Ancient Sparta: The First Self-Conscious Ethnostate? Part 1-3: Educating Citizen Soldiers

If in Athens we have ethnopolitical aspects, insofar as the democracy was tempered by Hellenic virtue, in Sparta we have a State wholly dedicated to systematic organization of the society according to a biopolitical ideal. Sparta’s mixed system of government and fiercely communitarian and hierarchical customs were supposed to have been created by the semi-legendary lawgiver Lycurgus, who perhaps lived in the ninth century B.C. Virtually nothing can be said for certain about his life. Lycurgus was, in later ages, rumored to have traveled to Egypt, Ionia, Crete, and even India, where “he talked with the Gymnosophists,”[1] before establishing Sparta’s constitution. What is clear, in any case, is that the basic law and way of life attributed to Lycurgus, and credited for Sparta’s success, were emphatically biopolitical.

Spartan law and culture were obsessed with systematically ensuring good breeding, martial education, and group unity. Spartan ethics and law considered that what was good was whatever was good for the community. During a debate as to whether a commander had abused his authority, the Spartan king Agesilaus argued: “The point to be examined . . . is simply this: has this action been good or bad for Sparta?”[2] Kevin MacDonald has argued that the law instituted by Lycurgus – featuring in-group altruism, relative egalitarianism, separation from and unity in the face of out-groups, specialization in warfare, and communally-determined in-group eugenics – qualifies as a genuine “altruistic group evolutionary strategy.”[3]

Few forms of government have so drawn the admiration of both liberals and ‘totalitarians’ as that of Sparta. Many republicans, both ancient and modern, have been impressed by the Spartans’ ‘mixed’ system of government, with its combination of monarchic, aristocratic, and democratic elements, as conducive to social unity, stability, and the rule of law. The Founding Fathers of the United States sought to emulate the stability of Sparta’s constitution and saw in it a precursor to their own system of checks and balances. Thinkers of a more communitarian bent, such as Rousseau and Hitler, have for their part admired the city for its rigorous organization in service of the community.

The Spartan citizen body was made up of landowning males past the age of 30 who had completed their arduous military training and education. These Spartiates, known as Homoioi (roughly meaning ‘Equals’ or ‘Peers’) made up an uncertain, but no doubt small, percentage of the country’s population. The Helots, Sparta’s large population of agricultural serfs, provided the citizens with the leisure to specialize in military training. These slaves were fellow Greek-speakers although, as non-Dorian Achaeans, there was a certain degree of ethnic difference from the Spartiates. So-called ‘Peripherals’ (perioikoi), foreign residents engaging in various skilled crafts at the service of the Spartans, appear to have regularly accumulated around the Spartan State.

Sparta was presided over by two relatively-weak kings, from two distinct royal families, who served as priests, generals, and occasionally judges. The Ephors, five powerful magistrates elected by all citizens for a non-renewable one-year term, were responsible for implementing decrees and had judicial powers to supervise and prosecute others, including the kings. The most powerful body was the Gerousia, a council made up of the two kings and 28 elders over the age of 60, who were elected for life. The Gerousia set the political agenda, debated issues, and presented the decisions open to the Assembly. The Assembly of Spartan citizens did not propose legislation but could only decide on whatever was presented by the Gerousia. Through these institutions, the Spartan regime sought to reconcile the values of authority, stability, law, aristocracy, seniority, and community. When asked why he did not institute a democracy, Lycurgus is supposed to have answered: “Make your own household a democracy first.”[4]

Spartan society was systematically organized by the regime to achieve social unity and martial prowess. Practically, among the elite Spartiate body of citizens, this meant the encouragement of births, the communal education of children according to an austere and militaristic way of life and living perpetually together through common meals and training. Failure to live up to the city’s demanding standards was harshly punished. Citizenship was not an automatic right, but had to be earned, by passing one’s educational training and paying one’s duties to the mess hall. According to Xenophon, Lycurgus “gave an equal share in the state to all law-abiding citizens, without regard for physical or financial deficiencies. But Lycurgus made it clear that if anyone should shirk the effort required to keep his laws, then he would no longer be considered one of the Equals.”[5]

Following such customs was in Sparta a sacred duty. Not only were Sparta’s institutions and customs attributed to the wise Lycurgus, but these were said to have been approved by Apollo himself. This was significant as the Spartans appear to have been exceptionally pious, regularly engaging in common rituals and sacrifices. Herodotus says that for the Spartans “divine matters took precedence over human ones” (Herodotus, 5.63). Once again, we find religious piety being central to the foundations of custom and the enforcement of group norms. Xenophon also highlights the importance of Spartan religious practice in warfare, saying of their meticulous rituals while on campaign: “if you witnessed this you would think that militarily others are amateurs, whereas Spartans alone are real masters of the craft of war.”[6] Both Xenophon and Plutarch believed that the joint and pious fulfillment of ritual inspires confidence in men before battle.[7]

Spartan politics began with the rearing of children and their education in the martial and communitarian values of their society. Lycurgus is said to have “regarded the upbringing of children as the greatest and noblest responsibility of the legislator.”[8] Young men and women performed sporting events in the nude, so as to encourage both physical fitness and marriages. Lycurgus was emphatic that there was a civic duty to ensure that the next generation of citizens be not only be produced but be the healthiest and best possible. Plutarch reports this while drawing a direct analogy with heredity in animals:

First and foremost Lycurgus considered children to belong not privately to their fathers, but jointly to the city, so that he wanted citizens produced not from random partners, but from the best. Moreover he observed a good deal of stupidity and humbug in others’ rules on these matters. Such people have their bitches and mares mounted by the finest dogs and stallions whose owners they can prevail upon for a favor or fee. But their wives they lock up and guard, claiming the right to produce their children exclusively, though they may be imbeciles, or past their prime, or diseased. They forget that where children are born of poor stock, the first to suffer from their poor condition are those who possess and rear them, while the same applies conversely to the good qualities of those from sound stock.[9]

