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Cy B asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

Sparta with respect to National Socialism?

Was Sparta the first National Socialist State (Nazi)? Hitler said he took a lot of his aspirations and was deeply influenced by Sparta. Even going so far as to call it the first National Socialist State.

Since the Spartans also killed all babies who were born deformed. Trained their young men to be warriors. Were very racial, seeing all non-Spartans as inferior. A little known fact is that Greek did not only give us democracy. Greece also gave us white supremacism, as one can see by the writings of Aristotle or Plato when they talk of non-Greeks. As well Sparta was not a democracy but ruled under a King.

Finally Sparta enslaved most of the surrounding non-Spartan peoples. Such as the Thessalonians I believe they were, were forced into servitude of Sparta.

So would it truly be accurate to say Sparta was the first Nazi state as Hitler stated?


There is more to a state then genocide. That the Nazis in the 1940s had more industrial capabilities to commit mass murder than the Spartans 2,000+ years ago should be a given for anyone with 2 brain cells to rub together.

The treatment Spartans and Nazis gave their minorities however is the same. The Spartans enslaved or murdered most non-Spartans. Same with Nazi Germany which enslaved large amounts of it's slav minorities, and murdered other minorities such as gypsies and jews which were seen as not even being worthy of slaves.

7 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    When one thinks of “National Socialism,” images of sunwheels, iron crosses, and “Deutschland über Alles” inevitably enter the mind. However, nearly three thousand years before the birth of the Third Reich, there existed a state which served as the prototype for was to come in the first half of the twentieth century. From the hallowed battlefields of Hellas I introduce to you the Laconian nation-state of Sparta, the model for modern National Socialism.

    Sparta was, of course, the home of the Spartans, one of the most revered peoples in the history of the world. Today “Spartan” is and adjective used to describe a strict and almost ascetic lifestyle and for good reason: the Spartans themselves led very strict and definitely ascetic lives. Everyone has heard the tales of Spartan youths being whisked away from their mothers at the tender age of seven to enter into a life of servitude to the state. More savvy readers will know of the training undergone by these children and will gladly tell you about the whippings, the beatings, and the seemingly absurd physical/psychological conditioning imposed upon these innocents. At this point, an inexperienced reader would be forced to ask, “what’s so glorious about all of this?” Allow me to answer.

    First, we must begin with a more in-depth description of Spartan culture. Sparta began as a small city-state on the Greek isle of Laconia. After centuries of agricultural peace, the most revered king of Sparta, Lykourgos, restructured Sparta’s way of life entirely during the middle of the eighth century BC. Spartans existed for Sparta. Currency was abolished. Anything that was seen as over-indulgent or unnecessary to the survival of the Spartan nation was eradicated (except in some rare cases of art). They waged war on their Laconian neighbors and soon conquered the Achaeans and the Ionians. It is at this point (around 690 BC) that the class system of Sparta developed.

    All Spartans, including their conquered subjects, were divided into three groups. At the top were the hekoioi. These men and women made up the aristocratic class of Sparta and were the only true “citizens.” Only these men could serve in the military, attain political office, or attend meetings of the assembly. Despite what many anti-Spartan critics would have a person think, hekoioi women were among the freest women of the ancient world. While their male counterparts declared and fought wars, they engaged in athletic activities, ran their households, and even owned their own businesses. In fact, Aristotle once claimed that hekoioi women owned as much as forty percent of all Spartan land.

    The so-called “middle class” of Sparta were the perioikoi or the “neighbors.” As one might deduce from that translation, the perioikoi were in fact the conquered Achaean and Ionian neighbors of the ancient Spartans. They were not actually citizens of Sparta, but they enjoyed a great deal of liberty. Citizens could not participate in any business other than agriculture, so the perioikoi took over this role. They were the merchants of Sparta and many of them became wealthy off of foreign gold. Perioikoi men were occasionally drafted into the military but they saw far less combat than did the hekoioi.

    At the bottom were the helots. The helots were essentially slaves to the hekoioi and outnumbered their masters more than fifteen-to-one. The life of the helot was short, thankless, and brutal. Once a year, the hekoioi formally declared war on their slaves to thin out their numbers and discourage rebellion without technically breaking the Spartan law against murder. The hekoioi allowed their slaves to keep enough of the agriculture they produced to feed their families, but of course took the rest and put it towards the betterment of the Spartan state.

