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The Gladiator: John Fitzgerald Kennedy

This is the second in a series of articles written in 2006 commemorating the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of JFK that we will carry every weekday as we approach the 45th Anniversary of that tragedy for mankind.The Obama win continues to generate lively speculation and the links to the JFK legacy grow stronger. On the Cassiopaea forum, quoting an article from the PoliGazette, ‘Black Swan’ writes :

So what will the Obama administration look like? We already have hard core Zionist, Rahm Emmanuel appointed Chief of Staff but it looks as if the Kennedy/Camelot parallels are not missed by the Obama camp with rumors of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. & Caroline Kennedy possibly receiving high level appointments.

Further, both the Pentagon and then Bush himself seem to be painting the scene for a major incident that may occur during transition. In a speech at the White House, he [George Bush] said:

“we’re in a struggle against violent extremists determined to attack us, and they would like nothing more than to exploit this period of change to harm the American people.”

History has shown that men do not easily give up power once they have it. The McCain-Palin ticket having failed, is there a plan B that Obama the ‘Gladiator’ will have to contend with?

The Gladiator: John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Gaius Gracchus Flees From The Wealthy Elite

In my previous post, I included a chapter from Farewell America which gave a broad overview of the “American Psyche.” It is crucial to understand the forces at play here in order to understand why John Kennedy was murdered, and why, when he died, the death knell of the American Republic – as well as its people – began sounding.

As I have written before, most Americans are woefully ignorant of their true history, and by design.

It is true that the early settlers who came to America were, by and large, oppressed and desperate individuals; outcasts in a despotic feudal system. Yes, many of them were persecuted for their religious beliefs, but one needs to understand why they adopted those beliefs: it generally because they were oppressed and desperate! In general, they had little money to undertake such a venture and so most of them were funded by various European business interests who hoped to establish centers of trade so that they could benefit from the vast natural resources of the new land. The fact that America was already occupied by “uncivilized savages” didn’t count for much; it never has.

In the end, the colonists were brutally exploited and woefully unprepared for their ventures. The experiences of the early settlers soon taught them that mutual support and interdependence as well as industry and moderation were the keys to success. They worked long and hard and improved their lot individually and collectively. Many of them cooperated with the Native Americans rather than seeing them as enemies to be destroyed.

Hot on their heels, however, were European business interests which sent their agents across the sea to set up shop on the graves of those they had used to pave the way. Greedy opportunists and upper class land grantees followed and few found their dreams of riches or simple prosperity thwarted. And certainly, John Calvin’s philosophies were useful to keep everyone working hard and suffering nobly.

After a bit, it became apparent that the competition and greed of the business world of Europe was going to interfere with the new wealthy elite of the New World, and a hue and cry was raised which has echoed over two-hundred years.

As it happened, the philosophies being expounded in the European scientific and literary circles at the time, came in handy as idealistic and inspirational extrapolations with which to underpin a spreading revolutionary spirit. And, for a single hour it seemed that the common people and the elite were united in their efforts to overcome despotism and oppression — the American Revolution.

Naturally, the common man was just the pawn in this war game, but history taught in American schools doesn’t say much about that. Instead, they invoke the glorious image of “Democracy!” as the be-all and end-all of the Revolution, and what a great achievement it was. And, most often, “Democracy” is equated with Capitalism. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Contrary to popular conceptions and teachings, the American Revolution did not create the American nation as we know it today. The Articles of Confederation actually bound thirteen new nations, each theoretically sovereign in its own right, into a loose confederacy. The Continental Congress could legislate but not enforce. However, the effects of the Revolution had been financially disastrous to everyone. The national and state debts went unpaid (monies owed to the wealthy elite who had financed the war – and for those who wonder, yes, some were Jews and some were not, so don’t go off on the Jews on this one!), trade declined and credit collapsed.

Left to their own devices, the New Americans would have eventually sorted these problems out based upon emerging priorities and systems involving barter and mutually satisfying personal agreements. A real Democracy might have flourished, though it wouldn’t have been necessarily Capitalistic.

Tradition teaches us that a group of “noble patriots” called a Constitutional Convention to “further the principles of democracy”, as spelled out in the Declaration of Independence. Again, nothing could be further from the truth.

The Constitution actually checked the development of democracy.

