Don’t get Molon Labe’ed.
What do I mean by this? While I am no historian, I can say that I am truly a “fan”. History interests me, even when it exposes horrible truths about humanity, or how much of a vapor life truly is in the scope of our human existence on this planet. I’m currently going back through Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, “King of Kings” series and part three discusses the battle of Thermopylae among others and it got me thinking.
MOLON LABE is a battle cry nowadays. It seems like it is moreso every year that’s been going by since the Clinton era Assault weapons ban. (No this isn’t a 2A pro or against post, chill) It is a supposed Spartan quip that, when told to surrender and put down their arms by the Persian Empire led by Xerxes, they basically said – translated a handful of ways – “Come and Take Them.” Good ole Chuck Heston said you can pry his arms from “his cold dead hands”. Same thing. Molon Labe. “Having come(and killed us), take (them)”.
What people forget is this one key historical fact:
That’s what the Persians did.
They took them.
You can romanticize all you want but 300 was a graphic novel with some historical truth woven in, but not the whole truth. That’s entertainment for you, yes? Romanticized ideas that Thermopylae made The West possible is debatable and I’ll not go into it. The sacrifice is romantic and glorified, yes, symbolic, yes and a powerful image without a doubt.
But do not forget… their arms WERE in fact stripped from their cold dead hands. They are remembered, yes, even 2500 years later… but the Persians did come, and they did take.
Let that sink in.
The colonists at Gonzales, Texas said the same thing to a detachment of the Mexican Army who requested a cannon that was loaned to them to be returned…
and that’s what they did, too.
History is replete with many armies and peoples having their “Molon Labe “ moment… and having the opposing army do just that.
I understand the sentiment behind it, I do. Hell, I even have a statue of King Leonidas and at the bottom it has the famous phrase in Greek. I get it.
But… for all the people co-opting the phrase, puffing out their chest about whichever “cause” of freedom you stake your claim on… just remember and truly contemplate what actually happened…
Empires challenged with “come and take them”, did just that…
Sometimes violence is the only answer, I get that. But there are better ways, sometimes. Hell, I’m no soldier but I know there are better tactics than just picking a hill to die on and make your last stand.
Don’t make your Thermoplyae stance unless your truly prepared to be Molon Labe’ed off of this planet for the rest of eternity.