Tyranny and Diversity in the Ancient World

In his Politics, Aristotle observes that diversity resulting from immigration without assimilation was a frequent cause of civil war and breakdown of civic solidarity within the Greek city-states. In this brief article, I would like to highlight how diversity in the use of foreign mercenaries and changes in the population were a frequent tool exploited by Greek tyrants to subjugate the citizenry.

The archetypal example of this was the powerful and diverse Sicilian city-state of Syracuse, which was long ruled by a string of tyrants, making for a useful contrast with the homogeneous and free city-state.  Aristotle remarked: “at Syracuse the conferring of civic rights on aliens and mercenaries, at the end of the period of the tyrants, led to sedition and civil war” (Politics, 1303a13). Furthermore, Aristotle argued that a legitimate ruler was protected by his own armed citizens, whereas tyrants used foreign mercenaries:  “Kings are guarded by the arms of their subjects; tyrants by a foreign force” (1285a16). The use of foreign mercenaries frequently led to rule devolving to a tyrant or a small clique (1306a19). 

Aristotle’s observations have largely been echoed by modern scholars. Tyrants were keenly aware of the fact that common identity and civic solidarity were threats to their personal power. Kathryn Lomas observes that “the use of itinerant populations to subvert the status of the polis is common to many tyrants and Hellenistic monarchs throughout the Greek world.”[1] Paul Cartledge observes that Syracuse became:

what Tyranny in essence was: an autocracy based on military force supplied by a personal bodyguard and mercenaries; and reinforced by multiple dynastic marriages, the unscrupulous transfers of populations, and the enfranchisement of foreigners.[2]

There is evidence that the Greeks more widely considered homogeneity to be a source of strength in a city. During the Peloponnesian War, the Athenian political leader and adventurer Alcibiades argued that Sicily would be easy to conquer, because its diversity meant its cities lacked solidarity and social trust. Instead of common civic action, the Sicilians were prone to individual selfish behavior in the form of corruption and emigration:

Sicily may have large cities, but they are full of mixed rabbles and prone to the transfer of populations. As a result no one feels that he has a stake in a city of his own, so they have taken no trouble to equip themselves with arms for their personal safety or to maintain proper farming establishments in the country. Instead, individuals hoard whatever money they can extract from public funds by persuasive speaking or factional politics, in the knowledge that, if all fails, they can go and live elsewhere. A crowd like that are hardly likely to respond unanimously to any proposal or to organize themselves for joint action: more probable is that individual elements will go with any offer that attracts them . . . (Thucydides, 6.17)

Given that Alcibiades made these comments in a successful speech trying to convince the Athenian Assembly to invade Sicily, we can assume such arguments would have resonated with Athenian citizens in general. (In the event, the Athenian invasion of Sicily proved to be a disaster. Nonetheless, as one might expect, the Athenians did find local allies among Sicily’s diverse population, notably among the indigenous Sicels. Sicily’s lack of unity however was not sufficient to make up for the general riskiness of the enterprise, notably due to geographical distance from Athens, and Spartan support for Syracuse.)

In conclusion, the importation and enfranchisement of foreigners, whether by democrats or tyrants, was a common method to subvert the political process, destroy the constitution, and subjugate the citizenry. By hard experience, the ancient Greeks learned that republican self-government is impossible without the solidarity enabled by a strong shared ethno-cultural identity and that an unarmed citizenry watched over by foreign mercenaries is ripe for tyranny.


References

Aristotle (trans. Ernest Barker and R. F. Stalley), Politics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995).

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

[1]Kathryn Lomas, “The Polis in Italy: Ethnicity, Colonization, and Citizenship in the Western Mediterranean,” in Roger Brock and Stephen Hodkinson (eds.), Alternatives to Athens: Varieties of Political Organization and Community in Ancient Greece (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), p. 182.

[2]Paul Cartledge, Ancient Greece: A History in Eleven Cities (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), p. 128.

