Immutable Law #2

In battle, free men almost always defeat slaves. (Herodotus’ Law)

In 450 BC, Herodotus completed his Histories of the great war between the Greeks and Persians. (It is from his work that we know the details surrounding the battle of Thermopylae popularized in the film, 500). Herodotus, considered the first Western historian, attempted to understand how an army and navy of only one hundred thousand Greeks were able to defeat an invading army of one million men.

Herodotus tells us that Pythius, a Greek-speaking subject of the Persian Empire, received an audience with the king. He explained that he had five sons and had sent four of them into the Persian army that was on its way to Greece. Pythius then presented his youngest son to Xerxes and asked if he could keep him. He begged the king to spare his youngest boy from service in the campaign. In a rage, Xerxes had the boy cut in two and each half of the body dumped on either side of the road so that it would send a message to the army as they marched past.

Herodotus spent many years wandering the Mediterranean and recording interviews with soldiers who had fought in the war or who were eye witnesses. He determined why the Greeks defeated the vastly larger army of Persians who were forced to fight and were treated like slaves. The Greeks won the great war because they were free men.

In 2003, some months after the fall of Baghdad, Paul Bremer, the US interim governor of Iraq, wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal. He stated that Saddam Hussein’s army collapsed in a mater of weeks because his Sunni-dominated regime commanded an army of mostly Shiite conscripts who, seeing the US forces moving toward them, deserted and went home. The Shiites, along with the Kurds, comprised the vast majority in Iraq, and hated the ruling Sunni Baathist regime. Once they believed that the US was finally about to liberate their country, they saw no reason to fight and die for their slave masters who lived in gaudy and heavily armed palaces.

Saddam Hussein’s army, when confronted with the Western forces, stripped off their uniforms and ran away. They too were slaves and were unwilling to fight for the butcher of Baghdad.

Law #1: No nation has ever survived once its citizenry ceased to believe its culture worth saving. (Hanson’s Law)
Law #3: Appeasement of a ruthless outside power always invites aggression. Treaties made with ruthless despots are always fruitless and dangerous.
Law #4: If a people cannot avoid continuous internal warfare, they will have a new order imposed from without.
Law #5: When a free people, through taxation, is deprived of its ability to acquire wealth and property, collapse is presaged.
Law #6: To hold territory, a state must be populated by those loyal to the central authority. When immigration overwhelms assimilation, the fall is predicted.
Law #7: With the loss of fiscal solvency comes a loss of sovereignty.
Law #8: Debasing the currency always destabilizes the governing authority.
Law #9: When a civilization accepts the propaganda of its enemy as truth, it has reached the far side of appeasement and capitulation is nigh.
Law #10: Declining civilizations will always face superior firepower from ascending civilizations because sovereignty is only temporarily uncontested.

By | 2017-02-28T07:31:16-08:00 April 17th, 2012|Civilization History, United States of America|Comments Off on Immutable Law #2

About the Author:

Larry Kelley’s life was utterly changed by 9/11. On the day after the attacks, on his way to work, he was struck by the sudden realization that World War III had commenced. Like most Americans he desperately wanted to find out who were these people who attacked us, what could ordinary citizens do to join the battle and how can those plotting to kill us in future attacks be defeated. Mr. Kelley has written scores of columns on the dangers of western complacency.