Past a certain age, single men were severely stigmatized. Lycurgus also believed that “the production of children was the most important duty of free women,” thereby making a fundamental contribution to the society which sustained their freedom.[10] Spartan women were not sedentary and trapped in the family home, as most Greek women were. As their husbands were training constantly away from home, Spartan women were unusual in managing their own households, often becoming wealthy in their own right. These women were discouraged from overeating and encouraged to participate in sports such as wrestling and javelin-throwing on health grounds:

Thereby their children in embryo would make a strong start in strong bodies and would develop better, while the women themselves would also bear their pregnancies with vigor and would meet the challenge of a childbirth in a successful, relaxed way.[11]

It was apparently considered shameful for men to be seen with their wives at Sparta, resulting in sex occurring irregularly while the sex drive remained strong. There was another primitive eugenic rationale behind these measures: young, healthy, active, lustful parents were believed to produce healthier and stronger children. “Puny and deformed” newborns were to thrown into an abyss (or, perhaps more likely, killed through exposure) “considering it better both for itself and the state that the child should die if right from its birth it was poorly endowed for health or strength.”[12]

Lycurgus is supposed to have banned dowries and make-up: “So that none should be left unmarried because of poverty nor any pursued for their wealth, but that each man should study the girl’s character and make his choice on the basis of her good qualities.”[13] His concern with biological quality was so extreme he apparently even allowed for a bizarre official practice of ‘eugenic cuckoldry’ whereby an elderly husband could have children by introducing his wife to “any man whose physique and personality he admired.”[14] Conversely a wifeless man could, if “eager to have remarkable children,” have them “by any fertile and well-bred woman who came to his attention, subject to her husband’s consent.” Plutarch claims that by this measure the Spartans succeeded in “planting in fruitful soil, so to speak, and producing fine children who would be linked to fine ancestors by blood and family.”[15] These measures—so foreign to the contemporary mores of the West—were eugenic and natalist in their objectives. They also emphasize Spartans’ supreme subjection of their personal and familial interests to the public good, ideally up to and including access to their wives! Xenophon, an eyewitness source, claims that by these methods, Sparta gained “men whose size and strength are . . . superior.”[16]

There was an enormous emphasis in Sparta, as in no other Greek city, on the truly systematic education and training of the citizens in order to shape a culture conducive to the public good. Spartan education was communal and austere. The children were taken from their families at age seven and would not complete their training until they were 29. At that point, if the young man had succeeded in this agoge training, he would be made a full citizen. Whereas wealthy Athenians might have a private slave tutor for their children, Spartan children had a single Trainer-in-Chief (a paidomus, literally a “boy-herdsman”) and any citizen could discipline them.

Young Spartans would go barefoot, have a single cloak to wear all year in hot or cold, and would be given a limited amount of food, measures all aimed at making them tougher. Youths were expected to steal from or even murder Helots. The Spartans in general appear to have treated their Helots with extreme cruelty, from humiliation through making them drunk to regular ritualized murder—evidently aimed at keeping this class firmly separate and subservient. Plutarch himself concedes that “there is nothing to match either the freedom of the free man at Sparta or the slavery of the slave.”[17] Montesquieu later would sum up the conflicted feelings of many classical liberals concerning Sparta, saying: “Lycurgus, combining larceny with the spirit of justice, the harshest slavery with extreme liberty, the most atrocious sentiments with the greatest moderation, gave stability to his city.”[18]

We must imagine Sparta as an ordered, hierarchical, and pious state characterized by constant ritual and training, a cross between a military-athletic camp and a monastery. Plutarch says:

Spartiates’ training extended into adulthood, for no one was permitted to live as he pleased. Instead, just as in a camp, so in the city, they followed a prescribed lifestyle and devoted themselves to communal concerns. They viewed themselves absolutely as part of their country, rather than as individuals, and so unless assigned a particular job they would always be observing the boys and giving them useful piece of instruction, or learning themselves from their elders.[19]

Concerning adolescents, Lycurgus “gave orders that even in the streets they should keep both hands inside their cloaks, should proceed in silence, and should not let their gaze wander in any direction, but fix their eyes on the ground before them.”[20] Young adults were encouraged to be competitive in music, sports, and “manly gallantry.”[21] According to Xenophon, this education succeeded: “The result has been that respect and obedience in combination are found to a high degree at Sparta . . . [the system] turns out men who are more disciplined, more respectful, and (when required) more self-controlled.”[22] By his laws, Lycurgus was said to have “done away with prudery, sheltered upbringing, and effeminacy of any kind.”[23]

Go to Part 2.


[1]     Literally “naked wise men,” which is what the Greeks called the Hindu and perhaps Buddhist ascetics they found in India. Plutarch, Life of Lycurgus, 4.

[2]     Xenophon, Hellenica, 5.2.32

[3]     Kevin MacDonald, A People That Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy, with Diaspora Peoples (Lincoln, Nebraska: Writers Club, 2002), pp. 8-35, 394-95. Editor’s note: I first got the group strategy idea by writing a chapter on the Spartans for my 1988 book, Social and Personality Development: An Evolutionary Synthesis. 

[4]     Plutarch, Lycurgus, 19.

[5]     Xenophon, Spartan Constitution, 10.

[6]     Xenophon, Constitution, 13.