In some of the states, a moratorium on debt was enacted to relieve the farmers who had fought in the war. But, in the largest and wealthiest states, the planters of Virginia, the manor lords of New York, and the merchants of Massachusetts and Connecticut, refused to give an inch. Massachusetts went so far as to prohibit barter and mutual support schemes to which the impoverished returning soldiers had been forced to resort. Daniel Shay, a Revolutionary captain who had been cited for bravery at Bunker Hill, had come out of the war, as had many others, with nothing. (General Lafayette had presented him with a sword which he was soon forced to sell.) Seeing so many others like himself, he was filled with the injustice of the actions of the wealthy elite. He organized a force of 800 farmers and attempted to prevent the sitting of the courts which were foreclosing the properties of the returning soldiers. Shay’s army was dispersed by the state militia but his action thoroughly frightened the upper classes. Samuel Adams begged Congress for federal aid to protect “property rights” and Congress authorized a force designed to prevent any further rebellion. General Henry Knox wrote:

“The people who are the insurgents have never paid any, or but very little taxes — But they see the weakness of government’… They feel at once their own poverty, compared with the opulent, and their own force, and they are determined to make use of the latter, in order to remedy the former. Their creed is ‘That the property of the United States has been protected from the confiscations of Britain by the joint exertions of all, and therefore ought to be the common property of all. And he that attempts opposition to this creed is an enemy to equity and justice, and ought to be swept from the face of the earth.’ In a word they are determined to annihilate all debts public and private and have agrarian laws, which are easily effected by means of unfunded paper money which shall be a tender in all cases whatsoever.”

Now notice what the good general was saying: he tells us that the PEOPLE of the new land wanted – demanded – that the property of the United States be “the common property of all.”

That sounds a bit “Socialistic,” doesn’t it. Can you believe it? Our forefathers demanded a Socialist government! I don’t know about you, but I have half a dozen Revolutionary War soldiers (or more) in my family tree, and it surprised me to learn that my ancestors were demanding Socialism, especially when we all know – or have been told – that Socialism is that evil first step toward Communism; and we all know how evil Communism is, right? Well, we’ll come back to this. For now, let me just comment that the “insurgents” may have paid very little taxes, but they paid much blood. (It is also interesting to note that Knox referred to the New Americans as “insurgents.” Isn’t this word being used pejoratively against those Iraqis who are opposing the US invasion of their country at the present time? My, my!

Nevertheless, seized with fear that a democracy would actually be enacted, the wealthy classes murmured for a government by “the rich, well-born, and capable.” (John Adams) Ezra Stiles and Noah Webster were vocal opponents of democracy. Webster claimed that:

“The very principle of admitting everybody to the right of suffrage prostrates the wealth of individuals to the rapaciousness of a merciless gang.”

They were well and truly indoctrinated by Calvin, weren’t they? And being such good “Christians,” it is surprising that they never noted (or at least didn’t want to notice) that funny little remark in the New Testament about the “Jesus People” sharing one with another and that they owned “everything in common.”

In any event, taking advantage of the situation, Alexander Hamilton induced Congress to call a convention in 1787 to ostensibly revise the Articles of Confederation. Hamilton made no bones about his views that only the wealthy and educated were fit to rule.

“It is usually stated that Hamilton’s great achievement was to bring the men of wealth to the support of the new nation, but it could equally well be stated that he brought the new nation to the support of the men of wealth. Indeed it might be said that the new nation was created largely for that very purpose.” [M. L. Wilson]

Those who met for the Constitutional Convention were, and knew they were, the elite — wealthy, educated and intellectual. They believed that others like them must continue to rule for their own protection. The public good was a secondary issue (if it was an issue at all). They meant to create a system in which this could be perpetuated, constitutionally, legally, and peacefully.

Adopting strictest rules of secrecy, they proceeded to create the American Constitution. M.L. Wilson wrote in Democracy Has Roots, that the Constitution was “a remarkable achievement in the avoidance of majority rule.” It is not surprising that the ratification of this Constitution was popularly opposed. The conventioners promised to amend it at the first regular session of Congress. These promised amendments came to be known as the “Bill of Rights” and it is in these first ten amendments that Americans have their supposed “Constitutional Rights.” A sobering thought when one considers that amendments have been repealed in the past.

But for the “Bill of Rights,” hundreds of years of blood-letting for personal liberty would have been tossed on the trash heap by the new American Federal Government. This new “Constitutional” government, rapidly propagated the ideals of materialism and capitalism. And, in a process of unadulterated propaganda, these ideals have been inextricably linked with “democracy” as though the two were identical. The result of this has been a vast chasm between the “haves” and the “have-nots” which grows wider and deeper every day, while the former continue to dupe the latter into believing in and sacrificing their lives for that which does not exist and never did.

