Türk porno yayini yapan http://www.smfairview.com ve http://www.idoproxy.com adli siteler rokettube videolarini da HD kalitede yayinlayacagini acikladi. Ayrica porno indir ozelligiyle de http://www.mysticinca.com adli porno sitesi devreye girdi.
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 44

Thread: Athens or Sparta

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    2,928

    Default Athens or Sparta

    I was inspired by the discussion on the WW2 books thread regarding Forgotten Soldier to ask this question.

    As a young teenager (never met an old one), I was impressed by the film The Three Hundred Spartans, but then was distracted by the film Zulu.

    Later and a little older, as a soldier I was discussing the three Hundred Spartans with some friends, and determined to read-up on the battle.

    Not knowing where to look, I began with the Penguin Classics, and as Menelaus was of Sparta, I read the Iliad. Nothing there, so continued with a copy of Thucydides and the Peloponnesian War.

    Still haven’t got it. Continued with Xenophon, which was useful because Thucydides was a piece of unfinished work, Plutarch and Plato, and then, at last, I discovered Herodotus, and all was explained. In the meantime, as much as I admired the Spartans for their warrior ways, I also gained a respect for the Athenians, and have always tussled with which was the better state…

    Who can fault the Spartans record with the battles of Thermopolae and Plataea. Who can fault the Spartan system which produced the warriors that defeated the Persians. The Spartan citizenry were Spartiates, Equals. The Spartans created not just a warrior society, but a model communist society.

    The Athenians, well, what can I say? They defeated the persians at Marathon and again at Salamis and continued, allied with the Spartans, at Plataea. After the Persian War, they experienced what has come to be known as the Golden Age of Athens, with the building of the monuments of the Acropolis and of course developing their democratic system, their arts and philosophy.

    Athens was finally defeated by Sparta after the 27 year Pellopennessian War, the first recorded war of a communist state V a democracy, but the Spartans couldn't have won without persian gold. So, which was the better state Athens or Sparta?
    Last edited by 32Bravo; 06-16-2009 at 02:05 PM.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    9,338

    Default Re: Athens or Sparta

    Quote Originally Posted by 32Bravo View Post
    Athens was finally defeated by Sparta after the 27 year Pellopennessian War, the first recorded war of a communist state V a democracy, but the Spartans couldn't have won without persian gold. So, which was the better state Athens or Sparta?
    It's debatable whether Athens was a full democracy, given that slaves didn't have the rights of the citizens who owned them. Then again, that's judging by modern rather than contemporary standards of democracy
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    2,928

    Default Re: Athens or Sparta

    Take your point, but Athens was a true democracy in that it's citizens (slaves no longer having citizen status, if ever they had it) not only had a vote, but they made the decisions by use of that vote, as opposed to a representative democracy which most of us experience. The numbers of its citizenry fluctuated at different times, but thirty thousand isn't a bad ball-park figure. Democracy, after all, comes from the ancient Greek Demos Cratus which literally means People Power.

    In Sparta, at their peak, the Spartiates numbered about ten-thousand. One of the reasons that the Spartans were always so reluctant to got to war was that their numbers were so few. Ironically, if comparing the social and cultural values of the modern world with that of the ancient, Leonidas chose his three hundred from men that had already produced offspring to continue their bloodline. Today we would probably choose single men with no attachments if a choice was possible.
    Last edited by 32Bravo; 06-16-2009 at 05:52 PM.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    9,338

    Default Re: Athens or Sparta

    Quote Originally Posted by 32Bravo View Post
    but Athens was a true democracy in that it's citizens
    If I recall correctly, the free women weren't citizens, so it was only a male democracy, as indeed was the English-speaking world until nearly the 20th century.

    Quote Originally Posted by 32Bravo View Post
    One of the reasons that the Spartans were always so reluctant to got to war was that their numbers were so few.
    You're doomed to a small population if you're in the habit of leaving babies out in the weather to see if they survive.

