"Our city-state does not copy the laws of our neighbors, we are not followers, but rather the pattern to follow. We call our state a democracy, because it serves all the people, and not just the few. All are equal under the law, whatever their individual differences, and we select our public officials not based on their class but upon their merits. Poverty will not keep an able man from serving the state, nor will the obscurity of his position." – Pericles
I’ve cited ancient Athens on here over the years as a model for direct democracy. (Much better than republicanism for many reasons. Don’t get caught up in belief systems that tell you that direct democracy is the rule of the mob. That’s horseshit placed into your mind by pathological criminals like Obama, Clinton, Gore and equally looney right wing crooks and liars. I’ll be talking more about that at some point.) I’ve also noted that the ancient Athenians executed their leaders when the ruling aristocracy became much like what we see in the United States and many other countries today. Actually, after those executions, Athens flourished. There is a position to be taken that there is a pathological element in society that always finds its way to the top of a society based on class. In other words, those most willing to stomp on the face of their fellow man in any class-based system that is based on the reward of pathological ambition. And, as Thomas Jefferson noted about the tree of liberty……….. In other words, some could argue, and do so reasonably successfully, that humanity would be better off cleansing itself of these pathological elements every so often. Or, as Jefferson noted, pruning the tree of liberty. Or, as Lord Acton noted, almost all great men are bad men. (He was referencing the Pope.)
Personally, while I may entertain such thoughts when allowing ego and emotion to guide me, they are just that; thoughts that evaporate when that temporary emotional amusement evaporates. Non-violence is truly the only option for a just world when we are operating on a higher plane than our primitive ego or the self and being pulled around by our emotions. (Ignorance) But in a world of massive control created by the state, humanity has little chance to self-actualize or self-realize on any sustainable level, and thus embrace our divine values of non-violence. So, the self in its full regalia of ignorance is forever on display in modern man. But, that too will change as humanity awakens from its state-created stupor.
I wanted to create a short baseline for this post, which is how eerily similar today is, in many regards, to 2,500 years ago in ancient Athens. And, using that as a litmus test, Donald Trump will win the 2016 presidential election. That’s not a hope or dream of mine. It’s simply using this corollary, and the understanding of how cycles repeat themselves because of the human condition, (the duality of our highest good or our divinity and the endless foibles of the self that determines our fate-filled experiences.) What happened 2,500 years ago, just as is happening today, is not driven by our divinity or our highest good but rather than the self’s desire to destroy that which is unjust.
“You must not hate those who do wrong or harmful things, but with compassion, you must do what you can to stop them. For they are harming themselves as well as those who suffer from their actions.” – the Dalai Lama
How much of the support for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton today is driven by compassion? It seems to be to be just about zero on both sides. It’s driven by hate, anger and rage. That’s what brought Pericles to power and what has brought Donald Trump to the edge of an election victory. Donald Trump is not a just person or morally-honorable person. He may believe he is but so does Hillary Clinton. Beliefs are nothing more than stories the ego tells itself to give it some sense of control. They are fear-based, control constructs created by the ego and they subvert the truth that is often right before our very eyes. (Brainwashing. Often self-induced brainwashing.) It’s the very reason why what is happening today is catching everyone off guard. It’s also what swept Adolph Hitler into power. And, Donald Trump shares the same archetype as Hitler. Although I seriously doubt we are in the midst of another Hitler. But the parallels are also similar.
(Hitler, Herbert Hoover and now Donald Trump all have a very similar message. All three have essentially promised a chicken in every pot. Or, jobs and prosperity for everyone when the countries were going through hard times. And just like then, people today believe it. There’s that nasty word again; beliefs.) How’d that work out?
But let’s continue on with the comparisons to Pericles 2,500 years ago and Donald Trump today.
Rather than turn this into a thesis, this will just be the cliff notes due to time constraints.
The ancient Greeks had formed an alliance to defeat the powerful Persians, who were bent on conquest of the Greek states. In many regards, the Persians could be compared to the German-Italian-Japanese Axis of World War II. And, after the war, the fear of communism and the Soviet Union. All were bent on empire, conquest and domination.
So, the ancient Greek states formed the Delian League under the leadership of Athens. The intent was to protect the Greek city-states from Persia. This was funded by hundreds of Greek city-states and its treasury was kept on the island of Delos. This treasury was to be used to build a military force capable of protecting all of the states from Persia.
Similarly, today, after World War II, the western democracies banded together to create the military pact of NATO under the leadership of the United States to protect western democracies from aggression by other states. Most notably, the Soviet Union and the threats of communism and facism. And, the military of all member nations coordinated their efforts and funding under the United States just as the Delian League did under Athens. All in the name of protection.
After World War II, the United States was also given the authority of using the dollar as the world’s reserve currency as well. (As well as control over the IMF and World Bank since the dollar was now the defacto global currency.) The two acts of military and financial treaties between western democracies substantially resembles the Delian League. Allowing the dollar to become the world’s reserve currency essentially created a fealty or tax funding mechanism for the United States to build the world’s largest navy to protect the world from communism, facism, etc. Just as the Delian League funding did for Athens.
