One thing critics of ancient cultures often miss is how easy “freedom” and “liberty” were to achieve in the ancient world and how hard order was to maintain.

One could curse the king easily in the ancient world with almost no chance the king would ever hear of it! Any society was just a few bad harvests from chaos.

Ancient cultures tended to develop rules, for good reasons, that emphasized justice and good order, because in those times order was harder to maintain.

Technology helped the central power . . . and has made order easier to maintain. I would argue it has made it too easy! As a result modern thinkers began to emphasize keeping the central government out of our lives. The king could do things in a modern context that ancient kings could do in theory . . . but never in practice!

So one reason “liberty” is less emphasized in any ancient text is that “order” was often a bigger priority . . . and harder to abuse.

blog comments powered by Disqus