America: Too Big To (Not) Fail

The Abbeville Institute has begun a video series addressing the question of whether America is simply too big. 

Remember the 10-foot tall mutant ants from campy old 1950′s sci-fi films – the ones your high school biology teacher explained couldn’t actually exist?  OK, so that’s not exactly how Emory University philosophy professor emeritus Don Livingston explains it – but it does give you a general idea.  Citing Aristotle, Livingston finds bizarre claims that a real republic can contain over 300 million people.

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12 thoughts on “America: Too Big To (Not) Fail

  1. T. Chan

    Where is the video series to be found? I checked the media library section but didn’t see any videos.

  2. HarrisonBergeron2

    Of course the US cannot remain a republic at this scale. DC’s imperial ambitions have already resulted in the scuttling of the Bill of Rights – that’s what the NDAA is all about.

    Factor in the spiralling debt, and escalating ethnic tensions at home, and long-term survival odds look pretty slender.

  3. robert m. peters

    Mr. Bergeron,

    The US was never a republic. It was, until 1865, a union of constitutionally federated republics. In 1865, it became as a result of war, a consolidated and centralized Hobbersian state which is an abstract corporation with a monopoly on coercion, with the ability to define the limits of its own power, and with the imputes of a strong will, be it the will of a dictator, an oligarchy or a democratic majority manipulated by stock jobbers, paper aristocracy, bureaucrats, corporatists or ideologues.

    Bismark crushed with cabals, intrigues and war the principalities and free cities and created a Hobbesian state which used nationalism as its stalking horse; Garibaldi and his cronies through cabals, intrigues and war crushed the principalities and free cities of Italy and even made war against the Papacy and the Vicar of Christ, thereby creating a Hobbesian state which used nationalism as its stalking horse; and Lincoln, the Republican Party and their allies made war against the states and replaced their union with a Hobbsian state under the guise of “propositional” or “abstract” nationalism. Actually, Lincoln destroyed two unions of constitutionally federated republics: that union of the United States and that union of the Confederate States. His war against the United States was as through as his war against the Confederate States.

  4. Kirt Higdon

    Most republics are disguised oligarchies and the US is no exception. The popular or democratic aspect consists of narrowly circumscribed electoral “choices” between near identical servants of the oligarchy. The rule of law consists of a maze of law so complex that the average person is hopelessly lost from the beginning so that in the end “the law” means whatever the oligarchy and its servants want it to mean.

  5. robert m. peters

    Mr. Higdon,

    “The rule of law” does not “consist of a maze of law so complex that the average person is hopelessly lost….”

    The rule of law in reference to a given republic of the classical age refers to the traditions, customs and habits embedded in and lived out by a particular people by which they define their common good.

    Statutory law, your maze of law, and the notion of due process are actually antithetical to the rule of law; as tradition, custom and habits die in the hearts of men within a given social order, they are replaced by statutory law in a vain and futile attempt to therewith hold the social order together.

    The friction between statutory law (the king’s law) and the rule of law, i.e. the traditions, customs and habits lived out by the people, is expressed by Sophocles as Antigone lives out the rule of law against the law of Creon in that she buries her brother Polynices. The rule of law over against statutory law is found in Anglo-Saxon jury nullification.

    It is true, indeed, that some group rules, either marshaled around a dictator or a so-called majority. The question is are they men who have republican virtues who rule in accordance with the rule of law toward the common good which it defines; or are they men who rule against the rule of law, often ensconcing themselves in a plethora of statutory law. If they are the latter, then they are tyrants.

    Once demographic and territorial scale are lost, it is difficult for a given social order to have and maintain common traditions, customs and habits and have as their focus the common good which flows out of it. Precisely this disorder, the loss of scale and the attendant commonalities, is the breeding ground for tyranny!

    The rule of law in the classical sense is closely tied to the commons.

  6. Sempronius

    Not entirely off topic, I thought I’d post this here without comment. All emphasis mine.

    Srdja Trifcovic recently at Chronicles:*

    “In fact the Eurasian Union (EAU) is a project of regional political and economic integration openly modeled on the European Union.”

    “The agreement included the blueprint for the future integration and established the Eurasian Commission—clearly emulating the European Commission in Brussels—which started work on the first day of this year.”

    “…there is no rational reason for the United States to oppose regional integration of post-Soviet countries.”

    Then, in a recent thread, R. Reavis queries the Doctor:*


    If you had to select which institutions and policies of the last 25 years have done the most harm to what is left of these small remnants of Christian culture, would it be The United States and their closest allies in the middle east, the European Union or the Muslim Brotherhood?”

    Srdja Trifkovic replies:

    “The U.S. and the E.U. share #1. The MB is just doing its thing. They’d be nowhere but for the treasonous elites controlling Brussels and Washington.”

    Now here’s a glimpse of Sergio given to us by the Catholic scholar E. Michael Jones:

    “Then mysteriously the paleocon movement switched horses in mid-stream and started beating the drum against “Islamofascism” in a way that rendered it indistinguishable from Commentary or the Weekly Standard. I remember attending a Chronicles conference and listening to a talk by Srdja Trifkovic on the threat which Islam posed to the West. In the question and answer period following the talk I said, “I can understand your feelings toward Islam. If I were a Serb, I would feel the same way. But America has never been threatened by Islam, and the only reason we are threatened now is because of our support of Israel.”

    Afterward Trifkovic admitted what I said was true, but he then added, “You can’t say that sort of thing in public.” *




  7. Sempronius

    Gentle Mr. Peters,

    Would you kindly indicate to me the “free cities” that Garibaldi “crushed” with his army?

    Could you also explain to me why it was OK for Russia, France and Great Britain to possess unitary “Hobbesian” state powers but not Germany and Italy?

    La ringrazio moltissimo, esimio signore.

  8. Kirt Higdon

    Mr. Peters,

    I pretty much agree with you, but obviously my shorthand created some ambiguity as to what I meant. I should have said “what passes for the rule of law in the contemporary US”.

  9. robert m. peters


    Are you from the gens Sempronius of the Republican Period, if so, which branch: patrician or plebeian; or are you from The Apple Cart?

    As through a glass darkly, I “see,” I think how you might consider quoting Dr. Trifkovic from Chronicles relates to his topic. Would you, however, dispel the darkness for me and likely for others.

    Those who know me have never referred to me as “gentle.”

    As to your queries of me, the following: I did not mention France, Russia and Great Britain because those dynastic states had already morphed into Hobbesian states in the late 18th century. I was interested in highlighting the almost parallel and similar events of the mid-19th century. My use of “free cities” is quick reference Internet shorthand for those Duchies and other regions built around cities which before 1860 were independent of any centralized Italian state and which were subdued by Garibaldi and others in the quest for national unity. I would welcome a more detailed discourse on the process of nationalization in Italy, a discourse which I am sure you could provide. A nationalist Italian state was very much in the interest of the British who wanted to thwart the Habsburg Dynasty in the idiom of Austria.

    Herzlichen Dank, sehr verehrter Herr.

  10. Sempronius

    Mr. Peters,

    A quick reply. There were no idependent Italian states in the 19th century (accepting Sardinia). They were all satellites of Austria. They were no more sovereign than E. Germany or Poland during the Soviet era.

    That GB supported Italian unity is a very common belief, widely held in Italy itself. But it is mistaken.

    It’s a compex matter and I’m not sure I could do it justice in this commentary format, or even in a more adequate medium.

    More in future if you like.

    P.S. What is it specifically about the Trifkovic quotes that puzzles you?

  11. Pingback: theCL Report: Misery Spreads

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