ZFifteen hundred years ago Vladimir Putin Pushing his tank columns toward the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, the Persian Empire, then the largest nation on Earth, invaded a smaller neighbor: a coalition of Greek cities led by Athens. Persia lost. The world’s most powerful military machine was brought to a halt in the naval battle of Salamis. High King Xerxes ordered a retreat.
If you compare the Battle of Kiev with the Battle of Salamis, you will see the differences. Salamis was a turning point in history. This ended the Persian invasion in the west. Putin’s war against them Ukraine However, it is still a work in progress. Not sure who will win. However, there are significant parallels. The decision was made in 480 BC outside the capital, at the entrance to the Athenian port of Praeus, as it is now in the suburbs of Kiev. After all: Small wins over big. A small number of Greek rowing warships defeated a large Persian fleet.
But there are many more parallels. Like Putin, Xerxes is a dictator. Athens, like Ukraine today, was becoming a democracy: 28 years before Salamis, the city had freed itself from tyranny. Ukraine shook off Moscow’s Soviet dictatorship 31 years before Putin’s attack. Both times are the span of a generation. Both for former players Kiev Also democratization was an important experience for seafarers from Salamis. So both successes may have the same root. The Greek navy was also successful because its oarsmen were free citizens fighting for their rights. Ukraine’s armed forces consisted of soldiers who got their first combat experience as volunteers after Putin’s first invasion in 2014, the year of the Democratic Maidan revolution.
The defeats at Salamis and Kiev shake one of the most dangerous political theses of our time: the New Right’s claim that only authoritarian states with nationalist-liberal ideologies and strong leaders have a chance in a chaotic world. According to this paradigm, society must be disciplined in order for this leader to fulfill his mission: if a leader is to make the people effective instruments of the central will, diversity in language use, race, sexuality, and religion will not be tolerated. Today, European leaders such as Jaroslaw Kaczynski in Poland and Viktor Orbán in Hungary, as well as Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey and Xi Jinping in China adhere to this ideology to varying degrees. Will be in Germany Jorn Hawke AfD should mention. He agrees with Machiavelli that only a “uomo virtuoso”, i.e. a “disciplinarian” with a “strong broom” and unadulterated “masculine self-confidence”, can “clean up” the “mess” as the “sole owner of state power”. Democracy today.
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