December 15th 2001


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Articles from this issue:

Editorial: The Advent of Christmas

TESTIMONIAL: News Weekly - a variety of ideas and points of view

Canberra Observed: After the election: new look for both sides

BIOETHICS: There is no scientific need to clone embryos

Adult stem cell breakthrough

National Day of Action over banks' job cuts

Straws in the Wind: Insiders, celebrities and Tic-Tac men

Western Australia: Gallop's drug 'compromise'

Media: Parliamentary press gallery poll predictions

Letter: Roots of terror

Letter: History repeats?

Letter: Reinvention

Letter: Patrol boats

Letter: Doing what's right - Mary Whitehouse CBE

United States: Torture, assassination and the Death of God

Comment: Economic policy: how they got it wrong

TRADE: After Qatar: Australia’s limited options

BOOKS: 'Gallipoli', by Les Carlyon

BOOKS: 'Language and the Internet', by David Crystal

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Letter: History repeats?


by D. Condon

News Weekly, December 15, 2001

Sir,

In discussing a classic clash between Democracy and Militarism - the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC) - Bill James concludes that Sparta was the immediate winner but Athens triumphed in the long run (NW, October 20).

In fact, Athens never again became a dominant power in Greece, though she stayed culturally pre-eminent.

To a large extent she had brought the defeat on herself. Her democracy became imperialistic, and Athens sent large forces in an unprovoked attempt to conquer Sicily and then use Sicily’s resources to finish off Sparta. But she was totally beaten - fleet, army, everything - and few out of many returned home.

These losses made Athens’ defeat inevitable. In Cold War days people saw an analogy between Athens/USA and Sparta/USSR, with the thought that the single-minded militarism of the latter might prevail.

In fact, the USSR collapsed under burden of its military expenditure, but Russia remains and China is also on the scene, so the contest goes on, as does the question "Does History repeat itself?".

D. Condon,
Malvern, Vic




























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