I’ve seen references lately that Rome suffered through a leader like Trump (Caligula), survived him and had several more centuries of power. Some thoughts about that:
- The world moved slower then. Empires lasted longer because the world moved at a slower pace before powered engines, flight and instant communication. So a few centuries then is a much shorter time frame than now.
- Rome did not “survive” Caligula — they assassinated him. Not saying we should assassinate anyone, but the Romans took matters into their own hands (i.e. Acted rather than waited).
- Rome was facing challenges, but not the same as today I dont’ think. They did not have a powerful China, an antagonist in Russia and small states with nuclear missiles to contend with. I feel like these are much more dangerous/lethal times for the US, than Rome was facing with Caligula. Stakes are higher — and more instantaneous — for us at this moment than Rome faced in 1st Century AD/CE.
It’s scary to think where the world might be today with Trump in office at the times that Abe Lincoln, FDR, Ike and JFK had to navigate scary times.
Anyway, my two cents.
WIth everything going down across the US as Confederate statues are removed, our mayor wants to remove our somewhat infamous statue of Lenin. From what I know of him, I don’t think Lenin was a bad guy and had good intentions — it was the insane Stalin’s who twisted Russia into the Evil Empire we in the US in the Cold War were taught to think of. I might be wrong though.
I never lived in Stalinistic Russia, but my understanding is someone might come for you in the middle of the night (and you were never seen again), and then that person in turn was executed at another time. I always wondered how it was that humans could do that, how they could kill or imprison other human beings because of some mad man’s bidding, but I am seeing it now in Corporate America. A VP fires people, then he/she is pushed out, only to repeat the process. It becomes so that the individual in absolutely no way matters, no matter how high or low in the corporate ladder they are. I see this at both my employers and at my client’s companies.
Today, I learned that a VP who’d cut me loose (despite my making quota and doing everything I was asked to do without complaint, except in truth I thought he was a horse’s ass and perhaps that showed on my face 🙂 ) during a reorg was himself terminated last week, which was both thrilling for me and underscores my point. It is sooo important when you are the VP or the lieutenant not to become the executioner just because you are told to be the executioner, because then you lose your humanity and when you yourself are executed you’ve got no one to blame except yourself. When this happens, it really is the lieutenants who are to blame – an owner or leader is powerless without people to do their bidding, so if everone refuses to do their bidding then the leader has no power. So although the VP C who let me go was not fully responsible, I do fully blame him and fully revel in his firing, especially since I learned it took him by surprise 🙂
I can talk this talk because I’ve been tested this way in battle. I’ve been told to fire someone or some people, when I knew that I myself may be terminated down the road (such as the example I gave above); the easy thing to do would have been to panic, and to fire people in the hopes of saving my own job. But instead of being the lackey and pulling the trigger, in once instance I stalled completely, and in another I privately warned the employee, stalled long enough for her to find another job (provided she continued to do what I needed her to do to support our team) and then she was able to resign on her own terms. So I was able to allow the people to keep their dignity, and was able to avoid becoming the sucker in some sociopath’s hierarchy. In short, I am able to sleep at night and look my kids in the face.
I will never be Stalin’s executioner. Unfortunately, Corporate America is filled with these folks today…
Apparently, as long as there have been settlements, there have been tents. There are rumors on Google Searches of discoveries dating back to 40,000 BCE in Russia, but they are also documented in the bible, were used by the ancient Roman military, and yurts are traced back at least 3000 years by Herodutus. They could be made of straw, hemp, animal hair and leather. Many innovations over the years have been inspired by the military, since tents are portable and can shelter soldiers on the move.