The why’s and why not’s of the First Pelopnnesian war between the city states of Athens and Sparta in Ancient Greece.

Peloponnesian War marked the dramatic end to the fifth century BC and the golden age of Greece.

The democratic city state of Athens, not. They kept slaves while practicing their “democracy.” Sparta kicked their ass and conquered Athens, leaving much of it in ruin. Spartans were no practicioners of democracy either as they ran their state according to strict oligarchic rules.


The First Peloponnesian War (460–445 BC) was fought between Sparta as the leaders of the Peloponnesian League and Sparta’s other allies, most notably Thebes, and the Delian League led by Athens with support from Argos. This war consisted of a series of conflicts and minor wars, such as the Second Sacred War. There were several causes for the war including the building of the Athenian long walls, Megara’s defection and the envy and concern felt by Sparta at the growth of the Athenian Empire.

The war began in 460 BC (Battle of Oenoe).[1][2][3][4] At first the Athenians had the better of the fighting, winning the naval engagements using their superior fleet. They also had the better of the fighting on land, until 457 BC when the Spartans and their allies defeated the Athenian army at Tanagra. The Athenians, however, counterattacked and scored a crushing victory over the Boeotians at the Battle of Oenophyta and followed this victory up by conquering all of Boeotia except for Thebes.

Athens further consolidated their position by making Aegina a member of the Delian League and by ravaging the Peloponnese. The Athenians were defeated in 454 BC by the Persians in Egypt which caused them to enter into a five years’ truce with Sparta. However, the war flared up again in 448 BC with the start of the Second Sacred War. In 446 BC, Boeotia revolted and defeated the Athenians at Coronea and regained their independence.

The First Peloponnesian War ended in an arrangement between Sparta and Athens, which was ratified by the Thirty Years’ Peace (winter of 446–445 BC). According to the provisions of this peace treaty, both sides maintained the main parts of their empires. Athens continued its domination of the sea while Sparta dominated the land. Megara returned to the Peloponnesian League and Aegina became a tribute-paying but autonomous member of the Delian League. The war between the two leagues restarted in 431 BC and in 404 BC.

Are moral claims justiciable? MK Gandhi and the Kashmir issue; Empire and Democracy = Terror.

Speech at the Prayer Meeting on 4th January 1948

“Today there is talk of war everywhere. Everyone fears a war breaking out between the two countries. If that happens it will be a calamity both for India and for Pakistan. India has written to the U.N. because whenever there is a fear of conflict anywhere the U.N. is asked to promote a settlement and to stop fighting from breaking out. India therefore wrote to the U. N. O. however trivial the issue may appear to be, it could lead to a war between the two countries. It is a long memorandum and it has been cabled. Pakistan’s leaders Zafrullah Khan and Liaquat Ali Khan have since issued long statements. I would take leave to say that their argument does not appeal to me. You may ask if I approve of the Union Government approaching the UNO I may say that I both approve and do not approve of what they did. I approve of it, because after all what else are they to do? They are convinced that what they are doing is right. If there are raids from outside the frontier of Kashmir, the obvious conclusion is that it must be with the connivance of Pakistan. Pakistan can deny it. But the denial does not settle the matter. Kashmir has acceded the accession upon certain conditions. If Pakistan harasses Kashmir and if Sheikh Abdullah who is the leader of Kashmir asks the Indian Union for help, the latter is bound to send help. Such help therefore was sent to Kashmir. At the same time Pakistan is being requested to get out of Kashmir and to arrive at a settlement with India over the question through bilateral negotiations. If no settlement can be reached in this way then a war is inevitable. It is to avoid the possibility of war that the Union Government has taken the step it did. Whether they are right in doing so or not God alone knows. Whatever might have been the attitude of Pakistan, if I had my way I would have invited Pakistan’s representatives to India and we could have met, discussed the matter and worked out some settlement. They keep saying that they want an amicable settlement but they do nothing to create the conditions for such a settlement. I shall therefore humbly say to the responsible leaders of Pakistan that though we are now two countries – which is a thing I never wanted – we should at least try to arrive at an agreement so that we could live as peaceful neighbors. Let us grant for the sake of argument that all Indians are bad, but Pakistan at least is a new-born nation which has more ever come into being in the name of religion and it should at least keep itself clean. But they themselves make no such claim. It is not their argument that Muslims have committed no atrocities in Pakistan. I shall therefore suggest that it is now their duty, as far as possible, to arrive at an amicable understanding with India and live in harmony with her. Mistakes were made on both sides. Of this I have no doubt. But this does not mean that we should persist in those mistakes, for then in the end we shall only destroy ourselves in a war and the whole of the sub-continent will pass into the hands of some third power. That will be the worst imaginable fate for us. I shudder to think of it. Therefore the two Dominions should come together with God as witness and find a settlement. The matter is now before the UNO. It cannot be withdrawn from there. But if India and Pakistan come to a settlement the big powers in the UNO will have to endorse that settlement. They will not object to the settlement. They themselves can only say that they will do their best to see that the two countries arrive at an understanding through mutual discussions. Let us pray to God is to grant that we may either learn to live in amity with each other or if we must light to let us fight to the very end. That may be folly but sooner or later it will purify us.”

 Hinduism at its best; Theosophy is the Brotherhood of Man. A test in natural liberty.

