"The Principate is characterized by a concerted effort on the part of the Emperors to preserve the illusion of the formal continuance of the Roman Republic."
After the Principate, Ancient Rome went through nearly a century of upheaval, before it entered the period of the Dominate, which was the "despotic" last phase of Ancient Rome.
As I watch the United States government continue, with impunity, to erode the rights of Americans, it occurs to me we are living through the American Principate, where our government is characterized by a concerted effort on the part of our political oligarchs to preserve the illusion of the formal continuance of the American Republic.
Knowing the history of Ancient Rome, I have to wonder: Who will be the American "Alexander Severus"? Based on Alexander's biography, Obama certainly fits the bill in one respect:
"...when campaigning against...Germania, Alexander Severus apparently alienated his legions by trying diplomacy and bribery, and they assassinated him."However, on the whole, Obama's reign doesn't resemble Alexander's:
"The luxury and extravagance that had formerly been so prevalent at the court were put down; the standard of the coinage was raised; taxes were lightened; literature, art and science were encouraged; the lot of the soldiers was improved; and, for the convenience of the people, loan offices were instituted for lending money at a moderate rate of interest."All things considered, I suspect we have at least another leader or more to go before we reach the end of our government's pretense of republicanism. But with Obama's ineptitude, I may be surprised sooner.