Its a good article although it could have been written with some more detail and depth. He makes a good point about how a poor man in Rome could achieve wealth and/or power. Rome truly was one of the first societies that closely resembled a meritocracy. Its no secret that the cauldron of revolution boils greatly when those who do have ability are prevented by society from using their talent and intelligence (Like the French Revolution, See Voltaire's Letters to the English, or the Civil Rights Movement). However, I must disagree with him at the end. Aurelius was still an emperor, unlike Washington and perpeutated the imperial system instead of trying to return Rome to a more Republican system.
"Rome contributed the reality of constitutional government. The Roman Republic combined monarchical, aristocratic, and democratic elements to form an order that utilized all citizens for the public good while allowing individuals of particular talent to rise to positions of authority. It was a scheme that Aristotle would have recognized, although he believed it could not exist on a large scale. Republican Rome demonstrated otherwise.
Roman political power was divided between the consuls, the senate and the popular assemblies; each served its own function demonstrating the ideal of separation of powers and a system of checks and balances that the American founders would enthusiastically emulate. John Adams, away in England during the Constitutional Convention, wrote the Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States which his allies at the Convention quoted at length. He extensively cited the classical Roman historian Polybius on the advantages of the Roman constitutional system. ...
Cicero, the antirevolutionary orator of the first century before Christ, had an enormous influence on the Founders. The Founders studied his rhetoric and modeled their own political oratory accordingly. He articulated a system of ordered liberty, which shaped the Founders’ hope for the American Republic..... "
In addition to this article, an excellent book about the Roman Republic that is fun to read is Colleen McCullough's First Man in Rome. The setting is the generation before Julius Caesar when the cracks are beginning to appear in the Republican foundation. The book has it all: war, politics, religion, sex, romance, and murder. It follows the original Roman authors very closely. She includes a glossary and maps in the back of the book. Its a great book and was a NY Times best-seller. What will amazon you is how closely Roman politics resembles our own and you will recognize many of the controversial issues of that era as reflected in our own times.