    Quote Originally Posted by 32Bravo View Post
    Ironically, if comparing the social and cultural values of the modern world with that of the ancient, Leonidas chose his three hundred from men that had already produced offspring to continue their bloodline.
    If they had married, quite probably so. Spartan marriage had a lot to commend it, to both men and women. After the marriage night the blokes returned to their military unit and only returned now and again for a bit of nookie and to produce children.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Buffalo, New York
    Posts
    7,464

    Default Re: Athens or Sparta

    Quote Originally Posted by 32Bravo View Post
    ...
    In Sparta, at their peak, the Spartiates numbered about ten-thousand. One of the reasons that the Spartans were always so reluctant to got to war was that their numbers were so few...
    Not to mention that Sparta also had slaves (Helots) that outnumbered them several times over...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    2,928

    Default Re: Athens or Sparta

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post


    You're doomed to a small population if you're in the habit of leaving babies out in the weather to see if they survive.
    Babies that were considered to be not of a quality to become strong Spartan citizens were left 'exposed' on the mountain to be devoured by predators or the weather.


    If they had married, quite probably so. Spartan marriage had a lot to commend it, to both men and women. After the marriage night the blokes returned to their military unit and only returned now and again for a bit of nookie and to produce children.

    Spartan wives were expected to have a children with any strong Spartan male that her husband might consider a good sire of children. Most of the Spartan males were in love with their mates in the barracks.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    2,928

    Default Re: Athens or Sparta

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    Not to mention that Sparta also had slaves (Helots) that outnumbered them several times over...
    Yes, but then the slaves of Athens outnumbered the citizenry many times over. The population of Athens with its slaves and migrant workers was much greater than the numbers of its citizenry.

    The main difference in slaves, was that the Spartan helots/serfs - generally, slaves can be sold, the helots couldn't be - were greek, whereas with other states, the slaves mainly consisted of prisoners of war. However, there could be former citizens which had been enslaved due to bad debts and the like.
    Last edited by 32Bravo; 06-17-2009 at 04:02 AM.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    2,928

    Default Re: Athens or Sparta

    Donald Kagan explains

    In Athens the assembly [of citizens] made all decisions on policy, foreign and domestic, military and civil. The council of Five Hundred, chosen by lot from the Athenian citizens, prepared bills for the assembly's consideration but was totally subordinate to the larger body. The assembly met no fewer than forty times a year in the open air, on the Pnyx hill beside the Acropolis, overlooking the Agora [the market place and civic centre]. All male citizens were permitted to attend, vote make proposals, and debate. At the start of the Pelloppennessian War about forty thousand Athenians were eligible, but attendance rarely exceeded six thousand. Strategic decisions were thus debated before thousands of people, a majority of whom had to approve the particular details of the action.
    '...Of the people, for the people, by the people' comes to mind!....they did make a lot of bad decisions.
    Last edited by 32Bravo; 06-17-2009 at 04:06 AM.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    9,338

    Default Re: Athens or Sparta

    Quote Originally Posted by 32Bravo View Post
    '...Of the people, for the people, by the people' comes to mind!....they did make a lot of bad decisions.
    Perhaps including Socrates' trial and death sentence, which perhaps was imposed as a vicarious anti-Spartan punishment because one of his pupils was prominent in the post-Pelopennesian War Spartan control of Athens.

    Kagan's figures suggest that only about one in seven Athenian citizens participated actively in that democracy, which is considerably worse than the roughly one in two who do now in America. Although I don't see any evidence that the much higher, but vastly more remote, participation in America produces better military / strategic decisions and results than in the ancient world.

    Maybe the Spartan 'central control / no democracy' model had a lot more to commend it for a state focused on protecting its borders and aggressively repelling anyone it thought threatened its existence. Not unlike North Korea today, which has elements of the Spartan system about it.

    And if it came to a contest between North Korea and America in conventional warfare on neutral ground, my money is on the North Koreans being more successful on a pound for pound basis. Whether the ideology for which the North Koreans would fight or the reasons their leadership would send them to fight are justifiable or even vaguely worthwhile are different issues.

    But if we take North Korea and America as representing the current version of the differences between Sparta and Athens, which is the 'better' state?

    I'm with the Athenians and Americans, not because they are the best soldiers man for man against their more robotic and more effective enemies from inhumane militaristic states but because the system they fight for in their respective eras is a better one for those of us who value individual and national life and liberty.

    But the Spartans and North Koreans, as with the Japanese in WWII, would find that incomprehensible from their viewpoint.

    So we end up with a debate about what ultimately are arbitrary values we support or decry, which becomes nonsensical, as demonstrated by Japan's presentation of itself as the victim of nuclear attacks as a crime against humanity while being blind to its own numerically much greater crimes against humanity, because the latter fitted in with its contempt at the time for those who weren't Japanese and the former fits in with the biter being bit and whingeing about it due to sociopathic inability to identify with its victims while being acutely aware of wrongs done it.

