Molon Labe: The European Edition
July 1, 2016 7 Comments
Molon Labe is perhaps one of the most famous sayings amongst Americans. We use it most in regard to the gun grabbers, and we use it in exactly the sense that Leonidas meant it, because we know that unarmed sheep-dogs are little more than sheep. But the Greeks remember the Spartans too. Here’s one of them Taki writing in The Spectator this week.
The Brussels dictatorship has enslaved my country; it will not enslave England
The two most beautiful words in the history of the world, in any language, are ‘Molon labe’, the accent on the second syllable of both words, the ‘b’ pronounced ‘v’ in the second. These two little words were the laconic answer of King Leonidas of Sparta to the offer made by the great Persian king Xerxes of not only safe passage, if the Greeks laid down their arms, but also a settlement of lands of better quality than any they currently possessed.
You know what I’m talking about. The Hot Gates, or Thermopylae in Greek. The year is 480 BC, the month is August, and the Persians number more than 1,250,000 fighters, accompanied by 1,800 triremes in support. The rest of the Greeks under Themistocles are praying for time — and gales — further south, and Leonidas has only 300 Spartans he can count on. (The Thebans have already seen the Persian hordes arriving and have left the battlefield.) The Persian scouts who surveyed the Hot Gates’ defenders in astonishment were allowed to gallop around freely.
Later in the day, an emissary from Xerxes approached the Spartans. The offer of safe passage and riches to come if they lay down their arms was made, and Leonidas replied, ‘Molon labe’ (‘Come and get them’). The great British historian Tom Holland called such examples of Spartan sang-froid ‘gems of cool’, and they were the coolest words imaginable in 480 BC.
It’s always reminded me of Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe’s answer to the German at Bastogne, “Nuts“, in fact.
Nearly 2,500 years later, there are no cool responses. Just a lot of moaning and groaning and cries of let’s do it all over again from the losers. […] Screw Juncker and the technocratic dictatorship of Brussels; they’ve already enslaved my country but they will not enslave England. (Scotland will play it like Thebes did in 480, but then again it might not.) All people should say ‘Molon labe’ to the Circe-like offers of money and comfort from the EU technocratic hordes, ‘Molon labe’ until the bureaucracy reforms itself and its rigid, doctrinaire ways.
We Greeks fought off the Persians because they tried to conquer us through force of arms. The Brits said no to the EU because it tried to conquer through stealth and lies. The EU would never reform itself without a push. Now it has been pushed rather hard. Modern Greece chose the easy way six years ago because we have Ephialteses, not Spartans, leading us; Ephialtes being the traitor who led the Persians to outflank the 300 through a pass. Greece is a EU protectorate, so heaven help us. You Brits chose freedom. You should be proud.
You British should indeed be proud, you’ve rejoined the club that you started in 1215, renewed your membership in 1642, and 1688 that we joined in 1776. Remember, though, it’s a hard road, it took us seven years to throw off Lord North’s bureaucracy, not to mention the bloody Hessians. But it’s easily worth it. We’ll be thinking about you next Monday, July 4th
Happy (British) Independence Day!