Readers React: The Roman republic is no model for the U.S.

To the editor: Spencer Klavan’s elegy for our “dying republic” leaves out one important fact: The Roman republic was a society of, by and for the patrician land-owning class — in other words, the 1%. The rest of Roman society — the plebeians and the slaves — had absolutely no say in the matters of state. (“Paying liberty forward: Thinkers and writers can transcend millenniums,” Op-Ed, Oct. 5)

What republican Klavan therefore mourns is the loss of power of the privileged class to one of their own, which is simply a logical consequence of aristocratic authoritarianism.

America is a democratic republic, where we plebeians thankfully have a say. The liberty and freedom that Klavan bemoans dying in Rome was really just the tyranny of the elite concentrating itself in a dictator and then emperor, no matter how much he sanitizes it with rhetoric about the Founding Fathers.

Thank goodness there are great patriots like him with “a responsibility to unborn generations” of the privileged to remind us of what true republicans are all about.


Keith Kaczorek, Los Angeles


To the editor: Klavan correctly diagnoses a declining republic, and he cites a few of its signs along with a few complaints. Unfortunately, he ignores the three big elephants in the room that go a long way toward explaining the reasons for this decline.

The biggest is the corrupting influence of money in the political process. With that are a media that serve up mostly entertainment instead of information, and a disengaged public more knowledgeable about celebrities and sports than the important issues of the day. It’s no surprise that we’re seeing this decline.


If we can get rid of the elephants, maybe we can reverse the decline Klavan thinks is inevitable.

Mitchel Kadish, Venice


To the editor: I couldn’t agree with Klavan more. Unfortunately, if Obama and the Democrats continue their hold on our government over the next two years, our darkest hours are yet to come.

Linda Dean, Santa Ana

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion

Get our weekly Opinion newsletter