Now, one might appreciate with all of that military power in the hands of the state, a similar outcome came to pass both then and today. The Delian League states used that military power to plunder and sack their enemies. And, they all grew incredibly rich off of these efforts. Similarly, the United States and Europe grew rich off of military-backed economic conquest. (And to a lesser extent, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, etc through similar pacts with the United States and Europe) Corporate capitalism has been used to plunder other nations and the coordinated military and military intelligence operations of all member nations paved the way for that plunder. Western capitalism has raped the world of its wealth since World War II and enriched western democracies just as the Delian League did 2,500 years ago. That was only possible through the joint efforts of the military and economic interests of the state.
And, just like 2,500 years ago, the leader of the Delian League, Athens, and today’s leader in the fight against tyranny, the United States, became incredibly rich off of this plunder. Both Athens and the United States had created a massive network of military bases in their worlds that was used to exert incredible influence through this gained power. (Great political or state power is always derived through military and economic conquest – corporate capitalist domination and the world’s largest military of the United States today.) So, while other states both in ancient times and today grew tired of the endless warfare, both Athens then and the United States were unwilling to modify any agreements because of the massive wealth they had acquired through pillage and plunder. So, what eventually happened 2,500 years ago has happened in the modern world as well. That is, both Athens and the United States went it alone. Other states essentially just ended up paying a fealty tax or tribute to both superpowers. The fealty tax paid in modern times is the incredible wealth created through the reserve currency, the IMF and the World Bank that the U.S. uses to loot the world. So, both in ancient Greece and today, other states ended up paying tribute money to the “defender” of democracy and freedom. ie Other nations essentially became economic slaves the the world’s military superpower. Both created massive, powerful Athenian and U.S. empires.
The end economic result for Athens and the United States was again the same. Running an empire essentially bankrupted both states and both ended in economic shambles. There was little money spent at home and their nations ended up crumbling. This lack of economic opportunity and poverty for the masses led to the rise of the populist aristocrat, Pericles. And…. today the populist aristocrat, Donald Trump. Both Pericles and Trump expect all states benefitting from military protection provided by both empire to pay for that protection. Essentially, a protection racket. How often have you heard Trump remark that other nations need to pay for our military protection?
Both Pericles and Trump wished to repatriate all of their nation’s wealth from their empires. Or, take all of their riches abroad and spend it at home to repair the economic devastation and lack of economic opportunity for the masses caused by running an empire.
Pericles repatriated all of Athens’ wealth and spent lavishly on the arts, rebuilding the city-state, philosophy and the like. Today, Pericles is substantially responsible for the perceptions we have of the incredible arts, learning, education, literature and engineering prowess of the ancient Greeks. But, more than any other accomplishment, Pericles held high the Athenian’s greatest achievement, direct democracy, as the source of its power. He was a true believer in Athenian democracy as the roots of its exceptionalism. And, he was a defender of the poor and exploited and thus was continuously opposed by the status quo or the ruling aristocracy. (Remember, Pericles was part of the aristocracy himself as Trump is.) The aristocracy hated Pericles. Sound familiar? It should. It’s Donald Trump’s campaign message and the vitriolic hatred by the ruling political and economic aristocracy in this nation regardless of political leanings.
During Pericles’ decades-long reign, he stripped the ruling oligarchy of their power and returned power to the people and to direct democracy. And, guess who paid for it? That’s right. The Delian League. Pericles 30 year reign is now what we know today as the Golden Age. Eventually, the Delian League revolted and Athens lost it’s empire. Guess who pays for American power today? That’s right, the rest of the world who pays a tribute or fealty tax in the form of the dollar reserve currency that allows the United States to loot the world of its riches. That’s right; both Pericles and Trump are statists and have no problems exploiting others as long as it enriches the state. Or, 2,500 years ago, enriched Athens and today enriches the United States.
All of what is happening today is exactly what happened 2,500 years ago. Exactly. The institutions or control structures are not exactly the same but the dynamics are nearly identical. The question is if Donald Trump can win the election and pivot the United States as Pericles did for Athens. He has shared the exact same message of populism, repatriating our wealth and forcing the rest of the world to pay for it. The corollary is exactly the same and, using it and only it, as a basis for prediction, Donald Trump will win the election this Tuesday.
Do I actually think he will win? I have no idea but give me the odds and I’d place the bet. Straight up odds, who knows.
By the way, it will be a mathematical impossibility for Donald Trump to pull off a similar effort without this system first collapsing. Not that the United States couldn’t recover relatively quickly. Look at Iceland or the Soviet Union collapses. They collapsed but recovered quite quickly. But everything would be forced to change as a result of collapse and the potential chaos that would ensue would be very difficult to organize and control. I’ll tell you more about this in another post I have been promising for the better half of four years. I’ll get to it eventually. But, collapse has absolutely nothing to do with debt. The debt mongers are still out in force. But, as noted on here, debt is nothing more than an illusion. You make it real by accepting it as real. Debt means absolutely nothing other than what you believe it means. It’s a control structure placed in your mind that you belief is real just like all of your other self-imposed beliefs and the tyranny they create.
We live in incredibly interesting times.