Twitter critics who suddenly found this show have been asking, ‘why write a horror podcast about Democracy?’ Well, Jan. 6, 2021 was a pretty horrifying event. I bet it scared you too. It caused me to think, “what if we lose democracy, like the Romans did? Is this the beginning of the end? How can I bring attention to the incredibly scary comparisons between the Late Republic period in Rome and the decline in American Democracy now?”
Answer? “Write a Horror, of course”
As the tagline of DEMOCRACY JONES Podcast says, “There is nothing scarier than a military coup.”
Here are some of the justifications: If the founders of US Democracy turned to the Roman Republic as an example, why wouldn’t we turn to its fall as an example to AVOID the collapse of US Democracy? DEMOCRACY JONES Podcast does.
By comparing the Late Republic period of Rome with near-future American Democracy, DEMOCRACY JONES Podcast seeks to disseminate awareness of the things that brought Democracy to its knees in Rome and what is happening today in the US.
The horrors the citizenry experienced while losing the Roman Republic were real. The society essentially split in two and the people were forced to choose a side. But there are very clear consequences involved in a zero sum game. If you choose the right side, you become a part of the new government’s totalitarian control. If you choose the wrong side, you die or go into exile. Lost are the great, although imperfect, benefits citizens enjoy in a democracy. Even if the new government claims to be democratic, it’s lost its legitimacy. Look to the example of Roman General Marius’s very partisan purges and reforms of the government after he took control, and the opposing Roman General Sulla’s equally partisan actions after he swept through and undid all of Marius’s reforms.
As most Anthropologists will tell you about the collapse of complex societies, it is hardly ever one thing that spells ruin. The Republic of Rome was no different. And although we have made great technological breakthroughs since then, we are still just as susceptible.
By telling this story, and having the audience witness the crossing of the threshold from Democracy to a coup in a small American town, I hope that we can begin to come together, Conservatives and Liberals, so that we can figure this out before it is too late.
“Above all else, the Roman Republic teaches the citizens of its modern descendants the incredible dangers that come along with condoning political obstruction and courting political violence. Roman history could not more clearly show that, when citizens look away as their leaders engage in these corrosive behaviors, their republic is in mortal danger.”
~Edward J. Watts, Mortal Republic