Pietas, The Key to Good Government and Good Living

Liberty/Politics Personal Development Spirituality Worldview

Pietas the Key to Good Government –

The founders of America spoke often of virtue. Leaders without virtue, they said would be the ruin of the country. They spoke from experience and knowledge of history especially a keen understanding of the failures of Greece and the successes, and ultimate failure of the Roman Republic. Pietas is the key to success and the lack of it the reason for failure

Before we get started I need to call your attention to our need to keep the lights on at SabersEdge. Our only support comes from our readers. If you like our content please support SabersEdge.Online by sharing the website and content, recommending it to others, and telling your friends and family. If you are able we need your support to keep the lights and continuing to spread the word by supporting our mission as a Patreon supporter.

SabersEdge Association is creating Videos, Blogs, and Writings for Education and growth | Patreon

The founders warned that if we didn’t remember our ideals, and if we lost the warnings of history we would, like Rome, ultimately fail. Yet we did not heed those warnings and we have accepted in our leaders the most base opportunism babbling to ourselves that it was “just how things are.” As I often told my sons, the people who you never want to give power are the ones who want it more than they want to serve. The key to good leaders is virtue, which includes patriotism and faith within its definition. This was all encompassed in the Roman word “Pietas.”

Pietas is translated as piety but with the shifting of meaning that is so common in society we have lost its full meaning. The founders were well schooled on the Roman Republic and noted not only how it had fallen into an Empire but how it had taken over a millenia for the principles of the Republic to reassert itself once they were lost. Leaders without pietas would be the ruin of the nation as it was the ruin of Rome. But not only leaders the people had to have a measure of virtue as well to preserve a republic.

There were several aspects to virtue and piety and they were all interwoven. Piety has been described as religious behavior but for the Romans it was not such a simple concept. Piety included a concept which we seem to have largely forgotten today, duty. They recognized that no one could truly be a patriot without piety. Because piety included a love of family and ancestors, a love of country that those ancestors built, a respect and duty toward the community in which we lived and the country in which we were born, and all of this had to be grounded in faith that God, or the gods, were behind it all and (as Paul Tillich called it) the Ground of All Being. Above all, pietas included a confidence that the gods undergirded the daily life of the Republlic and of history. If any one of these aspects were removed none of the others would be able to stand.

The happiness of man, as well as his dignity, consists in virtue.

John Adams

Maybe that is why patriotism has such a bad rep these days. People who claimed love of country followed it blindly without any piety. They had love of country but without honoring the ancestors, principles, sacrifices, and traditions upon which that country was built they sometimes would do horrible things. Yet the Roman concept of piety tells us clearly that if you love your country without the reverence for your duty and faith in the Divine Purpose than you cannot have real patriotism. Instead, what you have is some kind of jingoism where you will blindly follow and never question. Such fanaticism is the ruin of societies throughout history and more and more fanatics are gathering at the two poles and both poles seem to be grounded in anger rather than piety.

Don’t be confused. Piety can lead one to anger. But it is an anger that grows out of a betrayal of what could have been. As in the anger of love betrayed. Those with virtue know what our nation could have been and what it was meant to be and out of love for the ideals, principles, duty, and the faith of our fathers we can become angry that it has all been betrayed by selfish, self-serving, grabs for power and wealth.

In an echo of what Seneca wrote so long ago Ayn Rand wrote:

When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good. Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming fodder for the immoral. Do not expect them to produce, when production is punished and looting rewarded. Do not ask, “Who is destroying the world?” You are. – Ayn Rand

Pietas has always been the key to virtue and virtue the key to good leadership and patriotism. I believe it is the key to restoring the Republic, or to rebuilding it after it has burned down around our ears. I think there can be no doubt in anyone who has true pietas that the Republic has been betrayed. Maybe some still don’t see it and I will discuss why that is in the next blog.

We must find the strands of pietas in ourselves if our nations are ever to be great again. Here at SabersEdge Association we concentrate on the solution reforming ourselves first and then the nation. Because greatness doesn’t come from power it comes from virtue, and power without virtue is tyranny. Too many people, perhaps because they deny the very existence of virtue and the Divine, do not truly understand the power that comes from the authority of virtue and ideals. The power of the Roman idea of Pietas.

Love of country, love of ancestors and their ideals, virtue, and faith. Without all of them none of them can stand.

Join us and share SabersEdge.Online with others. Mount up, Draw Sabers, and let’s ride. The Cavalry is Coming!

For more on the Virtue of Patriotism See also Joan Chittester, OSB:

The virtue of patriotism | Joan Chittister

3 thoughts on “Pietas, The Key to Good Government and Good Living

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *