Thursday, April 01, 2004

Democracy = No War

This post is just a good excuse for the following quote:

"for you know as well as we that right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must."

Who do you think said this?

Stalin?
Nope.

Machiavelli?
Nope.

Julius Caesar?
Nope.

I'll give you a hint: they're Greek.

Alexander the Great?
Nope.

Someone from Sparta perhaps?
Wrong again.

Then who?
That paradigm of bloodthirstiness and warmongering: Athens, during the Pelopennisian War.

Wha-wha-what? But they were a democracy and democracy is all about peace and justice and love and no war, man.

Umm, no. The Athenians were speaking to the island of Melos, which they pre-emptively conquered to threaten a minor power on the coast of modern-day Turkey to keep them from allying with the Spartans (during a lull in the War). Those good-old democratic Athenians lost the war because of the hubris so eminently displayed in the above quotation. Their big mistake was an expedition to Syracuse to conquer the island of Sicily that was virtually annihilated. This started the long, slow slide to defeat.

Just goes to show that it's just a big honking pile of horse manure that democracies only engage in defensive wars. And it's a cool quote.

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