The Choice of Alcibiades

The Choice of Alcibiades

. 8 min read

[Editor's Note: This article was originally published on April 18, 2018 at The Warden Post].

It has often been said that the countries in which we live are no longer the one’s in which we grew up in. Political corruption, loss of faith in the democratic process and, of course, the ever present reality of rapid demographic change have made the nations of the West almost unrecognizable from what they were even a mere generation ago. The failure, or more accurately, the willing participation of our so-called leaders in our own ethnographic displacement has left everyone sane enough to recognize the outright betrayal that has taken place on the part of our own collective governments who–according to the principles of democracy–should have had our best interests at heart.

The question remains: what do we do when we have been betrayed by our own country? As always, History proves to be our greatest teacher.

Alcibiades was an Athenian statesman and general who lived in the 5th Century before the Christian Era. A skilled orator, he quickly rose to prominence in Athenian political life, typically though cunning and intrigue. Alcibiades first rose to public prominence after the signing of the Peace of Nicias between Athens and Sparta midway through the Peloponnesian War. Thucydides describes that after being over looked during the peace negotiations due to his young age, he took advantage of the nebulous nature of the ceasefire itself, as well as the various back-and-forth re-negotiations that came with it¹, by going around the backs of Athenian generals Nicias (who negotiated the treaty that bore his name) and Laches. He convinced the Spartan diplomats to re-negotiate the terms of peace through him, claiming that he could assist them due to his influence, provided they renounce the diplomatic authority granted to them by the Spartan state. The Spartans, delighted at the prospect of having someone so influential on their side, agreed.²

The next day during the Assembly, Alcibiades asked the Spartans on whose authority they had come to Athens to negotiate terms of peace. The Spartans, following Alcibiades’ lead, replied that Sparta had not granted them full diplomatic authority, contradicting Nicias. Alcibiades then betrayed the Spartan diplomats, casting doubt on their aims and sowing suspicion about their motives amongst the members of the Assembly. The whole affair thoroughly discredited Nicias and substantially raised Alcibiades’ own standing, further consolidating his political ambitions. As a result of this scheme, Alcibiades was made a strategos, or general.

In 415 BC, the city-state of Segesta (located on the island of Sicily) sent representatives pleading for Athenian assistance in their war against a rival city-state. Alcibiades came out as a vehement supporter of the proposed invasion while Nicias, his former rival, predictably came out strongly against the proposal citing the massive cost and risk of such an invasion to the city of Athens. Alcibiades responded that the campaign would bring much treasure to the Athenian coffers and even suggested that, by recruiting local allies, that Athens could impose it’s rule on the powerful city of Syracuse. Surprisingly, it was Nicias who managed to win over the Assembly of Athens to the cause after outlying the supposed costs of the proposed invasion, unwittingly making the undertaking seem achievable. The Assembly agreed to intervene in Sicily and raised a large fleet and marine force with Nicias, Alcibiades and another general named Lamachus at the helm.

On the night of the expedition, statues of the god Hermes were desecrated throughout Athens. This was taken as a bad omen and Alcibiades’ political enemies used this as an opportunity to frame him on charges of blasphemy. His opponents recruited orators to convince the people of Athens of his supposed guilt and demanded that he stand trial after the campaign to Sicily. Alcibiades, wary of their schemes, demanded that he stand trial immediately to clear his name as soon as possible, before a case could be made against him. His request was denied, however, and the fleet set sail with the charges against him remaining unresolved.

During the voyage to Sicily, a ship was dispatched in order to bring Alcibiades back to Athens to stand trial. It was during this time that Alcibiades, after feeding information to the allies of Syracuse, made his escape to Sparta.³ The resulting invasion of Sicily and the attack on Syracuse proved utterly disastrous for Athens and the entire expeditionary force was either killed, captured or sold into slavery. Nicias himself was taken as a prisoner of war and later executed.

After gaining an audience with the Spartans, Alcibiades promised to “render them aid and service greater than all the harm he had previously done them as an enemy,”⁴ if they would offer him sanctuary. After much debate, the Spartans received him. Outraged upon hearing of his defection, the Athenians condemned him to death in abstentia and confiscated his wealth and property.

At first glance, it is easy to understand the outrage of the Athenians upon hearing of his defection. However, it was those in Athens who had originally sought to defame him for desecrating the statues of Hermes. Again, it should be noted that Alcibiades had offered himself up for trial to clear his name, with his offer having been rejected. Why, or rather how, did Alcibiades justify his seeming betrayal of his home polis to the men of Sparta? Thucydides records his speech to the Spartans in which he denounces Athenian democracy for the sham that it was, but emphasizing his civic duty in upholding the principles of his polis, despite his disagreement with them, he claimed that:

Our party was that of the whole people, our creed being to do our part in preserving the form of government under which the city enjoyed the utmost greatness and freedom, and which we had found existing. As for democracy, the men of sense among us knew what it was, and I perhaps as well as any, as I have the more cause to complain of it; but there is nothing new to be said of a patent absurdity—meanwhile we did not think it safe to alter it under the pressure of your hostility.