    At the age of seven, hekoioi boys were required to begin their military training. They were taught discipline, honour, and courage. Their official training ended at the age of 20, at which point they became the police of the nation. They moved along the countryside, keeping helots in line and correcting any activities which seemed rebellious or anti-Spartan. At the age of 30, hekoioi men became full citizens and were granted all the formal rights of citizenship. Military careers ended at the age of 60 and any man who reached that age earned the respect of all those around him, and rightly so. Generally speaking, the military life of the hekoioi was short. The Spartans were among the fiercest and most selfless warriors that ever lived and any man that survived his full tour of duty in the Spartan military was strong, intelligent, patriotic, and more than worthy of praise and adoration.

    What does this have to do with National Socialism? First, let’s observe the most obvious difference: class. National Socialism is at its heart anti-class and seeks to have only one body: the state and the people of which it is composed. However, it is easy to see how the idea of classlessness is embodied by Sparta: the hekoioi are analogous to the Schutzstaffel Nordics, the perioikoi represent the rest of Germany, and the helots are the societal dregs and undesirables. Classism exists in every ideology despite the efforts of the ideologues to remove it; class is unavoidable. Even Germany and Italy had classes.

    Most anti-Spartan critics say that Sparta suffered from the same flaw that all liberal/jewish philosophies suffer from: the exultation of quantity over quality. They point to the idea that the survival Sparta (i.e. the group) was more important than the survival of Spartans (i.e. the individual). This is an absurd notion. Judaism, Christianity, Islam, democracy, and all forms of Marxism exalt quantity over quality. They believe that hordes of worthless individuals make great groups simply because there are many of them. On the contrary, the Spartans believed and National Socialists believe that great individuals make great groups because they are better. It is precisely for this reason that 300 hekoioi bodyguards of the Spartan king were able to hold off 200,000 Persians at Thermopylae for nearly a week. The Spartans were more tactically skilled than the Persians. They were not mere conscripts: they were the best of the best of the best. Not even the most elite Persian fighting force, the Immortals, could break their line. In fact, it took the betrayal of Ephialtes (an hekoioi soldier whose name today is synonymous with “nightmare”) to bring the Persians victory. Similarly, this is why German officers and soldiers were able to overrun and defeat the numerically superior armies of the USSR and France. Individuality and the greatness associated with it are attained through distinction within the group, not through distinction from the group. Whether we as Aryans, as National Socialists, or merely as human beings like it or not, we are always part of a greater group. We can and will always be categorized in some manner. Receiving recognition and greatness from one’s own group only works if we lend our greatness to that group.

    Some will be quick to say that National Socialism and the Spartans are interconnected inasmuch as they liked to wage war on their neighbors. There is more to this, however, than meets the eye. Let us look at the history of Spartan warfare following the war with Persia. In the years leading up to the Peloponnesian Wars, a type of cold war developed between Sparta and Athens. Realistically it could be compared to the cold war of the twentieth century in many aspects. After the Spartans (the United States of America) and the Athenians (the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) defeated the Persians (the Axis powers), both groups began to build up blocs. First, the Spartans had the Peloponnesian League (NATO) which consisted of it and its neighboring allies, including Corinth, Thebes, Arcadia, Messenia, and others. They compelled all of these cities to accept oligarchies as their governing vessels. Likewise, the Athenians compelled their neighbors to enter into the Delian League (the Warsaw Pact) [which is sometimes referred to as the Athenian Empire (the Soviet Empire)] and made them accept democracy. Sparta did not like democracy as they felt it naturally lent itself to war and empire, so the Spartans did all they could to contain its outbreak. This may seem rather contradictory to the nature of Sparta. Most people have been indoctrinated to believe that all the Spartans cared about was waging war. This is wrong. The Spartans were some of the most race-conscious people who ever lived. They did not merely look after themselves, they looked after all Greeks. As Persia threatened to overwhelm their Hellenic brothers in Athens and elsewhere, Sparta came to their aid and destroyed the land forces of the eastern invaders. The Spartans considered themselves the champions of the Greek people and felt that the democratic tendencies of Athens and its client city-states eroded the nature of the Hellenic spirit. Although Sparta was in a positionto rule all of Greece following the war with Persia, it chose not to. Instead, it returned to its Peloponnesian League and governed its affairs at home.

