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Saturday 25th of June 2022
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Etymology helps to understand the secular nature of Roman politics.

Etymology helps to understand the secular nature of Roman politics. A French scholar, George Dumézil, has convincingly shown that the indo-european root *yeu(e) for JUS (=right) had a dual meaning : (1) spiritual grace (2) area of action granted by the public authority. The root evolved towards (2) and secularization in Rome and towards (1) and mysticism in India and Iran. Likewise, *kred-dhe, the root for CREDO and its verbal substantive fides, acquired a profane juridical and ethical meaning in Rome, but maintained its original religious signification in Indo-Iranian cultures, with sraddha means devotion, sra being the heart (e.g. “to put one’s heart in somebody or something.”). As we see, the Roman worldview evolved towards secularism, while the Indo-Iranian worldview evolved to something more spiritual.

Roman Law, indeed, has no transcendent foundation and is purely secular. Law is ‘what the people approves and establishes’: Lex est quod populus iubet atque constituit (Gaius, Institutes, I, 3), a definition which is so incomplete that it clearly misses the mark. Stoicism, much later, gave Roman Law a more spiritual content, but not enough to make it comparable to Jewish Law, for instance.

The materialism of Rome shocked the Jews and the Christians alike, all the more as it took the form of a predatorial Empire. The Ancient Jews saw in the Roman people the instantiation of Edom/Esau, Jacob’s twin and rival, Jacob being a type for Israel, and, more deeply, Edom standing for the forces of Evil, and Jacob for the forces of Good. The Jews much resented the Roman occupation of Judea, and eagerly awaited their Messiah to come, a king who would deliver them from the Romans and usher a new Golden Age.

Actually, modern orthodox Judaism still believe in this situation, and see the Western World as an offspring of Rome. They understand this age as a painful exile within the Roman civilization. For them, the true foe is the Spirit of Rome, the Spirit of Edom, which has taken over the whole world, and especially the Western World. For them, the Muslims are not the real enemy, and they believe that someday the Jews and the Muslims will be reconciled.

§13. The first Christians held similar views towards Rome, and believed that the Roman materialistic power was the external expression of a mystical, evil power, the ‘mystical Babylon’. This is how St.John depicts the Roman Empire in his Revelations. St Augustine saw in Rome “the daughter of Babylon”(De Civ.Dei, XVIII,22), identifying the Spirit of Rome with the Spirit of Babylon, a move which is not historically unsound, since there exists a connection between Rome and the Middle East through the Etruscan people. For instance, the legendary foundation of Rome by Romulus and Remus was performed with Etruscan rituals close to Babylonian ones.

Contrary to the Jews, the first Christian claimed that the apparent failure of Jesus’ Christ was actually a victory – albeit a spiritual one, and that He was the Messiah. For them, the battle against Evil had first to be waged on a spiritual plane, with spiritual weapons, against the Babylonian Spirit of Rome. And those weapons were gained through Christ’s atonement and were freely available for all his followers. They expected Jesus to return very soon at the head of the celestial armies to destroy the Roman Empire, to break the power of evil on mankind and to usher a new golden age.

Nothing such happened, but, instead, something unthinkable occurred: the Roman Empire became Christian (313, 380) and became the main vector of christianism! While the structures of the Empire remained intact, their negative features were more or less neutralized. The imperial office became intrinsically Christian and the legal structure of the Empire began to change.

The harsh roman laws then became somewhat milder: more freedoms given to the slaves; protection of families, orphans, and marriage; better treatment done to prisoners; interdiction of cruelty in death indictment, interdiction of wizardry; elements of human rights rooted in the spiritual dignity of the human being . The change affected the vocabulary: the old roman fides and credo began to have a less juristic and more spiritual meaning. As Dumézil remarks, those notions became closer to their Indo-Iranian counterparts, indicating a spiritualization of the old Empire.

Later, the Canonical Law of the Catholic Church formulated the theory of vote in chapters, of representative delegation, distinguished a person and its office, thus opening the road for the most positive feature of modern civilization, under the influence of the true Spirit of Law.