 Test of Natural Liberty and how it equates with limits of Democracy
Jinnah and other Moslem leaders were once members of the Congress. They left it because they felt the pinch of Hinduism patronizing. … They did not find the Brotherhood of Man among the Hindus. They say Islam is the Brotherhood of Man. As a matter of fact, it is the Brotherhood of Moslems. Theosophy is the Brotherhood of Man.” (Attributed, to MK Gandhi. False.  Gandhi never adhered to the theosophists’ motto; there is no religion greater than truth.)

Test of Natural Liberty and how it equates with limits of Democracy.

The unifying principle of moral ballot. A case in history; MK Gandhi and Non-Violent Democracies.


President of the Republic of Myanmar, Aung-San-Suu-Kyi on illiberal democracies. The moral as a representation of liberalism. Fareed Zakaria, GPS interview.

Click on the link, Freedom


MK Gandhi on the essence of democracy which is democracy perfected.

Responsibility Of Individuals

In true democracy every man and woman is taught to think for himself or herself. How this real revolution can be brought about I do not know except that every reform, like charity must begin at home. For more, please go to


What does Guyana have to teach the world? Separation of plantation politics and power.


Opinion and Letters.

How can a nation be moral when democratic expression is guided by ethnicity and not issues?

Dear Editor,

I have been meaning to respond to GHK Lall’s letter titled ‘Guyanese no longer have it in their moral fibre to be angry at continuing PPP vulgarities’ (SN, October 7, 2013) and kept putting it off. It is time for hard-hitting commentaries on the Guyanese condition and Mr Lall has done a wonderful job of it. This issue of political morality, or morality in general for that matter, is a vital one for Guyana. It must start with understanding if our society had or has morality to begin with. A moral core in any society must be generally rooted in a fair, competent and just rule of law. That rule of law along with strong institutions, a powerful civic tradition, sound education and economic well-being will generally generate a largely moral society.

All of these cogs have been missing from the Guyana societal wheel since Independence. But immorality as a Guyanese condition has deeper roots in our pre-Independence history of slavery, indentureship, subjugation and dehumanization. When the racial contest for political power engulfed Guyana in the fifties and onwards, that immorality was intensified because racial politics represents and breeds an inherent immorality in its practitioners. It is difficult to attain a moral society going from slave plantocracy to indentured society to colonialism to independence with continuing racial conflict, gross mismanagement and endemic corruption. So, any society with that oppressive past and repressive present that is still fuelled on an enduring racial and class contest for survival, power and domination, and forced by poverty and deprivation to make fundamentally immoral decisions really does not have a moral core, meaning the majority in that society do not possess the moral core to formulate the building blocks of that society.

Those locked in an eternal fight for self and group at the expense of nation, society and country cannot act morally. When the majority of any nation accepts and condones immorality in the name of racial-political power, that country has no worthy moral tradition or a chance of it.

Morality is not religiosity. Many attend churches, mandirs and mosques in Guyana but they still make immoral political choices, which incidentally have the greatest negative consequence on their lives because of the dominance of the political sphere in this small country. Morality is more than just right and wrong although right and wrong are central tenets. It is duty, responsibility and obligation beyond self to others and the wider community. An example is the saga of the Region 10 delegates who turned around and accepted the same leadership that they alleged electorally denied them. That is a classic case of the immorality which exists in Guyana.

Their actions have emboldened dictatorship that now has dangerous consequences for the party itself and the nation at large if the party gains power. These individuals cannot claim they had no choice. There is a multiracial political option available.

How could any nation advance to morality when democratic expression is guided not by issues but by ethnicity, and when group power is viewed as more important than collective national advancement? For 48 years since Independence, predominantly Indians and Africans who are two-thirds of Guyana’s population have voted for their own economic oppression and misery.

The question is whether this immoral self-destructiveness can be stopped. Frankly, I think it is impossible. Racial politics is here to stay unless there is a dramatic demographic shift. That shift will not come soon, for it is likely to be another 30 years at the present rate of decline before the Indian and African populations become a minority.

Some would argue that Guyana is beyond saving and they may be right. Others have asserted Guyanese deserve their fate. They are certainly right. The truth is the majority of Guyanese have never really possessed the moral fibre to be angry at vulgarities and venalities. There is grave hypocrisy in this country. The divide-and-rule plantation is still very much alive.

There is no acceptable solution. Race parties have no incentive to become multiracial when they command large constituencies. The claimed multiracial party (AFC) has not appealed to the Amerindians and Mixed Races who left the political playing field and have not returned. I suspect the Mixed Races and Amerindians will vote for a Mixed/Amerindian party led by Mixed and Amerindian leaders with no historical PPP and PNC baggage, which is what the AFC has.

What will likely happen in the future is that ethno-politics will expand with Amerindians and Mixed Races forming their own party or a single party when they are at a critical mass. While this creates a potential deepening of ethno-politics, it will radically alter the political outcomes, meaning no more majority governments and tight electoral contests just for pluralities. This will force political compromise, consensus and inclusivity. It will enlarge the leadership pool and likely start a revolution of internal party democracy. The PNC and PPP may merge or cooperate. Parties will have to reform to become more multiracial just to get a plurality. This is probably the only avenue that will work in the near to intermediate future to trigger change. Will this alter the moral direction of the people of this country? It is hard to tell but it could improve it.

Yours faithfully,
M Maxwell

Freedom Of Speech. S.G. Tallentyre, The Friends of Voltaire.

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the deathYOUR right to say it.”

Totalitarianism and Democracy. The Same?


Mahatma Gandhi

“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty or democracy?”
Mahatma Gandhi