nears its end, I called on Caesar’s Ghost to look back – and look ahead. I asked the dictator his main impression of the year. As a general, I could not help but hear the profound blast of the trumpet sounding the retreat. The Americans have pulled back in the Middle East. Once there were 170,000 …

Barry StraussRetreat

Thanksgiving

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I was surprised to find Caesar’s Ghost at my door again, and on a holiday morning. “Happy Thanksgiving, Dictator!” I said. Hail, professor. Caesar looked perplexed. I asked what ailed him. I do not understand this Thanksgiving of yours. In Rome, we had Thanskgiving too, and we called it supplicatio. But it was not an annual event. We saved Thanksgiving …

Barry StraussThanksgiving

Imperium

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With the Euro taking up fewer headlines this week, I didn’t expect to hear from Caesar’s Ghost. But the dictator came knocking on my door. Hail, professor! Hail, Caesar! What brings you here? The sweet smell of empire. Willy-nilly, the Germans are getting used to the idea that they have one and they like it. Now they merely have to …

Barry StraussImperium

Crossing the Eurocon

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It was a bad week for powerful men. Joe Paterno was fired as football coach at Penn State, Papandreou stepped down as Greek Prime Minister, and finally, Silvio Berlusconi resigned as Italian Prime Minister. Knowing, as I do, how little respect Caesar had for those who gave up power voluntarily, I summoned up his ghost once again. Hail, Caesar! Are …

Barry StraussCrossing the Eurocon

Caesar on the Republican Debate

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I asked Caesar’s Ghost what he thought of last night’s Republican Presidential candidates’ debate. He sent the following reply: CAESAR THE DICTATOR TO “STRATEGIES” BLOG Caesar would not entrust the highest office in the republic to a person lacking the ambition to win. Romney displayed that ambition last night but Perry did not. Caesar adheres to the Greek ideal that …

Barry StraussCaesar on the Republican Debate

Caesar on 9-11

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With the tenth anniversary of 9-11 approaching, I summoned up once again the ghost of one of history’s greatest strategic thinkers. Hail Caesar! What words of wisdom do you have for us, as we approach the tenth anniversary of 9-11? Caesar would not have waged war as you Americans have. After a conspiracy attacked your country around the Nones of …

Barry StraussCaesar on 9-11

You Can’t Win Without a Winner

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With electoral politics heating up, I summoned up the new familiar ghost of Caesar. Hail, Caesar. The Republicans seem quite optimistic these days about defeating President Obama in 2012 and winning the White House. Men readily believe what they want. But given the state of the American economy in the Obama years, doesn’t it seem that the Republicans have a …

Barry StraussYou Can’t Win Without a Winner

Never Confess

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With the financial crisis upending the political scene, I turned for advice once again to the master of crisis management, Julius Caesar. As usual, his ghost was ready to talk. I notice, dictator, that President Obama has not taken the blame for Standard & Poor’s downgrade of the U. S. credit rating. In fact, his advisor, David Axelrod, went on …

Barry StraussNever Confess

Pivoting

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“Pivot” is the buzzword of the season among political journalists. They report, for instance, that President Obama is “pivoting” to the issue of jobs after the federal debt ceiling debate. Earlier this year they said that Governor Romney was trying to “pivot” from playing defense about his healthcare law in Massachusetts to going on the attack on Obamacare. And we …

Barry StraussPivoting