John Kennedy knew all of this. He was intelligent, well-educated, well-traveled, observant and, most of all, he had a heart; conscience. Let’s take another look at a passage from Farewell America that recounts what happens to Empires that start on the path that was taken the day John Fitzgerald Kennedy was murdered. Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

On one, bright sunny day in Dallas Texas, 43 years ago, America was on the path to the top of the mountain and in less than a minute, everything changed; now, it is doomed to the abyss of despair.

“I don’t think in this administration or in our generation or time will this country be at the top of the hill, but some day it will be, and I hope when it is that they will think we have done our part . . .” JOHN F. KENNEDY

The Gladiator

Empires have always succumbed to the same disease. With each new conquest, Rome thrust forward her frontiers and retreated from her principles. The first Romans were simple people, wholly devoted to their land and their gods, But the pilgrims, the settlers and the’ sages were succeeded by a promiscuous mob that capitalized on the victories. The growing number of slaves and the afflux of the poor swelled the population. The patricians found their chances for survival considerably reduced as hordes of former slaves, freed and newly wealthy, fought over their estates.

For the Romans, all things reflected their greatness — the victories of Marius, Pompey, and Caesar, but also the Empire, history, and the future of the Roman people. But there was neither justice in the courts nor honesty in the elections. Only one standard decided the merit of a candidate or the innocence of a defendant: gold. 

The spectacles at the Circus served to distract the populace. The free wheat and olives distributed to the needy at the Forum served as a subterfuge for social reforms. The aristocracy purchased seats in the Senate. The magistracy of the empire and the spoils of victory went to the senators, the consuls, the praetors, the quaestors, the censors and their wives. Rome had become a corporation. 

The government was in the hands of a few opulent families of the world of finance, supported by the military junta. These families knew how to protect their interests: they disguised them as national necessities. The preservation of Rome was identified with that of the ruling families. “The Roman people consisted of a small oligarchy of landowners, bankers, speculators, merchants, artisans, adventurers, and tatterdemalions, avid for pleasure, excitement, and sudden gain, proud, turbulent, corrupted by the life of the city, and placing their own interests ahead of even the most salutary reform . . .”(1)

The national honor of the Roman Empire was nothing more than the caprices or the indignation of the rulers of the moment, its political institutions no more than the cupidity of its dignitaries and the indolence of its masses, its history nothing more than a series of petty larcenies and more important crimes.

And then the Gracchus brothers*, nephews of Scipion the African, appeared on the scene. The elder brother, Tiberius (160-133 BC), the son of a consul and born a patrician, had been raised by Greek philosophers. He was a veteran of the Spanish campaign. He was elected a tribune. His fortitude, his temperance, his humanity, his passion for justice and his natural eloquence elicited the admiration of Cicero. It was evident that he would make his mark in politics.

Tiberius was as calm, as sober, and as moderate as his brother Gaius was vehement, impassioned, and impetuous. He worked for Italy, for the people, and for liberty. He would not be stopped by either threats or clamor.

On Rogation Day,(2) he addressed the people massed around the tribune. A fragment of this speech, in which he evoked the misery and the helplessness of the people, the depopulation of Italy and the rapacity of the wealthy, has been preserved.

“The landowners in mourning dress appeared on the Forum in the most wretched and humble condition in order to move the people whom they despoiled so mercilessly to pity. But they had little confidence in this demonstration, and they hired assassins to kill Tiberius . . .”(3)

Tiberius, nevertheless, proceeded with his reforms. One of his laws authorized the people to circulate freely on the roads and highways. Another stipulated that the treasure of Attala, who had made the Roman people his heir, would be distributed among the citizens. Other laws distributed lands, subsidized the cost of the first planting, decreased the length of military service, and reorganized the judiciary. Henceforth, no Roman citizen could own more than 750 acres of public land for himself and 375 for each of his sons. This law threatened the owners of the largest herds.

In his speeches Tiberius declared that the will of the people was the supreme authority of the state. This was too much. On the day of his re-election to the tribunate, which would have enabled Tiberius to complete his reforms, Scipion Nasicaa, one of the richest of the landowners, assembled all of the wealthy Romans. Followed by an army of slaves and clients, they climbed to the Capitol. One of Tiberius’ colleagues, a tribune, dealt him the first blow. Other assassins finished the job. His body was profaned and thrown into the Tiber.

Rome, which had found senators to assassinate him, found no historian to stigmatize his assassins. After centuries of law and order, the Empire watched with stupefaction as the violence of a faction that had taken the law into its own hands not only went unpunished, but was admired.

