Intended for healthcare professionals

Observations Life and Death

No power for the people

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 14 September 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3735

Bread & Circus

Imperial Rome pacified the common people with free food and gladiator contests at the Colosseum, which the satirist, Juvenal, called bread and circus. Sadly, little has changed since those days; governments continue to pacify the common people with bread and circus. But today, the bread is welfare, provided by the liberals; the circus is warfare, provided by the conservatives; and the Colosseum is television, provided by the media.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

12 October 2009
Hugh Mann
Eagle Rock, MO 65641 USA