Sunday, January 31, 2010

Spartacus - A Real Representative of the Proletariat of Ancient Times

Written by Alan Woods
Friday, 03 April 2009

In the first century BC, a slave named Spartacus threatened the might of Rome in a massive slave uprising. The spectacle of these most downtrodden people rising up with arms in hand and inflicting defeat after defeat on the armies of the world’s greatest power is one of the most amazing and moving events in history.

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Madam Miaow said...

The persecution continues. Spartacus's grandson is going to jail:

Belizegial said...

I loved the movie Spartacus. It takes one voice blowing in the wind to get a great momentum going.

Czarny Kot said...

I'm Spartacus!!!

Anonymous said...

Spartacus' revolt was only made possible through the Roman Republic's posse comitatus policy of prohibitting its legions to operate south of the Rubicon.

This also diminished the required size of praetorian forces in the capitol.

The oligarch's hated paying off their praetorians...

SecondComingOfBast said...

That was doomed to failure from the start, it was just a matter of time. Even if they had accomplished their stated goals, how long could they have lasted in that world, in that time? They wanted to start their own country, I think. Who would have traded with them? They would have been worse off than Haiti after the revolt against the French.

There were reformists within the system as well, such as for example the Gracchae, and Marius. Sort of the Kennedy's and Truman, respectively, of their day.

The Sentinel said...

There is a new series on Starz called Spartacus: Blood and Sand.

I’m not sure just how historically accurate it is but it is very entertaining; in the same sort of vein as ‘Rome.’

Ducky's here said...

They would have been worse off than Haiti after the revolt against the French.


Fact. World can't have these folks getting uppity without approval. They must be punished Now if Haiti had waited along with the "good Negroes" in the Caribbean for statehood there would have been no issue.

SecondComingOfBast said...

I wasn't making a judgment, Ducky, just stating the facts. It was a desperate act by desperate men, and no way was it going to succeed in any kind of long term. I suppose they could have if they had gone to Asia, or the Parthian area of influence, where Roman influence was limited, but even that would have been highly unlikely.

Like the Haitians, there was no culture or experience of leadership or any of the skills needed to run a country or city state. Add the certain trade embargo, and you are looking at a group of people who would have been forced into subsistence farming, or possibly piracy.

That's at best, assuming the Romans wouldn't have been willing to expend their treasure to bring them down, just to set an example.

Frank Partisan said...

Madam Miaow: The link didn't work.

Belizegial: It was a good movie, written by a blacklisted writer.

Czarny: Me too.

FJ: What we call today a working class, in Rome was a parasitical slave owning class. Still Rome has lessons.

Sentinel: I doubt if it will be as good as renting the movie.

Pagan: The concept of country, doesn't apply. What we know of as countries, is not the same thing. The Haiti comment was wacky.

Ducky: The Haiti comment made no sense. Haiti is an island, with boundaries limited by geography.

Slaves formed Liberia.

Sheldon said...

Um, not to be nit picky, and you probably already know, but "proletarian" is not quite the right terminology for a slave revolt.

SecondComingOfBast said...

Why doesn't the concept of country apply? You don't think the Romans thought of themselves as a nation? I hate to break it to you but they did, and that is exactly what Spartacus was trying to accomplish. He was aiming to lead the revolutionary slaves to a new land, and start their own, whatever you want to call it, nation, state, country, whatever.

What do you think Spartacus was doing, do you think he was fighting for equal rights? Uuhhm, okay.

There is one difference and only one difference in Spartacus and the slaves, and the Haitians. The Haitians fought to free their themselves and take over the island colony where they were mostly born and raised, or brought to. They wanted to run the French out and make it their own country, and they did just that.

Spartacus wanted to get the hell away from Rome and Roman territory and go elsewhere, but the goal otherwise was the same, freedom and their own homeland.

I'm sure some of the slaves wanted to go back to their own homes in some cases, but most of them knew that was not an option.

I'm not really sure what the point is you're making anyway. If you think the slaves would have started some advanced proletarian worker's paradise had they succeeded with a socialist based economy, and no or limited capitalism, you're deluding yourself. Had they been successful they would have been just like any other country at the time. Hell they probably would have ended up having slaves of their own.

Frank Partisan said...

Sheldon: I do know. I said earlier that what we think of as working class, was a parasitical class.

Pagan: Spartacus's rebellion isn't in the context of anything but that period.

The nation-state is a modern concept, coming from ending feudalism. It is different than empires, tribes etc.

Anonymous said...

Still Rome has lessons - Panem et circenses, or in the case of the USA, food stamps and the Huffington Post.

Czarny Kot said...

Or dirt cheap petrol, McReligion and Fox News.

Anonymous said...

Let's clear something up... that's Faux News to all you Puffington posters.

Imposs1904 said...

Check out Lewis Grassic Gibbon's novelisation of the story of Spartacus. Brilliant book.

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