[7]      The later Greco-Roman writer Polybius went so far as to argue that Rome’s extreme religiosity was what made her constitution “so markedly superior” to other states (Polybius, 6.56). See Guillaume Durocher, “Religious Piety in Sparta & Rome,” Counter-Currents.com, January 18, 2018.

[8]     Plutarch, Lycurgus, 14.

[9]     Ibid., 15.

[10]   Xenophon, Constitution, 1.

[11]   Plutarch, Lycurgus, 14.

[12]   Ibid., 16.

[13]   Plutarch, Sayings of the Spartans, “Lycurgus,” 15.

[14]   Xenophon, Constitution, 1.

[15]   Plutarch, Lycurgus, 15.

[16]   Xenophon, Constitution, 1.

[17]   Plutarch, Lycurgus, 28.

[18]   Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws, 4.6.

[19]   Plutarch, Lycurgus, 24.

[20]   Xenophon, Constitution, 3.

[21]   Ibid., 4.

[22]   Ibid., 2.

[23]   Plutarch, Lycurgus, 14.

There is a sense in which all life for Spartan citizens was communal and hierarchical. Even once one had completed the agoge, Spartiates would eat together in common mess halls, again creating common feeling. The ages were mixed, so that the older could teach the young, and citizens were expected to discuss noble deeds. In the gymnasium, the oldest man would supervise, and citizens were expected to train regularly. Xenophon claims that “it would certainly not be easy for anyone to find men healthier or more physically apt than Spartiates.”[1]

Lycurgus reputedly had accompanied his basic law with a land reform giving each of those in the small citizen class an equal property, although economic inequality gradually accumulated over time. A positive consequence of the Spartans’ systematically communal lifestyle was an extremely high degree of trust among citizens. They shared each other’s hunting dogs and horses, the latter being extremely valuable property in those days. Citizens even trusted others to beat their own children if they had done wrong, for “there was a sense in which everyone regarded himself as father, tutor, and commander of each boy.”[2]

The entire society was oriented towards inculcating martial valor and unity. Cowards were severely stigmatized—so much so that they could be beaten freely—and “the citizens considered an honorable death preferable to a life of disgrace.”[3] Citizens were banned from working and instead “all their time was taken up by choral dances, festivals, feasts, hunting expeditions, physical exercise, and conversation.”[4] At the same time, the society’s general frugality meant “there was . . . no need to amass wealth (with all the work and concentration that this entails), since riches were emphatically neither envied nor esteemed.”[5] Music played a large role in Spartan society and their songs dealt with military heroism, sacrifice for Sparta, and the shaming of cowards. The result was an intensely communal ethos:

Altogether [Lycurgus] accustomed citizens to have no desire for a private life, nor knowledge of one, but rather to be like bees, always attached to the community, swarming together around their leader, and almost ecstatic with fervent ambition to devote themselves entirely to their country.[6]

The supreme values of this society are suggested even by their burial practices: “Those who buried a dead person were not permitted to inscribe the name on a grave except in the cases of a man who had died on campaign or a woman who had died in labor.”[7] The dead were buried within the city, so as to habituate the young to their sight.

Sparta was an exceptionally xenophobic society, sharply controlling population movements of both citizens and foreigners so to maintain their unique customs. Xenophon says that “expulsions of foreigners used to occur and absence abroad was not permitted, so that citizens should not be infected by lax habits caught from foreigners.”[8] Iron bars, worthless outside of Sparta, were the only legal currency in the State. Plutarch claims this also led to great benefits: “it was impossible to buy any shoddy foreign goods, and no cargo of merchandise would enter the harbors, no teacher of rhetoric trod Laconian soil, no begging seer, no pimp, no maker of gold or silver ornaments.”[9]

Plutarch says Sparta’s values of patriotism and sacrifice were apparently so ingrained that Spartan women were among their fiercest enforcers. A mother reputedly handed her son a shield as he was leaving for battle saying: “Son, either with this or on this.”[10] There are many stories of Spartan mothers rejoicing that their son died in battle or conversely, if he had returned by fleeing as a coward, killing him herself. Plutarch says:ntly so ingrained in the society that Spartan women were among their fiercest enforcers. As he left to fight and die at Thermopylae, Leonidas is supposed to have told his wife “to marry good men and bear good children.”[12] When Xerxes proposed making Leonidas tyrant of Greece, he is supposed to have responded: “For me, it is better to die for Greece than to be monarch of the people of my race.”[13]

The Spartans were famous for their brief ‘Laconic’ sayings and sharp wit. Plato claimed that the “distinctive kind of Spartan wisdom” was found in “their pithy, memorable sayings” (Protagoras, 343c), which can be recalled easily and thus be borne in mind in our daily lives. Laconic brevity also reflected the Spartan concern with doing well rather than merely speaking or speculating like the verbose Athenians. Lycurgus is supposed to have forbidden his laws from being written because “the guiding principles of most importance for the happiness and excellence of a state would remain securely fixed if they were embedded in citizens’ character and training.”[14] When asked why the Spartans kept their laws on bravery unwritten, a Spartan king is said to have replied: “it’s better for [the youth] to get used to acts of bravery rather than to study written documents.”[15]

A number of Spartan sayings have come down to us, although their precise attributions to various historical figures are probably unreliable. The Spartans, like the Cynic philosopher Diogenes, came to be idealized across the ancient world as an example of perfect virtue and would then tend to be credited with proverbs reflecting this. Nonetheless, the Sayings of the Spartans collected by Plutarch do give us a feeling for the Spartan spirit, as in the following sample:

When asked how anyone could rule the citizens safely without having a bodyguard, [King Agasicles] said: “By ruling them in the way that fathers do their sons.” (Agasicles, 2)

[King Agesilaus] watched a mouse being pulled from its hole by a small boy. When the mouse turned round, bit the hand of its captor and escaped, he pointed this out to those present and said: “When the tiniest creature defends itself like this against aggressors, what ought men to do, do you reckon?” (Agesilaus, 9).