    We risk pursuing a debate which emulates the great Oozlum bird, which flies around in ever decreasing circles until finally it disappears up its own arsehole.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    2,928

    Default Re: Athens or Sparta

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Perhaps including Socrates' trial and death sentence, which perhaps was imposed as a vicarious anti-Spartan punishment because one of his pupils was prominent in the post-Pelopennesian War Spartan control of Athens.
    No ‘perhaps’ about it, one could argue that their decision-making processes were their undoing e.g. the campaign against Syracuse; the refusal to accept peace with Sparta.

    Kagan's figures suggest that only about one in seven Athenian citizens participated actively in that democracy, which is considerably worse than the roughly one in two who do now in America.
    Kagan’s figures are interesting. It could be as you describe that only about 15% of the citizenry participated in the democratic processes. However, given the nature of the Athenian economy – and the resulting unavoidable absenteeism due to being overseas - I suspect that it was a case of availability to attend and that it wasn’t necessarily the same six thousand or so peopel which attended the assembly at each sitting. Also, people will naturally be drawn attend when discussing issues in which they feel they have a stake.


    We risk pursuing a debate which emulates the great Oozlum bird, which flies around in ever decreasing circles until finally it disappears up its own arsehole.
    Oozlum bird sounds like a most interesting creature. However, as well as debating issues for decision-making purposes, do we not also debate issues in order to explore and ponder questions and consider other opinions? Sometimes the majority can be swayed by individual orators with charismatic personalities – as were the Athenians by the likes of Pericles and Alcibiades – but these people didn’t always get their own way.

    The question may be a little ambiguous and, perhaps, ought to have been better framed e.g. ‘Which of the two societies was the better to be a part of?’ or ‘Which of the two societies contributed the most to the progress of western civilisation?’ or both...or even more.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    2,928

    Default Re: Athens or Sparta

    For thems that enjoy comparing the old with the new, this might be interesting:

    I have long enjoyed the amateur study of history, finding it to be a fountain of relevant thought not only on where we’ve been but where we’re headed. The recent re-emergence of the Dark Prince, **** Cheney, into the debate on national defense and the firestorm of support it got from the right makes me realize that this topic, which I’ve wanted to explore for quite some time, is still timely—even in the Age of Obama.

    We Americans like to compare ourselves, and our Democracy, to the Golden Age of Athens, where western democracy was born. Republicans particularly like to make a big show of their unending support of democracy, yet the Republican Party that has emerged out of the last two national elections seems less and less democratic than they would have us believe...


    http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...en-US%26um%3D1
    Last edited by 32Bravo; 06-18-2009 at 08:50 AM.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    9,338

    Default Re: Athens or Sparta

    I was thinking about suggesting that it would be a good idea if modern democracies had to have a voter referendum confirming a decision to go to war, on the assumption that the populace might differ from government decisions and the sectional interests they represent rather than popular interests which partisan governments inevitably don't, but maybe the Athenian experience suggests otherwise.

    The Athenian experience also challenges the conventional view that the rate of participation is a simple function of the importance of the decision to be taken. Leaving other issues aside, surely the choice between war and peace is critical for any society (and especially for those who do the actual fighting). Yet, there is no evidence whatsoever that such choices increased noticeably participation in the Athenian Assembly.
    http://www.paltin.ro/biblioteca/Mavrogordatos.pdf

    However, if modern democracies had to have popular approval for a war that would then render them vulnerable to authoritarian regimes which could strike without such processes and the advertising of intentions which go with them.

    Which is just another thing which reinforces my long held view that libertarian democracies are inherently vulnerable, and have the seeds of their own downfall inherent in following and defending the principles for which they stand, when confronted with challenges from people or bodies, within or without, who don't adhere to the same standards. Which isn't without relevance to the decline of Athens.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    2,928

    Default Re: Athens or Sparta

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    I was thinking about suggesting that it would be a good idea if modern democracies had to have a voter referendum confirming a decision to go to war, on the assumption that the populace might differ from government decisions and the sectional interests they represent rather than popular interests which partisan governments inevitably don't, but maybe the Athenian experience suggests otherwise.
    Well, the populace can be swayed by charismatic leaders and those gifted withpowers of rhetoric. In the case fo Athens going to war with Sparta, it was Pericles that influenced the populace. Another point to consider when speaking of attendence figures, many people seem happy to allow others to make their decisions for them and then whinge about the consequences later. We like to think that our representative governments are better briefed than we 'men in the street' but then leaving these decisons can be a bit of a bummer.

