Molon labe

Molon labe

This is a discussion on Molon labe within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; An interesting discussion came up the other day about better to die standing up or live on your knees and whether to die rather then ...

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Thread: Molon labe

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array FN1910's Avatar
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    Molon labe

    An interesting discussion came up the other day about better to die standing up or live on your knees and whether to die rather then be a slave.

    Below are some examples of people that faced such a decision or thought they were facing that decision. Did they make the right decision? Out of these what has been their legacy?

    Jews of Ancient Egypt
    People of Masada
    The 300
    William Wallace
    American Revolutionists
    Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple
    Branch Davidians
    Wives of Warren Jeffs (Texas polygamist lawsuit)


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    Of your list only the 'American Revolutionists' have left the best legacy. They left us with the Constitution & Bill of Rights!

    Even the French, when the had their revolution a few years after the US, couldn't come up with a better system. Remember we've had to rescue them twice!

    The 300 were out numbered & betrayed....at least they died fighting. (Just think how good this story would be if they had WON???)

    William Wallace- died & left a legacy of rebellion that lasted a couple of hundred years.......Ultimately losing.....Scotland now part of the UK.....

    Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple- Jim Jones' bunch were doomed to failure. Jim Jones killed his bunch with the 'purple kool-aid'. They're all dead & considered a 'cult'.

    People of Masada- they lost when the Romans were about to win & they all committed suicide.

    Jews of Ancient Egypt- finally fled Egypt, & are still fighting today.

    Branch Davidian's- We all know how Waco turned out. They're all dead & considered a 'cult'.

    Wives of Warren Jeffs (Texas polygamist lawsuit) - at least their alive....& considered a 'cult'.
    Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est.-Seneca

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    Out of these what has been their legacy?
    They all died with their boots on...
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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    Ex Member Array FN1910's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goawayfarm View Post
    Of your list only the 'American Revolutionists' have the left the best legacy. They left us with the Constitution & Bill of Rights! Their decendents are still fighting today

    snip the French

    The 300 were out numbered & betrayed....at least they died fighting.
    (Just think how good this story would be if they had WON???)

    William Wallace- died & left a legacy of rebellion that lasted a couple of hundred years.......Ultimately losing.....Scotland now part of the UK.....

    Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple- Jim Jones' bunch were doomed to failure. Jim Jones killed his bunch with the 'purple kool-aid'. They're all dead & considered a 'cult'.

    People of Masada- they lost when the Romans were about to win & they all committed suicide.

    Jews of Ancient Egypt- finally fled Egypt, & are still fighting today.

    Branch Davidian's- We all know how Waco turned out. They're all dead & considered a 'cult'.

    Wives of Warren Jeffs (Texas polygamist lawsuit) - at least their alive....& considered a 'cult'. But still fighting
    If the Jews had decided that death was better than slavery there would be no Jewish nation today. The people of Masada are only talked about as a curiosity.

    The Texas Polygamist are alive and winning their cases. Jim Jones and David Koresh are afterthoughts just like Charles Manson.

    If William Wallace had lived he could have done so much more than what his death accomplished.

    There is no cause worth dying for that is too great to live for.

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    VIP Member Array PatrioticRick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FN1910 View Post
    There is no cause worth dying for that is too great to live for.
    Can't say I agree with this statement.
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    Member Array TravisABQ's Avatar
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    I disagree strongly.

    Very few martyrs wake up one day and have the choice between dying for their cause, and going home to have chicken and dumplings with an extra helping of peach cobbler.

    The choice in history has often been to fight fiercely, with a chance of victory or at least rescue, or surrender which would result in summary executions and enslavement.

    Evil does not just give you a time out, because you decide you don't want to die for your cause.

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    See also: The Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto.

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    Ex Member Array FN1910's Avatar
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    It is far better to die standing up than fight on your knees is often the phrase I hear. Is is impossible to fight on your knees? Too many times a martyr chooses to die standing and turn the fighting over to those on their knees.

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    The Jim Jones and Branch Davidian cults were religious wackos who followed dangerously unstable leaders into suicide and death. There's nothing admirable about them.
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    Ex Member Array FN1910's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodc13 View Post
    The Jim Jones and Branch Davidian cults were religious wackos who followed dangerously unstable leaders into suicide and death. There's nothing admirable about them.
    Agree completely but in their minds they were taking a stand. When I hear about refuse to surrender and better to die as a hero than live as a slave I wonder about the million POW's of WW II. Should they have died fighting rather than being taken prisoner and many became slaves. Same in Viet Nam.

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    Senior Member Array Shadowsbane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FN1910 View Post
    An interesting discussion came up the other day about better to die standing up or live on your knees and whether to die rather then be a slave.

    Below are some examples of people that faced such a decision or thought they were facing that decision. Did they make the right decision? Out of these what has been their legacy?

    Jews of Ancient Egypt
    People of Masada
    The 300
    William Wallace
    American Revolutionists
    Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple
    Branch Davidians
    Wives of Warren Jeffs (Texas polygamist lawsuit)

    Jews of Egypt: They gained their freedom and became for a time one of the great powers of the Middle East. Their legacy lives on today.

    People of Masada: They chose the only path that they had for them. Pax Romana was the name of the game, and it was enforced without mercy or exception. Death would be slow painfull and in an effective enough method so as to dissuade an entire generation to ever attempt such a thing again. Today, their memory lives on at the swearing in of new Israeli Soldiers, it has become a battle cry similar to "Remember The Alamo" in which they swear to never allow Masada to fall again.