When somebody asked what gain the laws of Lycurgus had brought to Sparta, he  said: “Contempt for pleasures.” (Agesilaus, 20)

To the man who was amazed at how modest his clothes and his meals were, and those of the other Spartans as well, he  said: “Freedom is what we reap from this way of life, my friend. (Agesilaus, 20).

When somebody else asked why Sparta lacked fortification walls, he pointed to the citizens under arms and said: “These are the Spartans’ walls.” (Agesilaus, 29)

As [King Agis] was passing through the Corinthians’ walls and observed their height and strength and great extent, he said: “What women live in this place?” (Agis son of Archidamus, 6)

When asked how one should remain a free man, he said: “By despising death.” (Agis son of Archidamus, 18)

When somebody said that [the philosopher Xenocrates] was a wise man and one of those who search for virtue, [King] Eudamidas said: “And when will he make use of it if he is still searching for it?” (Eudamidas son of Archidamus, 1)

To the stranger who was claiming that among his own citizens he was called a friend of Sparta [King Theopompus] said: “It would be better for you to be called a friend of your fellow citizens rather than a friend of Sparta.” (Theopompus, 2)

When a Persian inquired what type of constitution met with his greatest approval, he said: “Whichever gives brave men and cowards their due.” (Lysander, 11)

When someone was asking why they made the poet Tyrtaeus [an Athenian, whose poems provide some of the only surviving Spartan literature] a citizen, [Panthoidas] said: “So that a foreigner should never be seen as our leader.” (Panthoidas, 3)

When amongst the spoils some people were amazed at the extravagance of the Persians’ clothing, he said: “Better for them to be men of great worth rather than to have possessions of great worth.” (Panthoidas, 5)

When [Governor Pedaritus] observed some effeminate person being nonetheless praised by the citizens for his fairness, he said: “Men who are like women should not be praised nor should women who are like men, unless some necessity forces the woman.” (Pedaritus, 2)

When someone asked [King Charillus] which type of government he considered the best, he said: “The one in which the largest number of citizens are willing to compete with each other in excellence and without civil concord.” (Charillus, 4)

Go to Part 3.


[1]  Xenophon, Constitution, 5.

[2]  Plutarch, Lycurgus, 17.

[3]  Xenophon, Constitution, 9.

[4]  Plutarch, Lycurgus, 24.

[5]        Ibid.

[6]  Ibid., 25.

[7]  Ibid., 27.

[8]        Xenophon, Constitution, 14.

[9]  Plutarch, Lycurgus, 9.

[10] Plutarch, Sayings of Spartan Women, 16.

[11] Plutarch, Lycurgus, 14.

[12] Plutarch, Sayings of the Spartans, “Leonidas,” 2.

[13]      Ibid., 10. Interestingly, many of Plutarch’s Sayings of the Spartans – which may have in fact been attributed in later years – contain expressions of pan-Hellenic patriotism, sentiments generally at odds with the more narrowly self-interested realities of Spartan foreign policy.

[14] Plutarch, Lycurgus, 13.

[15] Plutarch, Sayings of the Spartans, “Zeuxidamus,” 1.

 

The Virtuous Circle of Spartan Power: Discipline Through Lordship

The defining fact of Spartan life was the hard-won conquest of neighboring Messenia in the eighth century and the enslavement of its population as Helots. This victory had launched the virtuous circle of Spartan power. The subjugated Helots provided the Spartan citizen-soldiers with both the leisure and the imperative need to dedicate themselves to martial prowess in the face of a constant threat of rebellion at home. The entire social organization of Sparta came to reflect this state of affairs. Thucydides noted: “most Spartan institutions have always been designed with a view to security against the Helots.”[1]

The system instituted by Lycurgus proved remarkably successful for centuries. The organization and training of the—at their height—around 8,000 Spartan citizen-soldiers to suppress the Helots also translated into international military power, which in turn allowed Sparta to secure allies and thus yet more military power in the Peloponnese. Xenophon opens his account of the Spartan regime saying: “Sparta, despite having one of the lowest populations, had nonetheless clearly become the most powerful and most famous state in Greece.”[2] The unsentimental Thucydides says of Sparta: ‟its system of good order is very ancient and it has never been subject to tyrants. The Spartan constitution has remained unchanged for somewhat over 400 years . . . a source of strength, enabling their political intervention in other states” (Thu., 1.18). Indeed, Sparta was hailed for her lack of civil wars among citizens, a common cause of grief in the Greek world, and for having intervened to liberate other Greek cities from tyrants. Sparta’s oligarchic government seems to have been better than Athens at securing consenting allies among fellow-Greek city-states. The Spartans seem to have been better able at developing stable interpersonal ties with foreign elites,[3]  whereas the Athenian democracy tended to a chauvinism serving her own citizens alone without regard for its imperial subjects. Thucydides has Pericles boast that Athens did not use undependable foreign allies in war but only Athenian residents, implying that Sparta in contrast had the assistance more-or-less consenting allies.[4]

The great successes of Spartan social organization came at a heavy price. The city was devoid of material culture, leaving precious few artifacts in the archaeological record. Even during its heyday, Thucydides observed that Spartan architecture was so unimpressive in comparison with Athens, that “if the city of Sparta were to become deserted, with only the temples and the foundations of buildings left to view, I imagine that with the passage of time future generations would find it very hard to credit its reputed power (Thu., 1.10). Alexander Hamilton wrote that “Sparta was little better than a well-regulated camp.”[5] Sparta is unlikely to have had much intellectual culture either. If there were any Spartan dramatists and philosophers, there is virtually nothing that survives of them. There is little to suggest there was any Spartan equivalent of Athens’ extraordinary theatrical and philosophical achievement, notwithstanding the idealizations and ironic paradoxes of the philosophers.[6] Indeed, the Spartans were said to be “the least intellectual of men” (Aristotle, Rhetoric, 1398b).[7]

Sparta was basically a caste society. Besides the solidary elite citizen body of Spartiates, there were also “fallen” Spartans who had lost their citizenship for reasons of poverty or dishonor, “neo-citizens” who had been naturalized (especially in the later years) to have more soldiers, the working Peripherals who gravitating around the city, and finally the Helots. This appears to have been, somewhat like ancient and medieval India, a largely static society. It was certainly a closed society in which, besides the rigid social order, foreigners were restricted from entry and regularly evicted to prevent the Spartans from being infected with foreign cultural influence. Furthermore, it appears that Sparta’s power in the Peloponnese was based on its ability to retard urban development abroad: rival cities were broken up into villages and placed under the government of Spartan-friendly landowners.[8] Sparta has an air of stagnation, and while the appearance of eternity typically impressed the Ancients, we Moderns tend to feel that that which does not grow is already doomed. At the same time, living in a time of perpetual economic growth leading to cultural collapse and ecological exhaustion, the Spartan ideal and long-lasting success of a socio-political steady-state perhaps has a new relevance for our time.

By the yardstick of individual freedom, the ledger is perhaps not quite as much in Athens’ favor as one might expect. In every premodern economy, the precious leisure necessary for culture and civic life is necessarily the purview of a select few. Athens no doubt afforded more scope for individual merit, freedom, and political participation to a greater share of the population on the whole. But one also should not forget that democratic Athens itself was based on chattel slavery, subject colonies, and house-bound women. In the Spartan empire, notwithstanding the hard lives of the Helots, women and allied states were generally freer than those of Athens. Furthermore, those who have tasted the monastic life may also suspect that the highly-regimented Spartan lifestyle—the constant training in community life, athletics, and self-restraint—may have offered citizens certain deep satisfactions not available with the liberal lifestyle.

Ironically, Sparta’s greatest failing was precisely in the biological and specifically in the demographic sphere. Sparta, somewhat miraculously, defeated Athens in the Peloponnesian War but fell within decades due to the failure to maintain the population of citizen-soldiers. As Kevin MacDonald observes:

It would appear that the system devised by the Israelite lawgiver [Moses] was in some sense a better strategy for maintaining long-term ethnic coherence than that designed by the Spartan lawgiver, since the Israelite strategy, arguably, continues today (see [The Culture of Critique], ch. 8). The Spartan system was an excellent defensive system, but was ill equipped to administer an empire, and there were no provisions, such as the hereditary Israelite priestly class, that would have allowed it to survive being militarily conquered – a contingency that was all but inevitable in the ancient world and that certainly continues to some extent today.[9]

For MacDonald, “while the group strategy of the ancient Spartans was successful for a significant period, it was ultimately a failure.”[10] In marked contrast with the Jews, who were able to survive through fanatical adherence to a dogmatic ethnocentric religion, the Spartans proved completely incapable of maintaining their identity and group evolutionary strategy in the absence of a supportive sovereign State. In this, the Spartans were sadly typical of Western peoples. There is furthermore little reason to believe that Sparta’s primitive eugenic measures had much positive effect.

We would be wrong to downplay the Spartan achievement however. The other Greeks were greatly impressed by those four centuries of Spartan order and power which were so great a factor in their international affairs. Polybius, a later Hellenistic historian who documented the rise of Rome, gave a balanced summary of the greatness and limits of Sparta through a useful comparison with the Roman Republic. He remarked that “the constitution so framed by Lycurgus preserved independence in Sparta longer than anywhere else in recorded history” (Polybius, 6.10). Furthermore:

The Lycurgan system is designed for the secure maintenance of the status quo and the preservation of autonomy. Those who believe that this is what a state is for must agree that there is not and never has been a better system or constitution than that of the Spartans. But if one has greater ambitions that that – if one thinks that it is a finer and nobler thing to be a world-class leader, with an extensive dominion and empire, the center and focal point of everyone’s world – then one must admit that the Spartan constitution is deficient and the Roman constitution is superior and more dynamic. (Polybius, 6.50)

There is no doubt that there is a tendency to “slouching” in human history: every new generation balks at the unexplained disciplines and traditional rigors inherited from the past. If this rebelling against the past is done for the sake of comfort and pleasure, as opposed to replacing a tradition with new practices because they are more conducive to the public good, we call this decadence. In Sparta alone, the citizens were able to maintain a fearsome degree of virtue, by the authority held by the elders, by the systematic education and training of the citizens, and by the threat posed by the Helots.

The constitution of Lycurgus – with its stability, mixing of elitism and democracy, sovereignty, lawfulness, training, social unity, and sacrifice for the common good – may serve a model for all nations that truly wish to fight to determine their own destiny and adhere to values. The example of Sparta, like Prussia in the modern era, also shows that smallness is no reason for defeatism, that all nations have, with effort, a chance at achieving freedom and greatness. No wonder that the law of Lycurgus and the sacrifice of Leonidas’ 300 Spartans have inspired philosophers and statesmen throughout the ages, even in the face of terrible odds. Given the challenges facing Western and European nations in the twenty-first century – consider the sheer scale of the rising foreign superpowers, ecological threats, and demographic collapse – the Spartan experience in building a lawful, holistic, and biopolitical martial republic may yet help inspire our renewal.


Bibliography

Aristotle (trans. H. C. Lawson-Tancred), The Art of Rhetoric (London: Penguin, 1991).

Cartledge, Paul, Sparta and Lakonia: A Regional History, 1300 to 362 BC (New York: Routledge, 2002).

Herodotus (trans. Robin Waterfield), The Histories (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998).

MacDonald, Kevin, A People That Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy, with Diaspora Peoples (Lincoln, Nebraska: Writers Club, 2002).

Plato (ed. John M. Cooper), Complete Works, (Indianapolis, Indian: Hackett, 1997).

Plutarch (trans. Richard Talbert and Ian Scott-Kilvert), On Sparta (London: Penguin, 2005), includes Plutarch’s Life of Lycurgus, Sayings of Spartans, and Sayings of Spartan Women, and Xenophon’s Spartan Constitution.

Polybius (trans. Robin Waterfield), The Histories (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010).

Xenophon (trans. Rex Warner), A History of My Times [Hellenica] (London: Penguin, 1979).

Thucydides (trans. Martin Hammond), The Peloponnesian War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009).


[1]  Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War, 4.80. Translation from Paul Cartledge, Sparta and Lakonia: A Regional History, 1300 to 362 BC (New York: Routledge, 2002), Annex 4, p. 299. The passage is somewhat ambiguous. Cartledge also provides an alternative translation: “as far as the Helots are concerned, most Spartan institutions have always been designed with a view to security.”

[2]  Xenophon, Spartan Constitution, 1.

[3]        The Old Oligarch observes:

 For oligarchic cities it is necessary to keep to alliances and oaths. If they do not abide by agreements or if injustice is done, there are the names of the few who made the agreement. But whatever agreements the populace makes can be repudiated by referring the blame to the one who spoke or took the vote, while the others declare that they were absent or did not approve of the agreement made in the full assembly. (The Constitution of the Athenians, 2.18)

[4]        Pericles says: “The Spartans do not invade our land on their own, but they have all their allies with them” (Thu., 2.39). Earlier, Pericles had argued that the Spartans’ need for their allies’ agreement to take decisions would paralyze them:

 In a single pitched battle the Peloponnesians and their allies are capable of resisting the whole of Greece, but they are incapable of maintaining a war against an opposition which differs from them in kind: as long, that is, that they continue without a central deliberative forum, for lack of which they cannot take any immediate decisive action, and as long as all the various tribal groups in a miscellaneous confederacy have equal votes, so each promotes its own concern – a system unlikely to produce any effective results. (Thucydides, 1.141)

This can be taken as an early argument for sovereign central government rather than divided confederal government. Perhaps the need to convince their allies was partly responsible for the supposed timidity and slowness of Spartan foreign policy (Thu., 8.96).

[5]        Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 6.

[6]        Plutarch states that “some . . . claim that devotion to the intellect is more characteristic of Spartans than love of physical exercise” (Lycurgus, 20) and, in a beautiful rhetorical flourish, concludes his Life saying:

 Lycurgus . . . brought into the light of day, not paper theories, but a functioning constitution which is quite unmatched. To those who suspect that it is impracticable for a theoretical structure to be centered upon a Sage, he has exhibited his whole city practicing philosophy” (Lycurgus, 31).

Such passages in Plutarch must be considered idealizations and inspiring exhortations to political philosophy, rather than realistic history.

In his Protagoras, Plato has Socrates ironically claim that “the Spartans have the best education in philosophy and debate” (342e). This is no place for a full commentary on this dialogue. However, given the context, it seems Plato is making a paradoxical and humorous comment praising certain Spartan virtues – namely discretion, Laconic wit, remembrance of wise sayings – as integral to the practice of philosophy. One of the great challenges in studying ancient Greek literature, is determining whether a text is ironic or is making some kind of in-joke. Herodotus, Socrates, Plato, and Xenophon certainly often appealed to ironic humor.

[7]  Whereas Aristotle is here quoting someone else, he was more generally one of the few ancient philosophers to be broadly critical of Sparta, having come of age after its collapse after the Battle of Leuctra. At the same time, Aristotle did admire the communitarian ambitions of the Spartan educational system.

[8]  Xenophon, Hellenica, 5.2.7.

[9]  MacDonald, PSDA, p. 395.

[10] MacDonald, PSDA, p. 8.

 

Fake History Lie: The Allies Won The Good War And Treated Defeated Germans Humanely

Fake History Lie: The Allies Won The Good War And Treated Defeated Germans Humanely

By John Wear
The Lie:

The Allies fought the Good War. They treated defeated German men, women and children humanely.

After learning about the murderous rape rampage of Soviet soldiers following Germany’s defeat in WWII, a young Polish man in Gdansk, Poland was so deeply affected he created a statue titled Komm Frau, of a pregnant young woman being raped to memorialize the memory of the 2 million girls and women. After displaying it on a city street, he was promptly arrested and the statue was removed.

A beautiful traditional English setting, the Victoria Tower Gardens, will soon be blighted by a new Holocaust Memorial. Nicknamed the “toast rack” few people can figure out how this monstrosity memorializes suffering. Holocaust Memorials increase in number every year around the world.

The Truth:

There were clear designs to destroy Germany before WWII. The Allies also committed horrific crimes against Germans after World War II while preparing for and conducting the Nuremberg show-trials for vindication. This is because the breathtaking scale and horror of the atrocities committed against Germans dwarfs the so-called Holocaust. The real agenda of World War II was the complete destruction of Germany in perpetuity, as evidenced by German leader Angela Merkel throwing away a German flag in disgust on a globally televised platform.

