Monday, May 6, 2013

When you hear complaints of weak leadership, remember this:

In the half century before Diocletian, there had been a succession of short-reigned, incompetent rulers elevated by the military; this era of weak government resulted in civil wars, riots, general uncertainty and, of course, economic instability...

To this intellectual and moral morass came the Emperor Diocletian and he set about the task of reorganization with great vigor...

Since money was completely worthless, he devised a system of taxes based on payments in kind. This system had the effect, via the ascripti glebae, of totally destroying the freedom of the lower classes — they became serfs and were bound to the soil to ensure that the taxes would be forthcoming.

Excerpts from Price Fixing in Ancient Rome (Mises Daily: Thursday, June 18, 2009) by Robert L. Scheuttinger and Eamonn F. Butler. (I added the link to Wikipedia.)

No comments: