Don’t rewrite history – Themistocles and not Leonidas

However heroic and uselessly suicidal was the stance of Leonidas and his 300 spartans at Thermopylae, it was the athenian general Themistocles that brought victory at Salamis and ended the Persian threat.

Today’s mood favour Sparta. All over the world we see fanatics for one cause or another swear that their cause is just, and that war is the only solution to every problem. CNN is calling them GOD WARRIORS. But it is Athens with its heritage, resourcefulness and multiculturalism that will win every time.

Some people admire the warlike qualities, the flags at every porch and the national hymn before and after meals. Others find that hard work, creating and sharing wealth and knowledge, enjoying life are the most estimable qualities.

Paradoxically, it may be that the breakdown of discipline at schools, in the crucial formative years of every individual, that have contributed to the fall of culture all over the world. You need discipline to instill culture into young minds. Plato is an acquired taste. And without culture most will become gang-bangers and hoodlums: a very sought -after commodity as canon-fodder for the war in Irak, but utterly useless and destructive in real life.

So take care of the schools, reinstate dignity to the teacher’s vocation, and watch the students carefully. Chances are we will not need those cameras at every street corner if all goes well.

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