The “Good War” Ends & 95% Of Babies Born in Berlin The Summer of 1945 Die On America’s Watch: The Policy To Expel & Force Resettlement of Germans into Germany
After signing the pre-Armistice contract to end WWI, the Allies continued their naval blockade. This resulted in the starvation of 800,000 Germans (the elderly and young children were the worst affected), to force Germany to sign a new and unfair contract – The Versailles Treaty. NO MERCY! The Unprecedented Vengeance Of The Versailles Treaty

Despite Hitler’s repeated efforts to avert a world war and defend Europe from a   Communist take-over by the greatest offensive army ever created, the Allies led by Churchill and FDR, conspired to create WWII.

A Blank Check & Forked Tongues: How Britain & Poland Started WWII & Blamed Hitler & Germans For Eternity!
Did President Roosevelt Betray America To Force An Unjustified Global War?

The intentional prolonging of WWII permitted the extraordinarily excessive saturation bombing of Germany. The Holocaust firestorm of the militarily unimportant city of Dresden alone resulted in 250,000 people dying including refugees, The bombing was followed by the aerial mowing down by bullets of survivors. Even the last surviving Zoo animals were mowed down. This Hellstorm has been publicly revealed by the efforts of many including Thomas Goodrich and Kyle Hunt.

Gen. Patton Exposes The Allied Conspiracy To Extend WW2 & Give Eastern Europeans To Stalin. Suddenly Patton Dies Burying The Real Holocaust

The saturation bombing and destruction of food and medical supply lines resulted in the senseless deaths of Germans and many concentration camp inmates due to months of hunger and diseases including Typhus. Large numbers of refugees from neighboring countries fleeing the Red Army also died.

While Germany’s unconditional surrender to the Allies marked the end of a long nightmare for German citizens, it was the beginning of a new, even more dangerous future. Most Germans assumed that as bad as the coming weeks and months might be, the worst of their death and suffering was behind them. However, although World War II was history’s most catastrophic and destructive war, the death and suffering of Germans increased after the end of the war. What lay ahead for Germany was, as Time magazine later phrased it, “history’s most terrifying peace.”[1]

Numerous writers had warned of the terrible consequences that Germans would face if Germany lost the war. In his widely read book published in 1941, Germany Must Perish, Theodore ((((((Kaufman)))))) wrote:

This time Germany has forced a total war upon the world. As a result, she must be prepared to pay a total penalty. And there is one, and only one, such total penalty: Germany must perish forever! In fact—not in fancy!…The goal of world-dominion must be removed from the reach of the German and the only way to accomplish that is to remove the German from the world….There remains then but one mode of ridding the world forever of Germanism—and that is to stem the source from which issue those war-lusted souls, by preventing the people of Germany from ever again reproducing their kind.[2]

Why the Holocaust Story Was Invented

((((((Kaufman)))))) concluded that all German men and women should be sterilized to eliminate Germanism and its carriers.[3] Many leading American journals such as Time magazine and the Washington Post expressed strong support for this genocidal concept.[4]

The Allied postwar treatment of Germany resulted in more German deaths than were incurred during the Second World War. While the exact number of casualties will never be known, the number of German military and civilian deaths during World War II is approximately 6.5 million.[5] The total number of German postwar deaths from 1945 to 1950 almost certainly exceeds 9 million. Few acknowledge the incredible death toll amongst the elderly and young after more than 16 million Germans were expelled from their homes and home lands, nor the fate of those who were trapped in the Allied-run concentration camps.

The Nuremberg trials failed to recognize these horrific crimes committed against the German people. They also overlooked the intentional starvation of ethnic German infants and children in post-WWII Eastern Europe.

The German dead do not tell the entire story of the tragedy that was inflicted on Germany after World War II.

In Germany as a whole it is estimated that 2 million German girls and women were raped in the aftermath of the Second World War. This represents more rapes against a defeated enemy than any other war in history. The German women and girls (as young as 8 years old) who had been repeatedly raped, often with torture, and survived had to bear the physical and psychological scars for the rest of their lives.[6] Compounding this atrocity was the post-WWII requirement that these victims assume guilt and pay on-going reparations for their role in alleged German atrocities.

The Soviet, French Senegalese and Moroccan troops were notorious for raping German girls and women.

By contrast, the German army behaved very correctly toward the people of occupied territories whose governments were signatories of The Hague and Geneva Conventions. Rape by German soldiers in these territories was strictly forbidden. This has been confirmed by numerous sources and is beyond dispute. For example, after a tour of inspection in which he visited areas where the Germans had been in occupation for four years, Frederick C. Crawford stated in his “Report From the War Front”:

The Germans tried to be careful in their dealings with the people…We were told that if a citizen attended strictly to business and took no political or underground action against the occupying army, he was treated with correctness.”[7]

The German POWs fared no better, if not intentionally starved to death by Americans, they were slave labor for the other Allies and died in the millions.

If laws must be adjusted to a particular crime scene to defend that specific crime scene from forensic investigation, then that is a most odious set of laws akin to the Nuremberg Trials.

While a 96-year-old man is deemed fit to serve a prison sentence, we are awaiting the equivalent ‘justice’ to be granted to the non-Communist Jews who were intentionally deprived of food and basic necessities by the gangs of Communist-Jews in the Buchenwald Concentration Camp.


Buy Germany’s War

ENDNOTES

[1] Keeling, Ralph Franklin, Gruesome Harvest: The Allies’ Postwar War against the German People, Torrance, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1992, p. XII.

[5] Bessel, Richard, Germany 1945: From War to Peace, London: Harper Perennial, 2010, p. 388.

[6] Lowe, Keith, Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2012, pp. 51, 55.

[7] Keeling, Ralph Franklin, Gruesome Harvest: The Allies’ Postwar War against the German People, Torrance, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1992, pp. 64-65.