18 replies
  1. GeorgeKocan
    GeorgeKocan says:

    Having grown up in a “diverse” community, I have concluded that diversity brings division, strife, hatred and murder. It pleases me greatly to have my observations seconded by the notable Greek philosopher Aristotle. Certainly, my observations in this regard are not idiosyncratic. Rather, they must be quite public and well studied. Yet, the dominant political organization and its minions in the country, the Democrat Party, remains in furious denial. What motive would it have for demanding more diversity if not to promote division, strife, hatred and murder?

  2. James Bowery
    James Bowery says:

    I’ve written up the background for a screenplay “Erik the Younger” that illustrates the foundation of European civilization and how it is being undermined by immigration. I’ve got a professional writer interested but Hatreon and Goyfundme are both under such severe attack, they can’t conduct business.

    Nor is this collapse a remote prospect. Consider, for instance, the Swedish government’s recent action to prepare for war with Russia.

    If you want to root out the Russian agents/puppets in Sweden, just find those responsible for its immigration policy. The best way to demoralize your military is to alienate your young men by importing military aged young men from other countries, handing them leaflets on how to have sex with your women, portraying sexual assaults as “reporting increases”, hiding the statistics and denying you’re hiding the statistics and vilifying your young men who object — thereby abrogating the contract between young men and older men upon which civilization is founded.

    All Putin has to do to take Sweden now is simply promise moderate immigration policy and the Swedish military will fold before the Russian invasion.

    If he does so, I can imagine one of two outcomes:

    1) Nuclear war.

    2) Putin has a proven “business model” and can slice through Western civilization like a hot knife through butter.

    • Leon Haller
      Leon Haller says:

      Who cares if Putin invades Russia (a prospect I find remote)? As an American, I do not. As a White man, I think doing so might actually be BETTER for the Swedish indigenes, at least if it results in border closure (and especially if the Russians were to start expelling nonwhites … unrealistic, perhaps, I know but we can dream …).

      Russia/Putin is not our enemy; liberalism and “diversity” are.

  3. Charles Frey
    Charles Frey says:

    Splendid work. Succinct, mercifully bereft of ‘ hamburger – helper ‘ and, at a glance, entirely pertinent to our situation.

    Half-way through I thought of the mandated, tiny warnings on my car’s rear-view mirrors: Caution – reflected objects are closer than they appear.

    Indeed they are far closer than even in Sicily of that day; given the incomparably greater subjugation of the current American electorate. And I am not referring to our unfettered MSM’s inadvertently comically- if not hilariously-misdirected account of Russia interfering in our unique and American-value-laden spotless ‘ democratic ‘ system: demonstrably, multiply and consistently gang-raped by known domestic parties: with complete impunity.

    Also, after reading this, I again, not unlike others here, speculated as to how the first shot in this upcoming fiasco might be fired.

    This, in turn, motivated me to refer back to the Business Plot, also referred to as the White House Coup in 1933; that pregnant year.

    It is incumbent on all readers here to familiarize themselves with this, at least in the net summaries. Needless to say that at least one main player, a witness at the relevant Congressional Hearing, died in the hospital one year later, and not of old age; at 37. And – quelle surprise – that the complete transcripts of said Hearings, were never available. [ 9/11 had little or nothing to learn ].

    It should also be remembered, that the New York Times, in the spirit of familial solidarity, called the described Coup-plot a hoax; while it SIMULTANEOUSLY peddled Lenin’s and Stalin’s Utopia-Hoax as their G-d’s Truth.

    Mr. Durocher would do all of us here, particularly our foreign followers not too familiar with US history, a very great service, by writing a similarly succinct essay on this attempted Coup by Wall Street; including, among others, JP Morgan of Rothschild affiliation.

    I feel sure, that almost all others here, have heard of that progressive FDR’s great gold robbery of all Americans, a couple of years later. In the end: a swinish transfer of enormous wealth. A fitting addendum to an essay on the planned coup from the Wall Street Right.

    Who says a new script is required: this time by the Left ?

    My left, center and right mirrors all have the same warnings: that reflected objects are closer than they appear.

