Ashes of the Beacon: An Historical Monograph Written in 4930 by Ambrose Bierce

Ashes of the Beacon: An Historical Monograph Written in 4930

byAmbrose Bierce

Kobo ebook | December 4, 2014

Pricing and Purchase Info

$0.99

Prices and offers may vary in store

Available for download

Not available in stores

about

Ashes of the Beacon

Of the many causes that conspired to bring about the lamentable failure of “self-government” in ancient America the most general and comprehensive was, of course, the impracticable nature of the system itself. In the light of modern culture, and instructed by history, we readily discern the folly of those crude ideas upon which the ancient Americans based what they knew as “republican institutions,” and maintained, as long as maintenance was possible, with something of a religious fervor, even when the results were visibly disastrous. To us of to-day it is clear that the word “self-government” involves a contradiction, for government means control by something other than the thing to be controlled. When the thing governed is the same as the thing governing there is no government, though for a time there may be, as in the case under consideration there was, a considerable degree of forbearance, giving a misleading appearance of public order. This, however, soon must, as in fact it soon did, pass away with the delusion that gave it birth. The habit of obedience to written law, inculcated by generations of respect for actual government able to enforce its authority, will persist for a long time, with an ever lessening power upon the imagination of the people; but there comes a time when the tradition is forgotten and the delusion exhausted. When men perceive that nothing is restraining them but their consent to be restrained, then at last there is nothing to obstruct the free play of that selfishness which is the dominant characteristic and fundamental motive of human nature and human action respectively. Politics, which may have had something of the character of a contest of principles, becomes a struggle of interests, and its methods are frankly serviceable to personal and class advantage. Patriotism and respect for law pass like a tale that is told. Anarchy, no longer disguised as “government by consent,” reveals his hidden hand, and in the words of our greatest living poet,

lets the curtain fall,

And universal darkness buries all!

Title:Ashes of the Beacon: An Historical Monograph Written in 4930Format:Kobo ebookPublished:December 4, 2014Publisher:Consumer Oriented Ebooks PublisherLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN:9990049698348

Look for similar items by category:

Reviews