We have moved beyond the days of cogent argument, and skilled debate into a realm where sloganeering is not only considered authoritative but has become the primary source of politicking. Everyone appreciates a good quote, especially one that imparts wisdom or clarifies a substantive truth. Yet, we are now asked to buckle under pressure to voice petty slogans that lack substance and, in fact, are slyly engaged in undermining the very foundations of what we may believe to be right.
Of course, I am referring to the slogan: Black Lives Matter. It is on clothing, apparel, buildings, and even city streets. Any who dare disagree are hounded, punished, and shamed. Has there ever been another political slogan that requires such obedience?
The Power of the Slogan
History shows us that words have meaning and can live on as a source of inspiration long after the world in which they were first uttered has moved on. But there’s a unique difference. These mottos, these slogans, were “adopted” by people, often as a defiant cry against tyranny, whereas today, it is tyranny enforced.
Consider for a moment; we see mobs rampaging, demanding that white people take a knee in subservience and say “Black Lives Matter” to be “forgiven” for something in which they played no part – but this is not a thing that, once done, renders the supplicant absolved. Those who prostrate themselves do not receive an “ally card” that indemnifies them from further humiliation. George Orwell best described the never-ending nature of such demands:
Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who’s helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face, forever.
And while the “boot stamping” is merely of the verbal variety right now, we have seen enough violence, intimidation, and even murder from these supposedly peaceful protesters to know that physical abuse is not too far away.
The phrase Black Lives Matter is a clever slogan, but it comes with insane and implausible arguments to scaffold it. How can anyone say that black lives don’t matter without being deemed a monster? But of course, the popular retort is “All Lives Matter.” Surely this makes sense, but no – it’s not enough for the mob.
All Lives Matter apparently takes away the importance of this moment in history – conveniently forgetting that the organization Black Lives Matter was around the last time a general election was on the horizon – what a coincidence. And what happens to those who espouse this oh-so-evil retort? Well, violence, naturally, public shaming, police investigation, the firing from your job, social ostracization, doxxing, and verbal abuse.
It’s almost as if the slogan was designed to be argument proof, with the help of a friendly media machine, of course.
So what is the response to this Marxist movement and the useful idiots who have been tricked into endangering their own future freedoms? As ever, history gives us the answer.
In 480 BC, at a narrow pass known as Thermopylae, or the “Hot Gates,” 300 Spartan warriors stood against the army of King Xerxes of Persia. It’s a familiar tale and one that never fails to quicken the breath and get the heart pumping. But there is one phrase among all of the dialogue that survives that still holds us in thrall today: Molon Labe – alternatively, Moaon Aabe.
Without going too in-depth on the story, as it is well known by all, I’ll cover the basics to present exactly what it meant in context. King Leonidas, leading an army that included his famed 300, sought to block Xerxes at a narrow pass, thus providing time for the other Greek city-states to prepare and defend.
We know from Herodotus that for two days, the armies fought, with Leonidas’ troops inflicting massive casualties on the Persians. Until they were betrayed, and a secret path led to their falling. Perhaps what we remember most is not the battles or the surrounding story, but the words of passion. When Xerxes offered the Spartans a chance to become an ally – under his own rule, naturally – and commanded them: “lay down your arms,” King Leonidas responded, “Moaon Aabe.”
This has been translated in so many ways, the most common being “come and take them.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, this motto has been adopted by supporters of the Second Amendment; in some ways, it’s akin to saying, “You can take my gun … from my cold, dead hand.” It’s a challenge.
But Moaon Aabe more accurately translates to something far more succinct. These Spartans are Lacadomonians, from Laconia, and they were sparse users of words. It’s where we get the word “laconic.” Moaon Aabe more rightly translates as “Having come, take.” A beautifully dismissive phrase, and one that applies not only to gun rights but to ALL rights.
You see, when someone asks you to kneel, or to kowtow, or to parrot their particular phrase of support under threat or intimidation, they are asking you to surrender. They are demanding that you give up dignity, your self-respect, your power and individuality, and, in fact, your right to exist freely in this world. And they don’t just want it once; they want it to be ongoing, like a boot stamping on a face, forever. To comply is an abject surrender of your freedoms.
This is something we will all have to consider perhaps sooner rather than later.
It’s impossible to argue against a slogan with skillful dissection of words, with counterclaims, or with long-winded explanations. The only answer to one slogan is another, more powerful slogan.
For some of you who are liberty-minded, it may be a question you’ve asked yourself: How far would you go to protect your freedom? Would you be a King Leonidas? Or would you take a knee? Would you mutter the phrase “Black Lives Matter,” knowing that its utterance is supporting a violent, Marxist agenda that values not human life nor dignity? Or would you say, “Having come, Take.”?
Read more from Mark Angelides.