Subversion


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Police In South Africa In the old South Africa before 1994 the police officers job was to squash subversion and his main obstacle was that most people hated him. Today after the 1994 years election the South African police force main job is to stop the growing crime rate. Which seems impossible for them to manage. The police officers main hurdle is his own lack of modern policing skills. Many policemen are barely literate, and are no good at the administrative tasks on which they spend seventy percent of their time. South Africa's murder rate is eight times that of the United States, and figures released on December 7th, 1999 showed steady increases in the other 18 of the 20 most serious categories of offence (The Economist January 22nd 2000). According to data released by the police, only one in every seven murders reported ends in conviction; and only one in 50 car hijacking result in a conviction (Business Day, 14 January 1999). School children can today in South Africa get hold of guns more easily than pencils. There are nine million legal guns and estimated to be three to four million illegal guns in circulation. Some hospitals now treat more bullet wounds than traffic injuries. Almost 18,000 new gun licenses are granted each month, and many believe that a firearm is their best defense. Guns themselves are often target for robbers; most of the 225 policemen killed in South Africa last year were murdered for their weapons (The Economist February 27th 1999) Corruption - Governance South African government official policy has been to downsize the government and make it more racially representative. The South African government tried to achieve this goal by offering generous severance packages to white public servants and then did not fill their vacancies. By early 1998 24,000 individual packages had been granted to white (After Mandela, The 1999 South African Elections, pg 15). This policy backfired on the South African Government since most of the people taking the packages were more experienced and competent public officials the public service could not afford to lose. Men and women who have been taken literally from the bush and without previous training, and they have been asked to run the governments. There are too many civil servants, and they often do not like each other. Some public servants claim multiple salaries and pensions, and the honest ones are often not paid for months because there is no money left. The South African government needs to focus on the core issues, job creation, crime, housing and education and try to solve these problems. Aids Nearly 13 % of South Africans in the ages of 20 - 64 are infected with HIV. Between 6 - 10 million South Africans are likely to die of AIDS in the next ten years (The Economist May 27th 2000). South Africa has failed to promote a safe sex campaign effectively. More than 1,500 South Africans a day are infected with HIV. Uganda, who has fewer resources than South Africa, reduced HIV frequency by half by their successful anti-aids campaign with use of education as the main method. Mr. Mbeki should use the Uganda method and urge people to sleep around less and use condom more. There was almost no sex education at all in South African schools for a long time, and is only in the last couple of years it has dramatically increased. South Africa should focus their efforts on the young; most children under the age of 15 do not have sex yet and are not infected, those are the once to reach. And it did not help that Mr. Mbeki for a long time took advise from "scientist" that argued that HIV did not cause AIDS. Mr. Mbeki finally has come to his right mind and believes that HIV does indeed cause AIDS. South Africa, with its advanced industries has started to suffer a shortage of skilled manpower because of AIDS. Companies have started to inform and raise awareness of AIDS among their workers because the companies cannot afford to lose any more manpower. Democratizing In the early 1980s the South African president P. W. Botha started to initiate a process of ... more

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The Fall of the Roman Empire

For men who had easily endured hardship, danger and difficult uncertainty, leisure and riches, though in some ways desirable, proved burdensome and a source of grief.  The causes for the breakdown of the early Roman Republic cannot be attributed to a single event, trend or individual, rather it was due to a combination of all three in varying degrees. The principal and fundamental cause was the breakdown of the political checks and balances, particularly the Cursus Honorum from 133 BC onwards.  
This subversion occurred both accidentally and through the subversive behavior of individuals, unconsciously and consciously undermining the fabric of the republic in their quest for power and glory. One substantial outcome of this incapacitation was the emergence of violence as a political means. Once this had occurred the end of the old republic was heralded an autocratic dictatorship was born. The republic was born out of a collapsed monarchy and was specifically geared to prevent a centralization of power. The mechanisms to this end were contained in the Cursus Honorum, a document that outlined the ladder of offices. It demanded, among other things, 10 years of military or legal service before any magistracy could be held, annual election and two years between consecutive offices. This system was designed to ensure that no individual could become too powerful by dividing jurisdiction between several groups and allowing for veto.
The Gracchi brothers, Tiberius and Gaius are often blamed for causing divisions and antagonizing the aristocracy and particularly the senate by introducing laws and legislation that, although promoting egalitarianism for the poor, were catalysts to later breaches of the Cursus Honorum. Both Tiberius and Gaius had laws enacted without consulting the senate. This weakened the senate's power and started a trend of ignoring the senate that remained until the breakdown. These Graccian reforms included the implementation of a welfare system whereby Romans citizens would be given free corn and the Lex Agraria or land reforms that broke down the latafundia and increased the number of small-scale farms. The welfare corn system not only aroused violent anger from the nobility but also created an urban mob that relied on handouts and later participated in violence. Tiberius Gracchus ran for election to the tribunate for two years consecutively (123 and 122 BC). This was in direct contradiction to the Cursus Honorum. The senate, when they heard of Tiberius' plan, killed him. This action was significant, due to it being the first time that violence had been used for a political end, it was not to be the last. Marius and Sulla, great leaders of Rome from 119 to 78 BC, can be attributed part of the blame for the breakdown of the republic.
Their constant quarreling led to factional fighting amongst the people and eventually to civil war. Marius came into power before Sulla and, like the Gracchi, showed a tendency towards disturbing the status quo and antagonized the nobility. Marius' reforms centered on military change, the most controversial of which was the extension of military service for the landless class. This seemingly insignificant reform had wide repercussions since it created semi-professional soldiers rather than a citizen militia. Since no pension scheme was organized, the soldiers were largely dependent on their commanders for payment and pensions of land. This dependence led to the soldiers being "tied" to their commanders, allowing for the later development of armies that were loyal to individuals rather than to the state. Marius' contempt for the Cursus Honorum is illustrated by his standing in the consular elections while not in Rome, a post that he gained and held for six years. This action was in direct contradiction to the rule of one-year consulships in the Cursus Honorum and allowed Marius to establish a power base that he used for his own political designs. Both Marius and Sulla used violence openly as a political means.
The first such incident was during the tribunal election where Marius killed Nonnius, a political opponent to his friend Saturnius. This was not the only example of violence from Marius. When returned from exile, he killed everyone who had ever offended him and took their land for himself. Sulla was not much ... more

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