A comment I wrote at blackfive inspired by the discussion there. There were more than one, so this is part 2.
Archileonis: ‘Some Amphipolitans came to Sparta and visited Archileonis, the mother of Brasidas, after her son’s death. She asked if her son had died nobly, in a manner worthy of Sparta. As they heaped praise on him and declared that in his exploits he was the best of all the Spartans, she said: ‘Strangers, my son was indeed noble and brave, but Sparta has many better men than he.’
Some of the Spartans and their tradition filtered down through the ages to America. I’ve mentioned this before of course, but I didn’t explain specifically what I meant.
The below is for Geo (or if not Geo then the person who said eugenics)
Alkman’s work also illustrates the relationship between the women of Sparta, which was similar to the man-boy relationship of Athens. This bond was sexual and educational.
According to Aristotle, they at one point in the fourth century BCE owned 2/5 of the estates in Lakonia. These women are also said to have owned racehorses and they did in fact drive chariots in some religious festivals. They were the first to own victorious racehorses at Panhellenic festivals.
However, we must keep in mind that these women were given these ‘freedoms’ for one reason: eugenics. Xenophon himself realized this and commented on it in his works. The Spartans valued motherhood highly and in fact, there will only two ways a Spartan would receive their name on a gravestone: death in battle or death in childbirth. These women were also forced to take on these responsibilities as there husbands and sons spent most of their adult life in military training. In addition, we can never be positive about these women as the works in which they are mentioned are hardly objective. Aristotle who felt that the Spartan women were somewhat to blame for the fall of Sparta called the city-state a gunokratia. These women with their financial position, training and prominent position were drastically different than the women of Athens and became their natural counterpart.
In a way, America went about eugenics the other way around. We let nature take its course, and simply obeyed the dictates of human nature. We did not institute laws of Lykurgos, we did not institute euthanasia as the Germans did and the Left is now doing for disabled babies. We simply said, come to the frontier if you are able to survive. And they came. Many died, but still they came. On the Oregon Trail, onwards to Texas and California, to paths undreamed of before.
The US has been in many wars. Those wars took a toll on our population, but it also gave our population a vitality and strength never seen before in war ravaged 1918 Europe.
The point I’m trying to make is that the American belief in real men is reflected in the traditions of Sparta and Rome, amongst others as well. The American pride in soldiers and defenders is nothing new, but it is probably the greatest example in the history of the world.
Unnamed: ‘Another woman, as she was sending her lame son up the battlefield, said: ‘Son, with each step you take bear courage in mind.’
Unnamed: ‘Another woman, as she was handing her son his shield and giving him some encouragement, said: ‘Son, either with this or on this.’
Unnamed: ‘When asked what dowry she was giving the man marrying her, a poor girl said: ‘My father’s common sense.’
We share Athen’s almost suicidal political arena where war leaders that do not come back home victorious are tried. Where noted leaders like Socrates are ordered to take poison by vote. But we also share Sparta’s belief in mothers, in the continuation of our line. I won’t get into the woman on woman action, though, although in 20 years that might be a different case.
I think it is a good thing for two people to find in each other more strength and power unified, than the sum of their individual selves alone.
Neo put up a very good example of that here.
The US has had its share of problems with slavery, and so was Sparta plagued by the same problem. The US also had a major problem with equal rights and the question of how strong their womenfolk were in WWII. But war changes all things, even if war itself never does change.
We needed that added power in 1950. They demonstrated that a woman can do the same work as a man, that they can contribute just as much to the nation, and therefore deserves equal wages for equal time.
The point is, when America wins wars, people are freed, people who once lived in poverty are given new hope and new opportunities for elevation. Forget what might have been, what we see is what we have right now. And what we have right now is the entire world looking at us to see where we shall advance. Forward or backwards.
These public processions of the maidens, and their appearing naked in their exercises and dancings, were incitements to marriage, operating upon the young with the rigour and certainty, as Plato says, of love, if not of mathematics. But besides all this, to promote it yet more effectually, those who continued bachelors were in a degree disfranchised by law; for they were excluded from the sight those public processions in which the young men and maidens danced naked, and, in winter-time, the officers compelled them to march naked themselves round the marketplace, singing as they went a certain song to their own disgrace, that they justly suffered this punishment for disobeying the laws. Moreover, they were denied that respect and observance which the younger men paid their elders; and no man, for example, found fault with what was said to Dercyllidas, though so eminent a commander; upon whose approach one day, a young man, instead of rising, retained his seat, remarking, “No child of yours will make room for me.”