    300 Spartans: The Spartan society was so very different from anything existing in today's world that it is hard to even place it in the same list. These were a people who were literally bred for war, and little else. Honor, glory and death in battle were all they truly knew. Other professions were either looked down upon or directly outlawed by their rulers. (Their slaves did the farming for example.) Retreat was not an option it would be akin to asking a fish to start breathing air.
    As to their effect. There were several. Immediatly their battle bought Greece enough time to rally defenses and stage an almost simutanious attack on the Persian Navy crushing it.
    It also acted as a polarizing action for the city states that were neutral in the battle.
    The amount of death and destruction that was brought upon the Persians was insane, and beyond anything they were trained for. The weaponry, armor, and tactics were outmatched and outclassed in every way by the Greeks, and especially the Spartans. This was an amazingly demoralizing event for the Persian army, and an army without the will to fight, will defeat itself more than be defeated by others.

    In modern history that battle has been the shining example of how superior training and use of terrain can withhold a vastly superior numerical force. The famous cry that has been recorded from that battle, Molon Labe, has also been a rally cry for the Greek army as well as Second Admendment supporters.

    William Wallace: Willam Wallace's actions polarized a shattered Scottish government. He proved that the mighty English army could be beaten in open battle, giving the populous hope. His death, and the subsequent use of his remains turned that hope into pure anger. Anger that they used to free themselves. Today his legacy, lives on in ideals, but not much else.

    American Revolutionists: Already been stated. Their actions created one of the most infulental and free governments of all times. Though it could be argued that we have gone downhill a bit.

    Jim Jones and his followers: I guess the only lasting affect that they could say to have had is that people will forever be suspicious of "off" churches and followings. Drinking the cool aid has become a meme that has outlasted the general memory of the event.

    Branch Davidians in Waco: While I personally do not believe them to be anything but cultists, and their leader nothing more than a mere pedofile. They did have one almost remarkable effect. The actions that the government took, especially so soon after the incident at Ruby Ridge woke a large number of people up to the fact that the government is not always your friend. People started paying attention to their government again, at least for a while.
    Another lasting effect is that some who claim to be both Christian while also enjoying firearms or the principals of limited government have been thrown into the same pot, so to speak. As is discussion of self reliance or other similar topics.

    Now to respond to what I believe to be your main point. The decision to die on your feet as opposed to become a slave, and the reasoning of when and if to do so does not lie in logic. The answer instead lies in belief, and personal conviction. Not just for those who commit the acts but for those who witness them. Acts of percieved bravery instill those feelings in others. Final acts of devotion to a cause inspire others to take up the mantle and continue on. While people in general tend to prefer the strong, there is a special place in our hearts for those who are defeated, generally speaking that is.

    It is folly to try and place such things in terms of standard cost benefit reports. The human heart will not be caged in such limiting terms.
    Personally I am willing to die for what I believe in, but that is definately not the first option. I do not make the decision for you, my nation, or anyone else's benefit, I make it for me and my reasons only for the causes I believe in.
    Now, we must all fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men.

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    VIP Member Array edr9x23super's Avatar
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    Actually, the stand the Spartans made was the beginning of democracy as we know it, since our form of government is descended directly from the alliances the Greeks formed to defeat the Persians. The famous words "Molon Labe" have thundered through the pages of history and stood as a testament as well as the Jewish people's struggle at Masada has illustrated that any free people willing to die for it will always prevail eventually over tyrants and oppressors. We as Americans and other countries that enjoy democratic forms of government owe the Greeks everything.
    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined". - Patrick Henry

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    Ex Member Array FN1910's Avatar
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    Shadowsbane, thank you for your post. I am not sure what my point is and that is my problem. The romaticism of a heroic death is ingrained in us but what does it actually accomplish? Patrick Henry'sa famous word about Liberty or Death are inspiring but if the million+ POW of WW II on both sides had followed that logic whar would be the result today. If the Jews of Ancient Egypt had chose the fate of the Jews of Masada then ther would be no Jews of today.

    I suppose that my point is that it may be noble to die while standing but you can still fight while on your knees. The all or nothing attitude of some disturb me at times and I am not sure that I understand it. Maybe I have outgrown being able to understand the beauty of the power of the love that Romeo and Juilet had, being unable to live without each other.

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    Senior Member Array Shadowsbane's Avatar
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    It inspires. That is what it does.

    People want to see that there are others in this world that will not be broken. They need that symbol. The best example I can come up with is at the end of the novel 1984. The government in that book did not merely want to kill those who opposed it, but instead wanted to break them, as a sort of message to the totality of the situation. Only once completely broken, and loyal to the government were they executed.

    Just as a man making a last stand can inspire those to fight harder, or stronger for their cause, so can the act of breaking a man down and live only on his knees break the spirit of a movement.

    We do not know what would of happened if all of those POWs who fought in all those wars fought until the end, but the converse is also true, we don't know what would of happened if none of them felt the need to fight.

    There is a time and place for everything in this world.

    John Stark said it best when he wrote.
    Live free or Die: Death is not the worst of evils.

    As per my sig line, I "fear" the indifference of good men more than the deedsof evil men. So much evil can be stopped by those who refuse to go along, yet it is allowed to continue. Many would rather say that it isn't their problem and they can make the concessions needed so that they can surivive. Without a polarizing force that is the majority of people in the world. A last stand, an uncompromising stance does that.

    shadow
    Now, we must all fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men.

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