OxBlog

Thursday, March 16, 2006

# Posted 6:07 AM by Patrick Porter  

REPUBLICANS WITH DAGGERS Julius Caesar was stabbed to death in the Roman Senate, 2049 years ago. To commemorate his passing, or celebrate the overthrow of an overmighty ruler, just breath in (hat-tip, Steve!).

Blogging for an audience with many Americans in it, this got me thinking about political assassination. Obviously they happen under all sorts of political systems. But I've often speculated that republics or republican movements, founded on the principle of anti-monarchism, have produced more intensely ideological justifications for regicide or tyrannicide. So, are there books out there which explore the history not of assassinations, but of the political and intellectual foundations for justifying it? Are there continuities in republican thought that link the likes of Brutus, Booth, or Cromwell (who authorised one at least)? and does anyone know which German historian regretted that their liberties had suffered because Germany's forbears had not beheaded enough monarchs?
(5) opinions -- Add your opinion

Comments:
wow, you really are a backward ass Brit. The last Anglo-Saxon people with glimmerings of regicide were: those fuzzy Protestants with Carlos I. Why pick on us Republicans? We don't kill President, even ones we don't like. I'm not even sure killing Mr. Lincoln was that popular in the South, and that would qualify as political assistantion, not regicide.
 
First,
he is not a Brit, he is an Aussie thank you very much.

Second, Mr. Porter was talking about how republican countries (who do not like monarchs/tyrants) kill leaders. Not Republicans.

Nice job splitting hairs and still missing the point.
 
An interesting thought, and I've left a long-ish reply to the bulk of this post here.
 
During the Constitutional Convention Ben Franklin lobbied for the impeachment clause by pointing out the only alternative would be assassination.

The last time this issue came up that I'm aware of was when the Church Committee leaked info on our half-hearted efforts against Castro. I still believe that, had we formally declared war beforehand, taking him out would have been an ethical choice.
 
I don't know about Republican thought, but the grand old man of Colomby-des-Deux-Eglises, the third most important man in the history of France after Napoleon and Louis XIV, said after the Kennedy assassination, "Isn't it funny that every country in the world has political assassinations, but in the United States it's always the work of a madman?" Of course LBJ and Nelson Rockefeller didn't think so, either. They both told friends Kennedy was trying to kill Castro, but Castro got him first.
 
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