Watch Who You Invite To Dinner–They Might Eat You

That old saw about being careful what you ask for because you just might get it is often really true.   This can be especially true with the direction and power of government “we” claim we want to embrace.  They always start off with promises of help; they are coming to the rescue and will help you with a particular problem that seems to big for you to manage on your own. 

At the beginning of the 5th century the Roman empire was in the last stages of its decline.  It had withdrawn at this time from Britain where it had ruled supreme for over 350 years.  Britain during that period was as much a Roman province as any other.  But the Empire was in decline and the last of its troops left for the Continent to fight the rear guard actions against the advancing Barbarians who were nibbling at every border of the Empire.  You may recall the movie about King Arthur made a few years ago where it was implied that Arthur was in fact one of the last of the Roman commanders and that he rose from the ashes of the Empire in Britain.  A romantic notion but there is no historical evidence to support that theory.  But we do know for a fact that in the mid 5th century that a local king named Vortigern gained a precarious control of most of southern Britain.  As usual he was having trouble with the Scots and even with many of his nearer neighbors who weren’t completely on board with the idea of a single government ruling the land.  He had rebellions locally and outright threats of invasion from the Scots.  The Scots had been troublesome for centuries.  That is why the Romans built Hadrian’s Wall during the reign of that Emperor.  It is quite impressive.  It is not as large as the Chinese Wall but very vast nonetheless.  It was erected along the border with the Scots specifically to keep them out.

Vortigern’s armies, if you could even call them that, were relatively small and had lost all their cutting edge after the departure of the Romans.  His rule was tenuous.  So he looked around for some help with his domestic discord and lack of military prowess.  He turned to the Saxons of coastal Germany.  He sent envoys to negotiate with them to come as mercenaries to bolster his arms.  Terms were reached and the Saxons came.  At first it was a very small group  estimated to be no more than a few boatloads of them to the east coast of Britain.  The leaders of this first band of Saxons were Hengist and Horsa and they liked what they saw.  They were given small encampments for their men and then their families plus they got supplies.  It worked for a while and the Saxons suggested even more troops and a permanent settlement near the Picts to thwart any advances by them.  Soon it was thousands.   Soon the Saxons realized that they really didn’t need the permission of the Brits to come there.  They liked the land.  More came and soon they were doing pretty much as they pleased and were not under the control of any Britain,
Vortigern or any other. 

Over a period of a century or so others came.  The Angles joined the slow conquest of the Isle.  They gave the name to the language we speak today.  The Jutes came along also.  There never was a D-Day or a singular invasion like with William the Conqueror some 500 years later.  A local prince or chieftain would decide to move to Britain and outfit his fleet and equip the people and off they would go to another unoccupied spot in Britain.   They were promised land, slaves, and spoils of their local victories and they took advantage of those military victories.  Within a period of a century Britain was now an Anglo-Saxon domain.  They were not guest, mercenaries or even conquerors any longer, they were the people of Britain.  The were invited to dinner and decided they liked the house so much they just moved in and dispossessed the prior owners.

There is a lesson there.   Choose your direction and associates very carefully.  A promise of aid and assistance might lead to more than you bargained for.  Someone is always in charge–a dictator, a State, a people.  Our secret in western civilization is that mostly we have had the people in charge.  Ever instance of a dictator or State being in charge has ended badly.

Wow, you can jump with glee.  You soon will have 16,500 new folks with the Federal government to help you.  That is the number of new IRS agents to be hired under the health care bill to enforce the taxes and penalties imposed on individuals and companies.  I didn’t realize it was such a big jobs bill.  Gosh, I can’t wait to give them even more money to ride our backs.  http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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Filed under Culture, geography, government, history

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