    • Florin
      Florin says:

      I do wonder about the true nature of Frenkel D. Rosenfeld’s “New Deal”, its cause and its effect. I’m hoping for a TOO article about the Jewish éminence grise behind the Great Depression and the subsequent wealth redistribution from G to J.

      • Charles Frey
        Charles Frey says:

        Florin, you can learn in High School Auto Mechanics that your car will stop when it runs out of fuel; assuming you haven’t learned that earlier. Or you can earn a Harvard Ph.D. in Economics, for a mere 300 + k, to arrive at the same simple observation with regard to a National Economy.

        Just before the first bankrupt jumpers’ bodies splattered on the sidewalks of Lower Manhattan, the American Bankers Association had ordered it members to call all loans and to issue no new ones. This left ca. $ 40 per person in circulation among the entire population. Insufficient capitalization to even run a hardware store: but enough to resole your shoes in order to join the soup-kitchen lines, with winter-29 approaching.

        Due to their excellent organization, the Bolsheviks prevailed against internal party-dissent, the domestic White Armies opposition, the Allied half-hearted interventions by the UK, US, France, Japan and the Czech Legion; while the Bolsheviks were of course SIMULTANEOUSLY [ never mind Washington ]sustained by Wall Street; the New Yorkers referring to that heavenly creation as ” our own thing “.

        All this took a while, what with New Economic Policies, Financial and Trade normalization and Five Year Plans: the Treaty of Rapallo with equally allied-shunned Germany: FDR’s official recognition. By the late twenties they were ready to move on America, pursuant to their unaltered doctrine of world-revolution/{{{ domination }}}. Discontent, artificially created by 25 + % unemployment appeared a good, requisite tool. Thesis – Antithesis – Synthesis !

        Was it not the German Military theoretician von Clausewitz who said: War is the continuation of diplomacy by other means !

        Is it not equally true, that diplomacy, by including the present multifarious methodology undermining Western Civilization in its definition, is the continuation of war by other means ?

        With its reset from cold to hot, even domestically, on the horizon; as posited above !

      • Leon Haller
        Leon Haller says:

        It was variously referred to by rightwingers at the time as the “Screw Deal” and the “Jew Deal”. FDR’s Admin was the first in US history in which Jews played any substantial role (and a hugely outsized on at that).

        Honest historians can argue about when the Constitution was fully abrogated (I hew to the older version, that it as was at a tiny courthouse at a place called Appomattox). But no one can deny that modern America (permissive, multicultural, socialist) was born in the disgusting New Deal – and that all elements of our ever worsening, de-civilizartional plight stem from that time.

        To be White Preservationist or even just plain true conservative today is to oppose FDR and all he did root and branch.

  4. Protestant
    Protestant says:

    It is astonishing that the same methods being used by Marxist Subversives in the West today were also used by tyrants in ancient Greece, as indicated by this article. Is that why western Marxists are encouraging Third World Invaders to join the armies of the West, while driving Europeans (“whites”) out of the military by gross negligence, injustice and betrayal?

  5. Rob Bottom
    Rob Bottom says:

    Great stuff. There’s a meme going around in some corners of the internet in the past few months of Aristotle’s definition of “philia” and why it is so important, perhaps you’ve seen it?

  6. Sam J.
    Sam J. says:

    I agree with the author but you should be aware of another source of disintegration of Athens from inside. Alcibiades himself. Alcibiades was almost certainly a psychopath. Some had an intense hatred for him, some great love. It was Alcibiades that pushed the great idea of attacking Syracuse on the Athenians. The failed Syracuse attack was THE downfall of Athens. The failed attack destroyed them completely. The same Alcibiades went from city to city in the ancient world. In Sparta he was more Spartan than the Spartans. Changing his chameleon skin every time he moved somewhere else and betraying everyone he came in contact with. Alcibiades killed Athens with risky schemes to glorify himself.

    Story of Alcibiades

    http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Plutarch/Lives/Alcibiades*.html

    What did Plutarch have to say about him.

