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By Guglielmo Ferrero

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Ourselves strong, sure of ourselves destiny as no men and of our before us in history, in face of the blind forces of the Universe, so many of which we have subjected to our dominion and forced to serve our necessities, our ambitions, and our whims. Nevertheless, in the midst of all this wealth, this power, and this knowledge, a dull sense of disquietude vexes men's souls. he finds of the new Man is not yet content. Every day pretexts or motives for complaining. One most oft-repeated of these pretexts or motives that the world is becoming uglier.

Remark may seem at first sight a paradox. But it paradox, if one goes to the root of the problem. what we, men civilisations, young My is no For of the twentieth century, call ancient were really, civilisations, when they flourished, with but few centuries of history behind them; and so are the American the present day. new and For this reason, we civilisations of find in ancient Ancient 24 civilisations, Rome and Modern America on however much reduced a scale, many phenomena which are now peculiar to American social systems; while we should look for them in vain in European civilisation, which has more right to call itself ancient civilisation than have the civilisations of Greece and of Rome.

Another instance still more curious is those dictators who, under varying afforded us titles by and with varying success, have appeared in almost all the republics of Spanish America, after the emancipation of these territories dictators so from the mother country. was Porfirio Diaz, many years. these dictators. tures, now The latest of these who governed Mexico for Europe has never properly understood She has mistaken them for carica- of Nero, now of Napoleon, and has drawn the conclusion that the republics in question were impregnated with the disease of tyranny, and could not But a historian of the exist in a state of liberty.

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Ancient Rome and Modern America by Guglielmo Ferrero


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