    Similarly, Adolf Hitler saw himself as the liberator of all Teutonic peoples. He freed the Sudetendeutsche from Czechoslovakian control, admitted Austria (his home country) into the Third Reich, and took back the largely Germanic population of Western Poland. A National Socialist state functions to serve the needs of its race. It is for this reason that multiethnic states cannot be National Socialist states. The United States could never be a National Socialist state because of the different races inside its borders. The Spartan state existed to serve the Spartan people. The Spartans understood that they were of course part of a greater ethnic group (that is, they were Greeks just like the Delians, the Athenians, etc.) but they looked after th

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I disagree. Its true that Sparta killed 'weak; babies and forced men to join the military, but this was done out of neccessity, whereas the Nazi regime was fueled by power hunger.

    Sparta was relatively small compared to other surrounding nations such as Macedon and Thessalonica, which forced them to be better in order to survive.

    On the other hand, Sparta did not always force conscription. Many men could take up trades such as building or smithing instead of fighting. The only requirement was that everyone excelled in their chosen field.

    Sparta also shows traits of democracy, as a elected forum of commoners and nobles alike had the right to even overthrow decisions made by the king. This is not a trait of a Nazi type government.

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  • [^_^]
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    To state Sparta was the first Nazi state would be inaccurate. Hitler was inspired by many societies, including the USA (eugenics program) and India (bogus Aryan Invasion Theory).

    The difference between Nazi Germany and Sparta is that Sparta was affected by a combination of stoicism and xenophobia (unfortunate but true), whereas Nazi Germany was affected by dictatorship and genocide. Sparta was not responsible for the industrialized death of 6 million people of the same ethnicity.

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  • Meghan
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    1) Your list of heroes is messed up. Hitler, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington in the same list? 2) Socialism is messed up. You will eventually run out of other people's money. 3) Your messed up. See a doctor or something. Only lazy dumba**** support socialism.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    no because Sparta had slaves, Spartans did nothing but fight the slaves ran the city state, Hitler wanted to kill everyone not German

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    I was wondering the same question too yesterday

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  • 5 years ago

    Hitler was an uneducated rogue, and his ideology was a rogue ideology searching for some kind of pedigree or perceived legitimacy in the past, as many ideologies do (Mohammed like to say that Islam was the same religion of Jesus, Moses and Abraham), to overcome the true barbaric and rogue nature of his epistomology. He relied upon ideology as a pretext for commitment of barbarism, murder and banal evil.

    The prolonged answer offered here by the redsox person is an answer with a little bit of real history mixed with a boat load of carbon fiber.

    For starters, Laconia wasn't an island, but a region in the Peloponnese peninsula which is part of mainland greece. He takes huge liberties in trying to equate Sparta to the U.S. and Athens to Russia, because, if anything the reserves was true as Athens was a democracy, immensely prosperous, at the hub an alliance that had a strong navy and had immense intellectual tradition. Sparta was a tyrannical state. What Sparta has in common with the Nazi's was a reliance upon tyranny, cruelty, militarism, and intellectually stunted. In the prolonged Peloponese War between Sparta and Athens, the Spartan's were only able to compete and eventually defeat Athens by relying upon subsidies in gold from the Persian empire (in essence, treason to Greek ethnicity).

    The idea of "classes" in society is not natural to humanity. Classes arrived with agriculture and the neolithic revolution around 11,000 to 14,000 years ago. By that time Humanity had existed for over 100,000 years and spread around the globe, into ever climatic region, except Antartica, as hunting and gathering societies. These societies were once our natural state of being. You can get an idea of how humanity lived by watching the movie "Dances with Wolves." The narrator of that story describes this life style as "harmony". This is a fictional account. However you can watch a short half hour documentary by CNN on the Hadza peoples. The Hadza still live in hunting and gathering society. Moreover they live in the very party of Africa humanity is believed to have begun. It is possible that they have been living this way for 100,000 years. You can watch that short piece here:

    After the invention of agriculture, society divides into classes. At the bottom are farmers who provide surplus. At the top are elite's who consume the surplus. Over time the elites get greedy, especially when there are short falls in production. The elites eventually take more and more, until they starve out the farmers, upon whom all agricultural society's rely and society collapses. As a result, early human agricultural societies proved brittle. The state of affairs continues until the Axial age. The Axial Age was a time where great philosophers or religious clerics emerge with universalist epistemologies emphasizing the ethic of fairness, i.e. the birth of the Golden Rule. In China you had Confucius an Lao Tze, in India you had Buddha, in Iran you had Zoroaster (invention of good vs. evil), in Israel you had Deutero-Isaiah, in Greece you had the Sophist philosophers. Shortly after this, you had stronger societies and state's that expanded to truly enormous sizes: Han Empire in China, Asoka's in India, Persian Empire, then the Greek/Macedonian successor states to Persia. At about this same time Rome created its constitutional system and 12 tables of law as a response to similar pressures. All of these states collapse or crumble when confronted by peoples or systems that were fairer than their own or their own state elapsed into unfairness. The movie Dances With Wolves reminds us that at one time human society was once a single class, often in a state of harmony. Perhaps the story of Adam and Eve getting kicked out of the garden of Eden is an allegory or parable of humanity moving out of Hunting and Gathering.