    Does the populace have the knowledge, experience and understanding to make the right decisions, or are their decisions emotive?


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    3,857

    Default Re: Athens or Sparta

    Ironically, the model of democracy we use now is more akin to Spartan rather than Athenian, as has been touched on already here.

    A good modern book on the subject is by Tom Holland

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Persian-Fire...5330076&sr=1-1

    Everyone admires the Spartans, modern democracies for the comaparison to our own, the Nazis admired them for the comparison to a strong pure race etc and the Communists admired them for the comparison to a socialist state.

    In truth, I think I have to defer to the ones that left us the most culturaly and that, without doubt must be Athens. Athens left so much Art and literature together with science and learning and its impact on the modern world far outweighs that of Sparta.

    So while we can applaud Spartas warrior class and their feats of arms, the Athenians for me left a long lasting legacy that far surpasses 'the 300 myth'.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    9,338

    Default Re: Athens or Sparta

    Quote Originally Posted by 32Bravo View Post
    Does the populace have the knowledge, experience and understanding to make the right decisions, or are their decisions emotive?
    Their decisions are usually influenced by internal government propaganda, which is now called spin in the West as part of the general approach of taking inconvenient meaning out of words where politics and general bullshit like rabid feminism are concerned, put out by a government to persuade the populace to support its, as distinct from the nation's, cause.

    Witness Dubya, Blair and Howard on Iraq, supported by their right wing press and commentators in the face of stunningly weak evidence as exemplifed by Colin Powell's embarrassing performance in the UN which those of us with half a brain could see was facile bullshit and which even Powell subsequently backed away from http://www.usatoday.com/news/washing...ell-iraq_x.htm , but only after he'd done the damage.

    As for the uninformed and emotive aspects, witness the cheering crowds in Britain as their forces left for the Falklands, compared with the shock soon after when they realised that it wasn't going to be a cake walk and people actually get killed and maimed in war.

    Gilbert's interview with Goering during the Nuremberg trials sums up the conflict between leading and being led on war.

    Goering: Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

    Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

    Goering: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.
    Gilbert's democratic confidence that only Congress can declare war is at odds with American experience, which reflects another aspect of governments deceiving their people or people deceiving themselves about their institutions.

    Although the U. S. Constitution grants to Congress alone the authority to declare war, over the life of the Republic the Presidency has come to be the principal instrument not only for the nation to wage war, as the Founding Fathers intended, but to initiate warfare, as well. In their capacity as Commander in Chief of the armed forces under the Constitution, Presidents frequently have used military, naval, and air might to accomplish the nation's ends abroad. According to one authority,1 since the late 18th century, the nation's armed forces -- at the direction of the President -- have been involved in well over 350 incidents, "police actions," and other shows of force. Between the close of World War II and the early 1990s, the United States military suffered one-half million battle casualties, even though the nation technically was never at war.2 Since 1973 and the end of America's participation in the costly and prolonged but undeclared Vietnam War, geographic locales deemed suitable by the nation's chief executive for the application of military force have included Lebanon, Grenada, Libya, the Persian Gulf, Panama, Iraq, Haiti, Somalia, and Bosnia.3

    Scholars thus can list hundreds of instances, large and small, protracted and limited in duration, of the application of armed force initiated or directed by the President, beginning even before 1800. The Congress, on the other hand, has had occasion only five times to exercise its authority to declare war under Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution: in 1812 against Britain, 1846 against Mexico, 1898 against Spain, 1917 against Germany and other Central Powers, and in 1941 against Japan, Germany, and other Axis nations.
    http://www.unc.edu/depts/diplomat/AD.../milsvc_I.html

    Democracy, whatever that means to different people, is a great idea. But as the American experience shows even constitutional limitations on the power to declare war didn't inhibit presidents acting like dictators in committing America to real, even if undeclared, wars.

    Which perhaps says more about the weaknesses of representative democracy in a two party political system and the craven obedience to party interests of elected representatives than it does about democratic ideals.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •