their time and resources to the serice of their commonwealth;rnand in times of national emergency, they will even submit to arntax to snpport the soldiers who are risking their lives for theirrnneighbors. Free people, however, reject categoricallv the assumptionrnthat they somehow owe the state a portion of their incomernor propertv’.rnClaude Nicolet, in his book on Roman citizenship, distinguishesrnsharply between the combination of indirect taxationrnand voluntary contributions that characterized ancient commonwealthsrnand the concept of taxation as something citizensrnowe government, which “was only known to the ancients in therncontext of provincial finances, i.e., in respect of conquered peoplesrnwho, in return for their freedom and an assurance of protection,rnwere obliged to make a ‘monetar,’ pavment’ in recognitionrnof Roman sox’ereignt)’.”rnSo here is the difference between us (Americans and Europeans)rnand them (ancient Greek and Roman citizens):rnThey were free, and they knew it. We are not free and refuse tornrecognize the fact. Roman citizens were eventually subject torndirect taxation, and the great bureaucrat Diocletian, in additionrnto drawing up a doomed-to-fail program of wage-and-price controls,rndevised a universal system of taxation tliroughont tiie empire.rnNo one would pretend that the subjects of Diocletian orrnConstantine were a free republican people. The emperors ofrntiie fourth and fifth centuries made no pretense: hi political ritualsrnand court ceremonies, even Christian emperors were treatedrnas gods.rnGreeks and Romans of the later empire did retain a largernmeasure of moral freedom, and dedicated public servants ofrnbroad education and generous minds continued to be produced.rnEven 500 ears after the fall of Rome, when our barbarianrnancestors were yahooing tiirough the ruins of a fallen civilization,rnsome traditions of the rule of law and decent behaviorrnwere being preserved in the New Rome that Constantine hadrnbuilt on the Bosporus. But—and this is something ve mustrnnever let ourselves forget—in losing their political liberties andrnsubjecting themselves to imperial taxation, they gradually lostrntheir cultural and cen their economic initiative and creativib,-.rnGreek and Roman civic ideals were not dead; the’ would bernrevived by Italians in the Middle Ages and transmitted to theirrnbuffoonish cousins in England, France, and Germany; andrnthese ideals of liberty and the rule of law would take on new lifernin tlie w oods and prairies of North America. But in the end, thernOld Adam of dependence and servilih’ reasserted itself everywhere,rnespecially among the nation that most vaunted itself onrnits liberh’. The transformation is summed up in a small changernof language. Once upon a time, Americans were proud to declarern—in terms St. Paul would have imderstood —that theyrnwere citizens of tiiis great republic, but by the time I was growingrnup, disgnmtled Americans writing letters to the editorrnwould inevitably begin their diatribes with “As a taxpayer…”rnIt is almost as if thc- arc proud of their senilih.rnTaxation without representation is t}’rann’, declared JamesrnOtis, but what representation is possible in a political systemrnwhere the otcs of an ignorant and subrational proletariat (somernof tiicm with incomes in six figures) are controlled by part) machines,rninternational lobbyists, and media conglomerates? Thernanswer is: None. These are bitter lessons that the Greeks canrnteach us best. Small wonder that ancient w riters, with tiieir di.sturbingrncandor, are being chased out of universities to makernroom for the servile voices of the imperial chorus. <^’rnDICTATIONSrn. The Moral MinorityrnThe word “minority” represents one of those inversionsrnof value (Jiat typify socialist regimes. Derived, obviously,rnfrom the Latin minor (smaller or less in respectrnof size, importance, age, etc.), “minority” has been used inrnEnglish to express both the immature years before adulthoodrnand the losing side of a judicial opinion. Most significantly,rnit means —according to the Oxford EnglishrnDictionary—the “condition of being smaller, inferior, subordinate.”rnPresumably, then, when we describe an individual as belongingrnto a minority, we are saying that we regard him as arnloser, an inferior, a subordinate. The idea of a virtuous minorityrnis romantic and vvhiggish. “Minorities are almost alwaysrnin the right,” remarked the Rev. Sidney Smith, a professionalrncontrarian, who almost always found himself onrnthe side of the smug progressives at the Edinburgh Review.rnThe political (and moral) minority celebrated by SidneyrnSmitli would evolve over the years into the liberals, socialists,rnprogressives, and leftists who are pretty much responsiblernfor the shape the wodd is in today.rnThat minorities are special and privileged became a matterrnof cant. “Governments exist to protect the rights of minorities,”rnbrayed Wendell Phillips in a speech given inrnBoston in 1860, only a year before his friends and followersrnplunged the nation into a war to destroy the political rightsrnof the minority of American citizens living in the Southernrnstates. Phillips condemned Lincoln for being too moderaternand insisted that the African minorit}’ had to be given land,rneducation, and privileges at the expense of the immoral majority.rnAfter over a hundred years of playing this same game,rnthe American political class has brought the nation to thernbrink of a race war without substantially advancing the interestsrnof its African-American subjects, who are incarcerated,rnrobbed, murdered, and addicted to drugs at rates whichrnthe people of 1860 or 1960 would have found incredible.rnBlacks constitute a “minority” (in round numbers, aboutrn15 percent of the population); so do Hispanics (about tenrnpercent), Asians (about five percent), homosexuals (less thanrnfive percent, but let’s be generous), and women (about 50rnpercent). Have I left anyone out? Oh, yes, the straight,rnwhite, European males who created civilization, establishedrnthe American constitutional order, and pay the bulk of therntaxes. At less than 35 percent, they represent the “majorit}’,”rnbecause in a societ}’where right—the term used formerl}’ tornexpress everything straight, true, correct, and favorable—is arnterm of political abuse, majority can only refer to the demonicrnoppressor. Wliat will they do when the happy dayrnpredicted so exuberantly by Bill Clinton and the census boysrnarrives, when men and women of European extraction willrnbe in the minority? 1 only hope they will be kind enough tornfind a tribal homeland for us somewhere out in Montana.rn—Humpty Dumptyrn12/CHRONICLESrnrnrn