    “…He had, as they say, one power which transcended all others, and proved an implement of his chase for men: that of assimilating and adapting himself to the pursuits and lives of others, thereby assuming more violent changes than the chameleon. That animal, however, as it is said, is utterly unable to assume one colour, namely, white; but Alcibiades could associate with good and bad alike, and found naught that he could not imitate and practice. 5 In Sparta, he was all for bodily training, simplicity of life, and severity of countenance; in Ionia, for p65 luxurious ease and pleasure; in Thrace, for drinking deep; in Thessaly, for riding hard; and when he was thrown with Tissaphernes the satrap, he outdid even Persian magnificence in his pomp and lavishness. It was not that he could so easily pass entirely from one manner of man to another, nor that he actually underwent in every case a change in his real character; but when he saw that his natural manners were likely to be annoying to his associates, he was quick to assume any counterfeit exterior which might in each case be suitable for them…”

    http://www.ancient.eu.com/Alcibiades/

    One thing not widely known is King Agis of Sparta hated Alcibiades because Alcibiades had a child by the Kings wife.

    Psychopaths of the competent type are some of the best actors ever. I think it’s their nonreaction. No emotional cues from their bodies hides that they’re lying. I think subconsciously that we humans rely a great deal on these subconscious body reactions to tell if people are lying and when there’s none there we assume that someone is telling the truth.

    I have a theory that the period of time for the downfall of Empires is related to how long it takes psychopaths to move up the ladder of leadership. If a way is not found to restrain them the country disintegrates.

    We are being attacked from all sides in US. We have massive immigration plus what I perceive as an elite of psychopaths preying on us at the top such that our Armies are being used all over the world in actions that are of no use to the average US citizen. The parallels of Athens and our wars in the middle east would seem to be apparent.

    I believe if we are to survive in any good order we must narrow down the effort that will give us the greatest gain among a wide range of problems. I say that to do this we must get rid of the Jews. We must get them away from us. Peacefully if we can get it but they must go whatever it takes. They seem to be the lynch-pin of a large range of problems and ailments we have.

    We must each of us as individuals find some small way to get rid of the Jews. If we work on this constantly in a myriad of small ways it will combine as a large effort. I don’t claim to have the answers to how this will be done I’m only stating the obvious that if we are to survive as a nation they must go. Their control over us must come to an end. They have been thrown out of every single country they’ve ever been to in any numbers in all history. Others have gotten rid of them we must find a way to do so also.

    • Leon Haller
      Leon Haller says:

      You are perfectly wrong wrt the Jews. I am not saying that the presence of Jews has been beneficial for White survival – quite the contrary – but that attacking the Jews is exactly the wrong approach – and that if you think otherwise, your grasp of American politics, society, public psychology, and even Christian (Protestant) theology is defective in the extreme.

      The only issue is stopping nonwhite immigration. I am amazed at how race realists (as well as pathetic conservatives) cannot bring themselves to accept this. Use whatever arguments are best – including that the “inability of blacks as a community to be brought into the fullness of the American economy is mostly due to mass, post-civil rights immigration” [it is not, of course, black communal economic backwardness being due rather to the low modal IQ and appalling criminal behavior of the black community].

      The arguments don’t matter, only their effectiveness in building a coalition to END THE IMMIGRATION INVASION! Once that invasion has been halted, White Preservationists can take up new targets interfering with our communal interests and survival. But if we fail to stop the invasion, we lose on everything (as equally do libertarians, Constitutionalists, Christianists, law and orderites, etc etc).

