What do the efforts to overthrow the Trump presidency and the rise of the Persian Empire have in common? Surely two such distant events, separated by two and a half thousand years, couldn’t be nestled in the same twisted origins. But they are. And in fact, the crowning of Darius the Great, a true king of kings, and the progressive attempts to overturn the legitimate election of President Trump are both mired in the controversy of Fake News.
We are all no doubt familiar with the now-discredited RussiaGate hoax that since day one of President Trump has been used to declare that he is an illegitimate leader. The FBI used information they knew to be misleading without disclosing that the source was, in fact, being paid by Trump’s opponent. It’s the kind of political satire that could be found in a Richard Condon novel.
But this was not the first major political fakery in history, merely the most recent.
When the first ruler of the Persian (or Achaemenid) Empire, Cyrus the Great, died, his eldest son, Cambyses, took the reins of power. The younger son, Bardia, was awarded his own territory and a great deal of latitude so he wouldn’t feel the urge to challenge the succession. Things appeared to be going well for the young empire, but there was a force working behind the scenes
After beginning his rein in good form, Cambyses, perhaps because of the alcoholic madness he was said to be suffering under, engaged in a series of huge mistakes. He lost a 50,000-man army in the desert, he angered the Egyptians by slaughtering their prized bull (who was seen as a godly avatar), and then even worse, he was accused of killing his own brother, Bardia, and of replacing him with an imposter, the infamous magician, Guamata, and of not telling anyone.
One of Cambyses’ “loyal” guards, and also a man of very noble blood, took a team of assassins to remove the imposter. They fought his evil spells and went on to murder all those who had not raised the alarm about this magical double. All who declared that Bardia was the genuine article were conspirators and thus punished harshly.
Soon after, Cambyses, apparently in a drunken stupor, either killed himself or accidentally cut his leg while carving wood with his sword and died from the ensuing infection. Fortunately for the Persian Empire, the aforementioned loyal guard, killer of doppelganger magicians, was ready to step up and assume the mantle of power. This was, of course, Darius; soon to be King Darius the Great.
There’s only one problem with this story. It’s likely all fake news.
Cambyses’ drinking was almost certainly exaggerated, the loss of a huge army has never been proven, and other records (not those produced by the Darius the Great spin machine) suggest that the bull was never killed. And as for the idea that Cambyses had slain his brother and replaced him with a lookalike magician …
Darius had created a network of lies to not only remove Cambyses from power but also to kill his brother and would-be successor. He assumed power to right the ship, to address wrongs, and to stop illegitimate rulers from driving the empire into chaos. It was a perfectly executed plan based on lies and intrigues.
You see, for Cambyses to murder his brother was neither a crime nor a heinous act; he was the undisputed ruler, and all lived or died by his word. But the fact that he told no one of the murder was akin to him telling a lie – and this, in the Persian Empire, was a serious and grave crime against the whole of society.
When King Xerxes fought the Spartan 300 at Thermopylae, his armies couldn’t make gains until the troops of King Leonidas were betrayed by Demaratus, who told the Persian ruler of a secret path. Xerxes didn’t believe him, so Demaratus said, “let me be treated as a liar, if matters fall not out as I say.” He was saying that if he lied, let him be treated as one who lies … meaning, let him be killed for his untruths.
This edict against lying was so ingrained in the culture that even marketplaces were not used as they would be hotbeds of lies and twistings in the name of trade.
As Herodotus writes:
“Buying and selling in a marketplace is a custom unknown to the Persians, who never make purchases in open marts, and indeed have not in their whole country a single marketplace.”
So the news that Cambyses had covered up his brother’s murder was more important than the act of killing itself. It made him unworthy of being the ruler.
This idea of unworthiness is something that has been pushed since Donald Trump first entered the presidential race. His opponents say he lies, he’s a racist, he can’t focus, he’s thin-skinned. Some of these may be true, or they may be entirely wrong. Still, the fact remains that the political left and the complicit media are doing their best to undermine his leadership by using stories that are provably false – for example, the “good people on both sides” lie.
A usurpation of power by sore losers would condemn the left to many more years in the political wilderness, especially if the populist approach of Trump proves successful, so it is not enough to merely win an election, they have to destroy a legacy.
With record-breaking economic and employment figures, to undo such a legacy would be a step too far even for the foolhardy, but if it were based on a ploy, a trick played on the American people, it then becomes their “moral duty” to unravel it.
Fake News and False Flag operations are not a conspiracy theory; they are weapons of political warfare that have been sued for millennia and are just as strong today as they were in the days of Darius and Cambyses.
After 2,000 years, we finally see that Darius used social convention and falsehoods to steal power that was not rightly his. Let’s hope that it doesn’t take another 2,000 years before we realize the same plots and intrigues are happening right here, right now.
Read more from Mark Angelides.