For others, the name of Spartacus inspired hope. It showed that, united, the people could challenge the oppression leveled by the powers that be. The famous French philosopher Voltaire said that the rebellion led by Spartacus, also known as the "Third Servile War" (73 BCE - 71 BCE) was "the only just war in history". Perhaps it was.
The name of Spartacus has been used repeatedly as a rallying cry against injustice and oppression, be it against working conditions, wages, or discrimination based on everything from age, gender, religion and so forth. It was called upon during the fight for voting rights by the Suffragettes during the first quarter of the 20th Century just as often as it was around by unions as they began taking shape in the latter half of the 19th.
The mythos inspired by the name of Spartacus has been used in pro-democracy revolts opposing authoritarian governments such as the 1848 uprising in Imperial Germany, the Paris "Commune" of 1871, the Russian Revolution of 1917, and the second German Revolution of 1919 as well as the "Color Revolutions" of Eastern Europe and the "Arab Spring" uprisings in the first decade of the 21st Century.
I bring up the topic of "Spartacus" after having read of short but very informative article by Gavin J. Maziarz of Gettysburg College, published in August 2022 in "The Gettysburg Historical Journal" (Volume 21 Article 1) about the rebel leader on the second anniversary of the January 6th protest in Washington in 2021.
The article, which is only about ten pages long, discusses the modern political implications of the revolt, albeit primarily in Marxian terms, within the context of today's political collapse. To be sure, one doesn't need to be a Marxist to understand the implications of a revolt against an oppressive political system by those at or near the bottom of the social ladder.
As an aside, did you know that globally, the top 1% owns 46% of the world's total wealth? To put it another way, the world's top 1% owns as much wealth globally as the bottom 90%.
In fact, given that CEOs make approximately 324 times that of an average worker or the fact that the top 1% control more wealth than the middle 60%, it's a wonder something hasn't happened already. The implications of a lower and middle class revolt in light of this should be obvious, especially in light of mass looting and arson under the label of "peaceful protests" by Antifa and BLM when Trump was elected and following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. One could even include the January 6th protest and brief occupation of the House by some of those on the extreme political Right.
Poll after poll has for decades reflected the public's distrust and dislike of Congress, the Presidency, and even the Judicial system. America has morphed from a democratic or Constitutional Republic into a neo-fascist Corporatocracy run by the aforementioned 1%. Citizens are forced to bear more and more of the tax burden while corporate lobbyists write laws for the benefit of an elite few.
The revolt by Spartacus was about an attempt by a few to reclaim the freedoms taken from them by an all powerful state. Although they shook Rome to the core, defeating two professional legions and several cohorts in the process, the rebels ultimately loss. Of those not killed, around 6000 survivors were crucified along the length of the Appian Way from the city of Capua to the gates of Rome itself. A distance of some 120 miles which serves as a reminder that freedom isn't free and once loss, is difficult at best to obtain again.
You'll find a link to Mr. Maziarz's article below. We hope you will check it out. I think you'll agree that given the political climate of the world in general and the United States in particular, we could use more individuals with the drive and vision of a Spartacus.
If you want to know more about this article's topic, please check out the links below. If you enjoyed the article, please consider passing it along to others and don't forget to subscribe. It's free! Lastly please be sure to "like" us on whatever platform you use to read anotheropinionblog.com. It helps with the algorithms and keeps our articles in circulation. Thank you!