    The movie Apocolypto, by the way, demonstrates both a Hunting and Gathering society in a similar state of harmony but is raided, tormented and terrorized by Mayans, which clearly demonstrate, albeit in exaggerated form of Pre-Axial Age agricultural society that is in crisis nearing collapse. At the end, the suggestion is the arrival on Mayan shores of an axial age epistemology in Christianity. In practice, the Spanish in the America's were nearly as cruel as the Mayans they disrupted.

    In the modern era, the ascending system was that of Anglo-Saxon civics - which doesn't begin until after 1600. Anglo-Saxon civics was based upon English Common Law. English Common law treated all people as equal before the law. It is intrinsically anti-ideological, intrinsically pragmatic. As Oliver Wendell Holmes said, law was created from judge's narrow answers to narrow questions posed to Common Law judges. Judges were free to choose from the market place of ideas. Over the centuries they developed a bias towards fairness and liberty because these types of decisions tend to be self enforcing (meaning they don't cost the state/king any money to enforce). Anglo-Saxon civics spread to America, Canada, Australia, India, New Zealand and Ireland. In all of these places, you have advanced societies, though India is the least advanced and poorest, it is also the most class entrenched society.

    Throughout history, since the invention of agriculture, elites have always tried to secure more for themselves and in doing so, eventually undermine fairness and harmony, and eventually society itself. The real evil, the source of cruelty then, is to divide society into classes. This will eventually lead to an ideology to uphold such divisions or a reaction against them. Ideologies, adhered to, ultimately lead to nihilism, (both Nazi Germany and Communist Russia were ideologically driven societies and both in their turn experienced nihilism. In the case of Nazi Germany it found itself invaded, divided, and occupied, [and in a brief case of Russian occupied areas, mass rape of their women]), by its enemies and left in a smoldering ruin.). All Nazism tried to do is demarcate class (well being) division by ethnicity emphasizing social cohesion of that ethnicity. There is us, and there is them. We get to control them, enjoy the spoils, and if they resist we get to kill them. Fundamentalist Islam that entities like Isis embrace, essentially tries to follow the same logic substituting religion for ethnicity: We get to control them, enjoy the spoils and if they resist we get to kill them.

    All of this takes us back to remember that at one time we lived in harmony, and all people were basically equal. Anglo-Saxon law invented new subtle but complex constructions where all people are equal (before the law) and so the law must emphasize fairness (first, and then) freedom in the context of equality and if we can manage this we can approach harmony we once knew before we picked up the hoe.

    In regard to the question: No Sparta was not the first National Socialist state, but it was an early state reliant upon cruelty, tyranny and militarism. National Socialism was its own brand of banal evil, using an ideology based upon ethnicity as a pretext to justify cruelty, tyranny and militarism, and murder on a vast, genocidal scale. None of this was necessary for humans to live a better life. After World War II, the "free world" embraced a pragmatic mixed, social-democratic, social-economic system, broadly fair: the global GNP increased 100% between 1945 and 1973 (in less than 30 years the global economy grew faster than it had the prior 14,000 years of human history since the neolithic revolution) and in those 'free world' societies, including the United States all groups advanced economically evenly: the very poor, the poor, working class, middle class, upper middle class and the wealthy all advanced evenly, all enjoying, roughly a doubling of their income. In his "Finest Hour" speech, Churchill told his nation that if Hitler succeeded perverted science would initiate a new dark age, but if Britain held on, a new golden age would emerge. The 30 years after WWII is history's goldenest of golden ages, all areas of human endeavor hitting new heights (except painting, and perhaps sculpture, unless you like Jackson Pollock, et. al.) culminating in the music of the Beatles and the 1960s, and the landing of a man on the moon.

    We should beware all those selling ideologies and the like, especially those that are cruel. They just plain are not necessary and they bring ruin; all of them.

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