[2] ((((((Kaufman)))))), Theodore N., Germany Must Perish! Newark, NJ: Argyle Press, 1941, pp. 6-7, 28, 86.

[3]Ibid., pp. 88-89.

[4] Goodrich, Thomas, Hellstorm: The Death of Nazi Germany,1944-1947, Sheridan, CO: Aberdeen Books, 2010, pp. 7-8.

Republican Immigration Fantasies

Republican Immigration Fantasies

Little of Substance Has Changed Since 1996

http://www.toqonline.com/blog/republican-immigration-fantasies/

Republican Immigration FantasiesIn my previous post concerning immigration, entitled “Immigration and Conflict,” I quoted the thinly veiled threat of Fernando Torres-Gil, assistant secretary for aging in the Department of Health and Human Services:

“The nation will be heavily dependent on workers from minority groups ‘for the productivity and labor skills and the political willingness to pay taxes to support an aging population that will be largely white,…”

“Maybe we need a new GI bill for this segment (minority groups) of the population.

“But the spending will not be possible, he said, without the approval of the aging white population. ‘It will be up to senior citizens, with their tremendous political clout, to protect their benefits like Medicare and Social Security and also invest in a new diverse, younger population,’ he said.”

Thirty years from now, the black and brown coalition plans to pit its new brown majority against aging whites, threatening to cut off Social Security benefits (ie, make it a means-tested benefit) unless the retired white baby boomers vote for exorbitant taxes on their minority, middle-class offspring.

The black and brown coalition is going to pit the older generation of whites against the younger generation of whites to pay the future bills for welfare and education for America’s new Third-World majority.

So the ongoing struggle within the Republican Party over immigration becomes critical. Realistically, the Democratic party is the party of black and brown. If we are to protect ourselves through the political process, the Republican Party will have to be the vehicle.

It is going to be a tough and ugly road ahead.

As the editors of National Review state in their March 25, 1996 issue (page 18) concerning the fate of the immigration reform bills:

“And there is a danger of defeat-posed, curiously, by Washington’s conservative establishment. It mounts two sets of arguments against the reforms: first, that immigration is a clear continuing benefit to American society; second, that reduced immigration would damage GOP and conservative political prospects. To which we reply: if you believe that, you’ll believe anything.”

As NR points out, the Republican establishment is bent on offending its own natural constituency:

“The socio-economic case was put in a ‘Manifesto for Immigration,’ written by Malcolm Wallop (Steve Forbes’s campaign manager), Spencer Abraham, William Bennett, and Jack Kemp, and published (where else?) on the Wall Street Journal editorial page.”

They claim, quoting Julian Simon, that “the studies uniformly show that immigrants do not increase the rate of native unemployment.” Not so. For example, David Jaeger at the Bureau of Labor Statistics has published a study demonstrating that roughly half the decline in real wages of native dropouts is caused by immigration.

They argue, quoting Bill Gates, that limits on skilled immigration will damage American companies and U.S. inventiveness generally. But Norman Matloff of the University of California at Davis shows in a new report that a) almost all the major technical advances in computers have been made by U.S. natives; b) U.S. universities are turning out more domestic graduates each year than the computer industry needs; and c) skilled foreigners are hired simply because they are cheaper.

But the real problem is that so many in the Republican Party are driven to political fantasies about all these new immigrants voting Republican. As the editors of National Review point out, this will be politically fatal:

“And in most elections Hispanics vote Democratic over Republican by 70 to 30.”

“Population projections, moreover, suggest that continued high levels of immigration pose a real threat to the GOP’s fragile national majority. The Census Bureau estimates that, if immigration continues at present levels, Hispanics will account for between 20.2 and 24.6 per cent of the U.S. population in 2050. If their political loyalties remain unchanged, that would give the Democrats a clear national majority. Hispanics would need to shift massively into the GOP column before that demographic shift was even negated, let alone reversed.”

But the worst problem is that Republican leaders are so ready to alienate whites by refusing to represent them. The Democrats blatantly appeal to the racial interests of blacks and browns, but somehow it is “unclean” for Republicans to appeal to the racial interests of Euro-Americans.

The Republican leadership would rather lose elections that give up its vision of integrationism.

The ability to deny racial consciousness among minorities is very important for many Republican leaders because they find defending the racial interests of Euro-Americans socially repellent.

In truth, they are so threatened by the prospect of being perceived as “white trash”, that they cannot bring themselves to represent whites politically. Thus, they can only be leaders of a de-racinated fantasy land that exists nowhere except in their own minds.

It is more important for them to uphold patrician rituals of manners than it is to recognize reality and save Western Civilization in North America.

And it is this powerful Republican status fear that produces such ridiculous ideological inconsistencies. For what these “free market conservatives” are forced to insist, by stubbornly clinging to their integrationist vision, is that each immigrant is “new socialist man” who loses any racial consciousness upon crossing our borders. It is a vision of blacks and browns as raceless automatons, conveniently stripped of racial aggression and instantly remade into the bolshevik ideal of creatures motivated solely by economic calculations.

Now what exactly is it about American capitalism that makes it able to precipitate Marxist cultural results with such dispatch? The truth is that such a transformation occurs not in the real world, but only in the minds of Republicans with status insecurities that render them unfit to lead.

The truth is that integrationism is a failure. The minority coalition will settle for nothing less than victory and dominance. It promises nothing but conflict.

The Republican Party has two choices:

  1. Preserve the Euro-American majority in a peaceful political process now, or…
  2. Allow Euro-Americans to slip into a permanent minority status in which their interests can only be defended through violence and secession.

That is it.

There are no other choices!

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Yggdrasil is the pen name of a frequent contributor to TOQ Online.