One of the most fundamental characteristics of civilization is the rule of law. For the last few millennia, it has been recognized that as levels of human organization expand past the size of tribes and villages into more complex societies such as cities and federations it is, in principle, beneficial to justice for people to submit to commonly agreed upon rules enforced by a legal system.
The plebeians made up the majority of the citizen population of Ancient Rome and occupied the economic range anywhere below the ruling Patrician class and above the slave class. A Senate made up of 100 men from traditional patrician families and 200 conscripti, selected from other wealthy families, ruled the Roman Republic, which began in 509 BCE. The Senate elected two Consuls with executive authority to oversee the city’s day-to-day governance for a one-year period.
“This is how every worker feels it: with varying degrees of clarity they feel themselves living at a moment that could be decisive for their class, a moment in which all can be staked, everything risked, and perhaps everything lost.