Sparta even had to contend with the same problems we have today in Europe. Depopulation.
Plutarch also included her in his section of the sayings of Spartan women. Here they are:
‘When asked by a woman from Attica, ‘Why are you Spartan women the only ones who can rule men?, she said: ‘Because we are also the only ones who give birth to men.’
‘On her husband Leonidas’ departure for Thermopylae, while urging him to show himself worthy of Sparta, she asked what she should do. He said: ‘Marry a good man and bear good children.’
We are not Spartans. Just as we are not Romans, Athenians, or Britons. We are a unique blend of everything, really. Both genetically via the influx of immigrants, but also culturally and historically we are a unique hybrid blend of things past and gone.
Did you know what Hitler said of the US during his rise to power? He said that he feared the power of the US, for the US demonstrated what could result from the success of the Master Race project. He admired us and feared us at the same time. He based this upon the belief that the more intrepid Germans left the motherland, and it was these unique superior Germans that went to the New World and took a risk to build something new. That is why he feared us, because in his eyes we were his worst nightmare. The culminations of the Master Race philosophy but siding with Britain, his enemy.
However, as the timeline progressed and we began to fight him. Hitler changed his views. Now he saw blacks (in air squadrons) fighting side by side with whites, Native Americans, and (gasp) other mongrel breeds. And then he said something to the effect that he no longer fears the US anymore, because we have tainted our pure bloodline with the blood of our inferiors.
I suppose Hitler might have realized his mistake, but perhaps he was too busy suiciding to do that path of thought any true justice. Because it was the Navajo code talkers that gave us an uncrackable code where as Hitler’s communications were broken open. It was the added power of blacks in WWII, that added to our power just as it added to the UNION’s manpower in the civ war. Contrasted with Hitler’s purgings of the Jews, many of whom had fought for Germany in 1915. Hitler believed that he was enriching his people by purging the malcontents, but we all knew that he was just setting himself up for the fall.
The thing is, Hitler’s Master Race eugenics program was retarded. They didn’t have the DNA sequencing and engineering technology to pull it off. The world is developing such technology even now.
America took a different philosophical road. Instead of relying upon blood and physical stature/purity, we relied upon results. Meaning, so long as you can perform, America cares not what sex or race you are from, alien or terran. And we have been perfecting this, just 30 years ago, if you recall. There will always be reactionists and the ignorant that wish to fight the path of progress. Look at the anti-war demonstrators right now. Plenty of them to go around, for 50 milliona eras I tell ya.
The point I wish to make is that America accomplished what everyone else has only dreamed of. To be the greatest nation on earth, we required a majority of the greatest individuals on Earth. And we have it.
There are good men in Britain, Australia, Japan, Germany, France, and China. But they are not a majority, they do not have majority power. The women also have problems in those countries. Some because of political/historical repression, others because of laws banning the right to self-defense via being armed. For Japan, we may perhaps blame it on the US protecting Japan so that Japan never had a need before to protect themselves. What seems seemingly intolerable in Iraq (US protecting the Iraqis for them) seems to be just an accepted fact for Japan.
Well, that is not all that important really. I want to get back to Aristotle and Sparta. Those Greeks in their time had a view of the good man and woman. Meaning, they had a rather specific idea of what made you good as opposed to evil and feckless that is. The Greeks valued courage, indomitability, success, the warrior creed, and freedom. Aristotle wrote that virtues are virtues because they are not extreme, they do not imbalance the human soul by taking it over with extremely strong desires that cannot be controlled.
Maybe the best way to explain it is to use Grim’s heroic epic that he used to describe Greek literature. It is a philosophy that is perhaps best experienced, instead of explained. Oh Greece at that time had their share of psychopathic killers, sadists, and power mad idiots. That, we have not gotten rid of in America, regardless of our efforts. John Kerry back in the Greek days would be slicing and dicing, a miniature Prince of war back then. Women, children, don’t really matter to such warlords.
Posted by: Ymarsakar | Jan 30, 2007 9:34:41 AM