Gaius (152-121 BC), eight years younger than his brother, appeared to accept his death and to be unaware of the identities of his assassins. He was appointed quaestor of Sardinia and, against the wishes of the Senate, he did not disappear from view. He lived the life of his soldiers and looked after their interests. He liked long marches and took long, lonely swims in the sea, and he remained chaste.

“The fate of his brother and his reforms had proved that it was vain to attempt to remedy the ills of Rome without first having destroyed, or at least humiliated, the large landowners and the usurpers of the public domain; that the idea of transforming the poor people of Rome into a landowning class was too simple and, in reality, not very effective.

“But once the terror had disappeared, the little people of Rome began to seek a protector, and the victim’s brother, who was known for his virtues and was already suspect to the wealthy, appeared to be just the person they needed.

“The persistent hatred of the nobility precipitated him into the fray, although he had no intention of taking up his brother’s reforms. Boldly, Gaius ran for the office of tribune and was elected. He immediately proved that he was no ordinary man. He denounced his brother’s assassins and punished them. He promulgated the laws that Tiberius would have wanted. He cited Tiberius incessantly in his speeches. He was re-elected a tribune. He reduced the authority of the Senate. He controlled everything, organized everything, imparting his prodigious activity and his indefatigable energy to everyone.

“He was craftier than his brother. He had learned from him, and he had had time to meditate his revenge without beclouding his mind. For a long while, he retained the support of the wealthy by proposing laws that pleased the rich and others that suited the poor. But eventually he voiced the idea that he had so long meditated in silence: that all Italians should be given the rights of citizens.”

Rome would be the capital of a vast Italic nation. No longer would the Empire be founded on a municipal oligarchy allied with the corrupt merchants, but on rival classes working in partnership. The former centers of civilization and commerce, now destroyed or declined, would be restored, and the wealth and the multitudes that poured into Rome, threatening to choke the nerve-center of the Empire, would be distributed evenly throughout the different lands.

It was the historic task of Rome that Gaius had in mind, but he thought he could accomplish alone what it was to take six generations to achieve. His grandiose ideas were too premature. His plan to accord the rights of a Roman citizen to all Italians pleased neither the nobility nor the little people.

The Senate decided that things had gone far enough. The Consul Lucien Opimius led the conspiracy. Pursued and about to be taken, Gaius killed himself in a wood dedicated to the Furies. Septimuleius cut off his head. Gaius in his turn was thrown into the Tiber, along with 3,000 of his followers. The year of Gaius’ death, the grape harvest was exceptionally good. The nobles, the wealthy, the big and the small landowners bought up all the slaves on the market.

The Gracchus brothers were the last true aristocrats of Rome. Licentiousness robbed the aristocracy of its traditional energy and its virtues. Most of their laws were abolished. The robber barons rid the Roman Empire of all the leaders who had dreamed of being generous, or simply of being just. Balbinus, Emilian, Valerian, Aurelius, and Maximus were assassinated in their turn. Probus lasted six years, Tacitus ten months, and Pertinax 97 days.

Sixteen centuries later, Machiavelli wrote that “men forget the death of their father more easily than the loss of their patrimony, and they hesitate less to harm a man who is loved than another who is feared.”

Later, after Honorius, the frontiers of the Empire were overrun by the barbarians. The Empire, invaded, was split asunder, and Rome faded into oblivion. The Gracchus brothers were not forgotten by the Roman people. Statues were erected in their memory, and a cult was founded in their honor.


1. Guglielmo Ferrero.

2. The day the laws were proposed to the people.

3. Leon Jouberti.

*The Gracchi were a noble plebeian family of ancient Rome.
The most notable members were:

The Gracchi brothers, Tiberius and Gaius, went down in history as martyrs to the cause of social reform. Tiberius was killed by members of the Senate for attempting to make the system more friendly to the lower classes of Rome. They tried to limit the size of the large farms that the patricians (upper class) owned to keep the plebeians (lower class) able to compete with their smaller farms. Gaius and many of his followers were killed in 121 BC owing to the Senate being made up of patricians who owned large farms.

The Gracchi were connected through marriage to the ScipionesCorneliiClaudii, and Aemilii.

Fictional Gracchi also appear in many epic films, such as Spartacus (1960) and Gladiator (2000).

So now, how about all of you taking a little time off and re-watching these last mentioned movies: Spartacus and Gladiator. It might give you some food for thought and a deeper understanding of the man, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and what America has lost.

Continue to Part 3