[extropy-chat] Spartans, Athenians, and Thebans

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Mon Mar 12 23:32:30 UTC 2007

Stuart, our Avantguardian, elaborated on the horrific treatment of 
the Helots, and other cruel and inhumane practices of the Spartans.
And I definitely mean compared to similar, contemporary societies;
you'll never find me comparing real societies to imagined ones like
all the idiotic idealists do.

He's totally correct, of course.  It was an Evil Empire, as an article
in Mankind magazine described in detail so many years ago. (Or,
really, as everyone here surely has read.)  

Any off-hand references to the Spartans in discussions like these
should make note of their cruelties and barbarities.  Now, of course,
the Athenians were nothing to brag about either, at least by our
standards.  It was mob rule, and mob rule with a vengance as
the poor people of Melos found out.  Was there ever a society
in which envy ran so strongly?  Can you credit it that one Athenian
approached another and spoke to him thusly:  "By the way, I am
voting in favor of you being exiled, for I have heard that you are
the most just man in the city."  Inconceivable to us.

I am most impressed---probably, alas, due to insufficient knowledge
---with the sturdy Thebans.  They most closely approached, at least
in the 3rd century, my own ideals of egalitarianism and patriotism.
And they really kicked the Spartans all over the Peloponese before,
mercifully, they went home after freeing the slaves and pillaging the
Spartan towns.  No one could stand up to a 70,000 man Theban
army intent on victory.  Too bad Epiminondas and his army
weren't around when Philip came by a little later on.


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list