The ends of empires
And frankly Professor Cory made more sense than Russell ever did.
"How should I know!!!???"
Rome had its great leaders, its half-assed leaders and its degenerate leaders. Augustus, despite the fact that he killed Cicero (when he really didn't need to, an act he later deeply regretted), was the father of the Empire. He gave the Empire stability, prosperity and sanity. His two successors, Tiberius and Caligula, destroyed that. They also popularized the worship of emperors.
I've never thought of Russell as the main bad guy in the Society. I see him as misguided, but sincere. It's Rutherford who I've always seen as the real scoundrel of the organization.
Initially the anointed class was the faithful and discreet slave. Anyone should have predicted that wouldn't last, as power tends to consolidate downward, not upward. The Society's legitimacy also has never been established. All the authority has been assumed and has never even been addressed in any of its publications. When Jesus began his ministry, the first thing the Jews wanted to know is where he got his authority. He called and ordained his apostles and established a chain of command. His lineage was such that had the Davidic dynasty continued, he would have been the rightful king.
But the Society has never shown anyone its birth certificate. Where did it come from? What part did God play in its formation. From whence were it's leaders ordained and how did they receive the keys of the kingdom to bind and release in Heaven and on Earth? It's not a matter of anyone disagreeing with it; it's a matter of the organization never bothering to make a case because, as far as I know, no one has ever had even the slightest contact or communication with God within the Society. We're being offered a car without registration, a house without a deed, and the interesting thing is, no one has even asked for one.
As a republic, Rome created one of the most astounding governments of all time. But all republics eventually fall into despotism and become burdens to the people. The power the Society exerts over its people is astounding, and it's devised a system of controlling it's people that is brilliant and effective. But it can't survive a loss in credibility. That's what I see is the greatest threat to it in the coming decade.
The book, "The history of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire" by Edward Gibbon is a classic, and is a free iBook. It is very detailed on historical events and tends to just give the facts. Even though it was written over 2 centuries ago, it is reader friendly.
it seems different people interpret the history and give different reasons for the fall of the Roman Empire. For me it is obvious. It had almost all of its success as a Republic, before it became an empire. When Hannibal attacked, pillaged Italy, wiped out armies, and inflicted humongous casualties, the Roman citizens remained amazingly united, and kept raising new armies, incurring huge sacrifices, until they won. In the days of empire, the participation of Italians in the legions steadily decreased, until in the later stages there were virtually none, and the Legions were primarily made up of Germanic and other peoples who were just there for the money. In short, once the Roman citizen had lost his say in the Government, he was less interested in defending it.
Linking this back to Watchtower: Watchtower also does not give its rank and file any say. I think for that reason alone, it has a limited lifespan. I have a suspicion that, for example, if its finances take a turn for the worse, the rank and file won't bail it out.
shepherdless - "...I have a suspicion that, for example, if its finances take a turn for the worse, the rank and file won't bail it out."
How could they?
The vast majority of them live cheque-to-cheque... i.e. broke as shit.
Really, a true comparison, and it is sinking