      • Irish Savant
        Irish Savant says:

        “The only issue is stopping nonwhite immigration. ”

        True, but you’ll never do that as long as Jews maintain a stranglehold on our institutions. Short of expelling them we could ‘name the Jew’ on every occasion. So when a Jewish journalist or politician comes on TV his Jewishness should be identified. Their power would wither should that happen. Which is why it never will,

      • Sam J.
        Sam J. says:

        “…attacking the Jews is exactly the wrong approach – and that if you think otherwise, your grasp of American politics, society, public psychology, and even Christian (Protestant) theology is defective in the extreme…”

        No it’s you that’s wrong. All the above things you fault me for not understanding are directly due to the propaganda of the Jews. How you’re going to change this without directly taking on the Jews and their poisonous utterances is a magical act I would like to see. As if you were going to practice quite poetry readings at a rock concert while all the while telling you poetry listeners to just ignore the loud speakers. Let’s just take one of your things I don’t understand. Christian (Protestant) theology. Here’s what Jesus said about the Jews.

        JESUS CHRIST, speaking to the Jews in the Gospel of St. John, 8:44 “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lust of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is not truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar and the father of it. – then answered the Jews — ” (which makes it clear that Christ was addressing the Jews.)

        So theology says the Jews worship Satan. Just because TV preachers say different doesn’t change this.

        You’re thinking is short sighted and tactical. I’m thinking strategically. We may very well lose the immigration debate but at that point then we must shift and ally with the new immigrants, it will be too late to do anything else, and attack Jews as furiously as we can. Exactly as they have done to us. Their plan is the rule the Earth and we should not let them do so. The Jews have attacked most every race on the planet and it should be not completely difficult to turn the immigrants on them. None of them have any love for the Jews at all. If the Jews lose in the White countries they’re done. It’s over. They have convinced themselves that they can us the tactics they used on us world wide but they won’t work elsewhere. The Jews are a niche parasite on White society. Look at what happened to the Jews when they went to China.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_China

        Now the Jews in China are doing all they can to get to Israel. The Chinese consumed them.

        The major problem we have is the Jews. We have plenty of other problems but a large mass of them are from Jewish power, money and , I believe, blackmail in the political system, being used to exacerbate all the problems we do have. Now if you agree that they are a large part of the problem then you ideas of ignoring them are the equivalent of alcoholics ignoring their drinking and blaming all their problems on their wives, or children or their boss or whatever. If the Jews are the biggest source of our ailments then we should concentrate on reducing these which means getting rid of the Jews. The politicians, as bad as they are, will if a huge mass of people declare that the Jews must go will eventually decide that that’s the key to being elected. We must work with all the immigrants to make them see the same.

      • PaleoAtlantid
        PaleoAtlantid says:

        True enough, but stopping replacement level immigration by the normal political channels is extremely difficult due to the power, raw power and political patronage, the jew exercises at critical positions within the political, financial and cultural life of American and the White world.

        • Protestant
          Protestant says:

          PaleoAtlantid— Including a stranglehold on the entire legal system, which explains why 6 Indigenous Scotsmen were given a combined 87 years in prison for dealing cocaine, one for beating up a customer who refused to pay, some sentenced to 7 years just for possessing a Glock, while a Muslim Rape Gang of eight Pakistanis & an Afghan got a combined 77 years for raping and trafficking 50 British girls as sex slaves. That’s less than a two years for raping and enslaving each girl.

          Another example is the SAS hero of the Iranian Embassy raid, now homeless after divorce, offered only a room in a hostel, where he even had to ask permission to go to the bathroom, while the only Iranian Terrorist to survive that raid was given a nice free flat with a balcony in London, on full welfare benefits after his release from a comfy British prison, and now boasts about spending his welfare money on prostitutes, courtesy of the British taxpayer.

          • Sam J.
            Sam J. says:

            “…Including a stranglehold on the entire legal system…”

            It’s an abomination. Another example is the Whites in Georgia riding around with a Confederate flag on their truck. The news gave the impression they went to disrupt the Blacks birthday party but that’s not true. They were riding around the whole county in general and the Blacks left the kids birthday party to attack the Whites. They got a 35 year combined sentence. What did the Blacks get for attacking them in middle of a public street? I don’t know but imagine nothing. Whether you loath Confederate flags or not the idea that you can’t fly whatever flag you want without being attacked and then when you are attacked are afforded no legal right to defend yourself ought to be frightening to all Whites no matter who you are.

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