However, as it is known, this spiritual influence receded, and the Church lost its authority: the XIIIth century exalted reason as an autonomous source of knowledge, especially in the ethical and political field, and the roman legal legacy was discovered in Northern Italy. A rationalist and naturalist intellectual tradition appeared and tried to found political modernity on purely secular terms, based on the distorted remnants of traditional catholic theology. And, slowly, little by little, the pagan Roman Empire reemerged, under the guise of a purely secular European Union, in spite of the efforts of some Christian politicians who dreamed of a new Holy Roman Empire – but their plans were thwarted. The Catholic Church in Europe, unaware of the new threat, now stays isolated as one of the last beacons of light in an ocean of darkness.


Third part: Law, eschatological

§14. Most traditions describe the end times as a time of utter lawlessness: Greeks and Romans expected an Iron Age, Islam speaks of fasad, Hinduism and Buddhism await a decline of the Dharma (God’s Law). Jesus has taught that in the end of days “many will turn away from the faith and hate each other, many false prophets will appear and deceive many people, because the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold”(Mt 24:10-12). Falsity, apostasy, hatred will prevail, as the outward manifestation of a deeper phenomenon: ‘lawlessness’ (anomia) - St Paul says: “the mystery of lawlessness is already at work”(2Thess2:7). 1 John 3:4 identifies Law with sin: ‘sin is lawlessness’. Lawlessness then epitomizes the end of times. Its core meaning is departure from God’s Law, and, more deeply, from the Spirit of Love hiding behind Law: “the love of most will grow cold.”

Indeed, Lawlessness means essentially “without Love.” With regard to political laws, lawlessness can take two forms: 1) generalization of behaviors contradicting just Laws (crime, corruption, conflicts). 2) Misuse of Law by soulless politicians who want to implement agendas of political and military repression and domination covering hidden goals, like the installation of an antireligious world order. Without the Spirit of Love, Law can degenerate into blind harshness and become destructive instead of instructive and redemptive. Lawlessness is not only the absence of Law, it is also Law without God and without Love.

The Biblical Book of Daniel describes those godless political orders as a gigantic statue made of fourth parts, the lowest one – the feet, being a mix of iron and clay (Dn 2:31). Most commentators have identified those feet with the Roman Empire , the last evil Empire before the advent of the new era. The feet mixed with clay symbolize its division in its later historical stages. Indeed, the Roman Empire did not die in 476, at the fall of Romulus Augustulus, but, as a legal-political structure, slowly regained preeminence amongst the barbaric kingdoms which were to become the European Nations and later took over the whole world.

As we saw, stoicism and christianism positively affected this structure, but, unfortunately, their influence receded through time. Their remnants are found in the incomplete doctrines of human rights and democracy, which become more and more nominal with time, especially in the XXth century where they almost disappeared. And today, what’s left of the Christian legacy is threatened by a vast complex of various phenomena – above all the constitution of giant federations devoid of real legitimacy and threatening to collapse into police states. Little by little, the old pagan roman order resurfaces and imposes his law of death on all sectors of human activities, enhanced with modern technology and modern control techniques.

The “Apocalypse” (apokaluptein, to reveal) is this period of history where the ‘mystery of lawlessness’ is fully disclosed. Someday the most evil political system in world history headed by some evil persons will appear suddenly, after a long time of gestation gone unnoticed by even the most acute political analysts. It will take over the entire world, either by ruse or by force and will persecute all true believers (Dn 7:23). A new world religion, founded on the wrong basis, will appear to help unifying mankind. The appearance of regional federations (ASEAN, ALENA, NAFTA, EU, Union of the West, etc) is then a mixed blessing as we know they will degenerate into a global police state founded on repression and violence, centered on the revived Roman Empire, led by a New Nero (Rev.) and an evil spiritual leader who will usurp Peter’s seat in Rome, the legitimate pope having gone in exile. The Jews identifies the first figure with Armilus, the King of Rome and some muslim hadiths associate the Dajjal with Rome. Evangelical Christians are aware of the threat, and, likewise, some Church Fathers feared likewise a subversion of the Holy Roman Empire by the Antichrist through black magic and subversion (St John Chrysostom, Hom.Thess., 2, 4).

§15. Thus, there exists a conceptual continuity between the following elements: the lack of love in the hearts, especially towards God, indifference towards God and God’s law, transgression of God’s law, sin and its consequences : unhappiness, frustration, hatred, conflicts, corruption at all levels, disturbance of nature, etc.

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