Cicero Pg Essay

Submitted By Micah-Azneer
Words: 3785
Pages: 16

“Our country did not give us birth or rearing without expecting some return from us…she did so with the understanding that she has a claim on the largest and best parts of our minds, talents, and judgment for her own use…” ([9]Political Philosophy: An Historical Introduction Pg.99)([5]The Politics Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained Pg. 49.)
His statement means that the virtuous citizen—whether patriot or politician—will give his or her best back to the state no matter the cost, and, will pursue what is best to the benefit of the state and its people. It is this assessment of Cicero’s, which gave inspiration to Thomas Paine when writing his famous dissertation Rights of Man stating, “My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.” ([8]Human Rights: A Very Short Introduction pgs. 8-9)([5]The Politics Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained Pgs. 136-139.) Everyone is a citizen of the world no matter where they are birthed, for it is Gaia (mother-earth) who granted us our life force. So our country is the earth and our duty is to give back to the world.

Cicero was a pragmatist, because of his experience as a politician, and, he wrote at length about how realistic theory benefitted and was advanced by experience:
At this point you will see the political circle turning; you should learn to recognize its natural motion and circuit from the very beginning. This is the essential element of civic prudence: to see the paths and turns of commonwealths, so that when you know in what direction any action tends, you can hold it back or anticipate it.”
([1]On the Republic,II,47)
Cicero believed that it is only through practical political experience and empirical inquiry; that you can accurately predict what policies the state can pursue in the future based on what their present actions are. Elaborating this fundamental ‘truth’ in his work ‘Invention’:
“…That we do not recklessly and presumptuously assume something to be true… for the absolute is always unknown.”
That is why, by only utilizing scrupulously explicit inquiry and disinterested unbiased knowledge, you will therefore be able to recognize machinating laws being passed. And, when you realize despotic tendencies materializing within your government, you should take action because, “…anyone who blocks a harmful measure should be deemed a public benefactor…”([1]THE LAWS, III, 43.) Knowing, Cicero, that the diabolical sometimes adopts the appearance of good; masquerading and embodying itself completely therein. Thus, “…If ever time should come, when vain {corrupt} and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in governments power, their country will stand in need of its experienced actors {patriots} to prevent its ruin…"(Ibid.) Therein lies the practical and beneficial element of Cicero’s political theory.

Cicero maintained in his belief about political theory that the only way a ‘proper government’ could function and be safeguarded from malevolent behaviors; was by obligating ‘Checks and Balances’. As well as utilizing a ‘construct’ by which institutional ‘systems’ are: regulated, magistrates qualified, and actors democratically elected. Declaring through his dogmas that republicanism was the most practical realistically ideal form of government, which allowed for this ‘system’ to work and enable—what he deemed—the ‘good life’. He knew man wasn’t perfect nor were his politics; and only a democratic political paradigm with a firm adherence to checks and balances permits humans and society to progress harmoniously with one another. He knew if there was not a regimented structure each with distinct areas to balance each other that society would return to a turbulent cycle of governments. “That from monarchy, power can be passed to a tyrant; from the tyrant, it is taken by the aristocracy and the people; and from the aristocracy and people it will be seized by oligarchs and tyrants. Without Checks and Balances of a mixed constitution the government would be bandied about like a…