Loss of empire

There is also involved the loss of our empire and the dangers arising from the hatred which we have incurred in administering it. Nor is it any longer possible for you to give up this empire, though there may be some people who in a mood of sudden panic and in a spirty of political apathy actually think that this would be a fine and noble thing to do. Your empire is now like a tyranny; it may have been wrong to taake it; it i certainly dangerous to let it go. And the kind of people who talk of doing so and persuade others to adopt their point of view would very soon bring a state of ruin, and would still do so even if they live by themselves in isolation. For those who are politically apathetic can only survive if they are supported by people who are capable of taking action. They are quite valueless in a city which controls an empire, though they would be safe slaves in a city that was controlled by others.

(Book II, History of the Peloponnesian War)


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