Robin (solri) wrote,

Julius Caesar, Bad Role Model

Since someone recommended reading The 48 Laws of Power, I checked it out on Wikipedia: "Although Greene was unhappy in his current job, he was comfortable and saw the time needed to write a proper book proposal as too risky. However, at the time Greene was rereading his favorite biography about Julius Caesar and took inspiration from Caesar's decision to cross the Rubicon River and fight Pompey, thus inciting the Great Roman Civil War. Greene would follow Caesar's example and write the treatment, which later became The 48 Laws of Power."

Hmmm. Crossing the Rubicon may be an iconic example of a momentous decision, but it is also an example of stupid decision. Caesar took an unconstitutional action which plunged the republic into a war that eventually ended it, and which in turn led to his assassination. So, a pretty dumb move, and that coming from someone who had recently killed and enslaved millions of people because it seemed like a good idea at the time, setting up the whole "Let's conquer the whole world" thing that overextended Rome's territory and led to its eventual destruction. Despite widespread condemnation, Caesar thought so well of his murderous rampages that he wrote a book about it, which until recently was forced upon schoolboys learning Latin because its leaden prose was at least easy to parse.

It is not a good advert for the book when the author takes his inspiration from one of history's greatest failures.

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