He continues,

Meanwhile I hope that none of you will think any the worse of me if after having hitherto passed as a lover of my country, I now actively join its worst enemies in attacking it, or will suspect what I say as the fruit of an outlaw’s enthusiasm. I am an outlaw from the iniquity of those who drove me forth, not, if you will be guided by me, from your service: my worst enemies are not you who only harmed your foes, but they who forced their friends to become enemies; and love of country is what I do not feel when I am wronged, but what I felt when secure in my rights as a citizen. Indeed I do not consider that I am now attacking a country that is still mine; I am rather trying to recover one that is mine no longer; and the true lover of his country is not he who consents to lose it unjustly rather than attack it, but he who longs for it so much that he will go to all lengths to recover it. For myself, therefore, Spartans, I beg you to use me without scruple for danger and trouble of every kind, and to remember the argument in everyone’s mouth, that if I did you great harm as an enemy, I could likewise do you good service as a friend, inasmuch as I know the plans of the Athenians, while I only guessed yours. For yourselves I entreat you to believe that your most vital interests are now under consideration; and I urge you to send without hesitation the expeditions to Sicily and Attica; by the presence of a small part of your forces you will save important cities in that island, and you will destroy the power of Athens both present and prospective; after this you will dwell in security and enjoy the supremacy over all Hellas, resting not on force but upon consent and affection.

Special emphasis needs to be drawn from several statements mentioned in his speech to the Spartans, beginning with the declaration that “…my worst enemies are not you who only harmed your foes, but they who forced their friends to become enemies.”

Clearly Alcibiades had more than one bone to pick with his political rivals and enemies who, jealous of his influence, set him up on charges of blasphemy. The Spartans, who at the very worst could only kill their foes, are adjudicated by Alcibiades. Instead, his condemnation rests on those who betrayed his trust, who took advantage of his friendship and made him up as a lamb to be slaughtered before the Assembly of Athens.

One of the more powerful statements in this speech is Alcibiades’ declaration that “…love of country is what I do not feel when I am wronged, but what I felt when secure in my rights as a citizen.”

This statement, more than anything else, applies to us in latter days than in any other time in history. How many of us have felt alienated, ostracized, made out to be pariahs in the very lands in which we call home? Alcibiades did not betray Athens, Athens betrayed Alcibiades.

How can we love the country that bore us when now it does everything it can to make us into outcasts? That involves itself in foreign conflicts which do not represent their peoples interests, opens up our land for the settlement of foreign peoples, hands our inheritance over to invaders and denies us the very birthright we inherited from our forebears? Our rights as citizens– as members belonging to a specific nation (which, in Alcibiades day, would have been the polis)– implies the right to property, to bear arms in defense of our kith and kin, to have our say in public discourse, to present our case before our fellow citizens in a court of law. How on earth can we expect to be guaranteed these most elementary of rights by the occupation governments, so deeply entrenched in cultural Marxism, that hate us on such a fundamental level?

The final quotation from this text which I wish to emphasize is the following: “…I do not consider that I am now attacking a country that is still mine; I am rather trying to recover one that is mine no longer…”

Whether we are Americans, Britons, Frenchman, Germans, Canadians or Swedes we must accept the cold and bitter truth that the countries which we love are no longer ours. If, heaven forbid, civil war should breakout across the West due to the ongoing demographic replacement which is taking place, we owe no allegiance to the states which persecute us, their own people, and should eagerly seek their downfall, not out of hatred, but of love. For Germans to survive, Germany may have to be destroyed. Likewise, for the Southern, Midwestern and Cascadian peoples to continue to exist, the United States might very well have to be dissolved. In the future, Great Britain might be destroyed so the English, Welsh and Scottish peoples can live free and without fear of replacement in their own homelands.

The nation-state is a relatively new concept; the bastard offspring of the Enlightenment. The modern, bureaucratic concept of the State, founded on the liberal ideas of civic nationalism, is coming to an end. In the future, the concept of race, but more specifically ethnicity, will play an ever increasing role in what it means to belong to a nation, an ethnos.

“…the true lover of his country is not he who consents to lose it unjustly rather than attack it, but he who longs for it so much that he will go to all lengths to recover it.” Alcibiades could not have been more correct.  If he were alive today, he would have undoubtedly been one of us. We seek to recover what has already been lost and in doing so reestablish ourselves in the lands which were given to us by providence and maintained through struggle. Our goal must be to establish the foundations of future state’s which are for us alone and no one else. To allow our people’s to be sold out by those whom they elected to represent them, for our children's futures to be given up as collateral for the rootless caste of international bankers and financiers, for our forefathers' graves to be the sites of tent cities and dumping grounds of untold numbers of foreign tribes and alien tongues cannot continue– must not continue.

The philosopher of history Oswald Spengler described the choice of choosing between a long unremarkable life and a short life filled with deeds as the choice of Achilles. For us last men of the West, the choice between blindly rallying behind the flag out of some misguided feeling of patriotism over doing what is necessary to maintain a future for our people will for us be the choice of Alcibiades. I only pray that we choose wisely.

¹Thucydides, “History of the Peloponnesian Wars,” 5.43.

²Ibid., 45.

³Ibid., 6.53.

⁴Plutarch, Alcibiades, 23.