This Thursday’s ZMan post is a comparison of the Sicilian Expedition to the Ukraine War. Comparisons of Thucydides’ Athens to America is a perennial favorite on the Right. As the ZMan very carefully adds this is not a perfect analogy. The Sicilian Expedition was a military debacle of horrific proportions. Athens had doubled and tripled down on manning and arming this expedition so that when the defeat occurred there was practically nothing and no one left to continue the war with Sparta. We may have emptied our armory to outfit the Ukrainians but in order to mirror the damage done to the Spartans, it would be necessary for the Americans to lose several million soldiers in the field.
Despite the inevitable differences it is amazing how apt the comparison of ancient Athens is to present day America. Even the current woke culture has its analog in the influence of the Sophists and their undermining of conservative norms.
It’s always interesting to look at the classics. But who would Biden represent? Certainly not Pericles. Even the despised Cleon proved a much more capable war time leader than balloon boy Biden. Maybe some obscure pederast in one of Aristophanes’ plays would do.
Anyway, a fun read.