To The Victor Belongs The Spoils

I believe I first heard the quote “to the victor belongs the spoils” as something said in a Latin class. It always intrigued me because of the word “spoils.”  I associated the word spoils with things that were spoiled like spoiled milk or bratty spoiled children. I wondered why someone who won the battle would want those types of things.

Lots of things like that bothered me as I grew up but not to the extent they intruded on my life. Instead of inquiring more about them I just let them wander about my mind. Eventually I discovered the true meaning of that expression which is that the winner takes whatever he wants. I associated it with Julius Caesar although others suggest it came from an American politician in the early 1800s.

We see it at  play in China today where it is working on destroying the Muslim culture and beliefs off the many million Uighurs living within its borders or as it did in the mid-twentieth century when it conquered Tibet.

I suggest another way to understand the concept is the saying: “might makes right.” According to the magic of the internet that expression comes from Thucydides. “The idea of “might makes right” may be attributed to Greek historian Thucydides, who wrote the History of the Peloponnesian War. In the work, you will find these words: [R]ight, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.”

Those not up to date with the Greek philosophers may be more familiar with an American one named Gene Autry who suggested the same thing in a more folksy manner:

“Ridin’ the range once more, Totin’ my old .44. Where you sleep out every night, And the only law is right, Back in the saddle again.”

Might gives the victory and the victor decides what is right – that is the victor makes the law and the law tells us what is right. Obviously it is all removed from the idea of moral right. During the Ukrainian famine forced on it by Russia, thugs went from house to house stripping from each every bit of food. My wife’s mother hid the little food she had under a rock in a river.

A book just read tells of how one Ukrainian mother of ten children had six die of starvation. The Bolsheviks might gave it the right to do this but ethically and morally it was wrong.

Hitler used the same approach to the Jews taking it one step further. Where Stalin hoped his cruelty would eradicate Ukrainians, Hitler ensured that his would. He would not wait until Jews starved to death, as many did, he decide to speed things up by killing them with gas and other hideous ways.

Throughout history the winner decided the fate of the losers. Like in the Katyn Forest many times the losers were executed. On other occasions the losers were driven from the land. It is with this in mind that the Israeli and Palestinian situation should be examined. Had Israel followed the traditional course it would have pushed all the opposition from its newly grasped land. This it did not do, perhaps at the time it may have not had the ability to do so.

It is now stuck with the enemy within. It has slowly entrapped itself into a conundrum.  It can no longer do what it could have done and now despite all its wealth and power it is caught in an endless cycle of violence. It finds itself with a strong hand of cards when it comes to war; but a weak hand when it comes to peace. For it, no longer are the spoils available.

7 thoughts on “To The Victor Belongs The Spoils

    1. I fully support, Msfreeh, and good testimony from Dr. Sullivan and especially the patient.
      Useful mind-altering substances, a bit stronger than caffeine, theophylline and theobromine, are mild like tetrahydrocannabinol, or grass, hash, even black hash laced with or suffused with opium, can be beneficial.
      Careful use, under physician’s care, especially at the end of life, facing death, it is established that LSD, Mescaline, Psylocibin , ,however some folks have adverse reactions to stuff, so the individual’s reactions must be assessed.

      I knew a guy like me who could not take PCP/ I knew another guy who unlike me had over 200 hits of LSD and felt fine, decades later, still drug free/ I too feel fine, drug free, for many decades, but I did like LSD five times, but one time had a bat-bad trip once. The good, the yellow fields and buzzing bees and manifold greens of trees outweighed the rat-maze craze, trapped, claustrophobia, impending doom, the FEDs tracking us down . . . .they did . . .but as said, I am a blood brother to the Apache and that ritual was during stone cold sober drug free years , ,,but blood is spilled between amigos from time to time, which gets me to the point

      I have asked a lifelong friend to bring to me when I am near death, if I precede him, whenever that may or may not occur, to bring me on pack of Winston Cigarrettes.

      Now, a lesson; Caffeine hits the Cerebral Cortex directly, increasing attention, so Coffee is good.
      Tea contains less concentration of caffeine, but tea contains Theophylline (the God loving Xanthine) and theophylline relaxes peripherally, dilates blood vessells, it is cool, calming, good for conversations and for thinking, studying too . . .caffeine is best for examinations or more active alertness listening to a lecture or engaging in talk, debate, research.

      Now we come to a third Xanthine: Theobromine, in dark chocolate. This soothes, relaxes, makes you more calm, happy even, it is a bromide, a panacea for unease, theobromine eases acceptance, theobromine, dark chocolate, is good for us . . .skip the sugar substitutes

      So, as Hermann Hesse wrote, Each man must decide for himself what is right and what is wrong; The Catechism of the Catholic Church says what rules is The Informed conscience; Bob Dylan sang in Ring them Bells “we are breaking down the distance between right and wrong.” And Scripture says, “Choose life? when faced with the choice between life and death, Scripture says, Choose LIfe.

      Those lines of thinking underplay the overriding Theme: Respect for LIfe, respect for HUman lIfe, first, then fauna, then flora, then microbes, down to macrophages, viruses inside/infecting some bacteria, down to viruses down to viroids . . .down to the worm hole, the rabbit hole, Alice in Wonderland, to dark matter, to the Big Bang . . .the whole schmeil , ,to life pro life, ad infinitum, as pro life is the underpin of or the spine of all values, all ethics, all thought through, over and out . . .Roger . . .

  1. In Ireland, in 1916, a rebellion against the powerful superpower, led to an Irish Free State, following of course internecine struggles. In 1948, Ireland became a Republic.

    The lesson with North and South divided, is that opposing peoples occupying the same land can come to accommodation, acceptance and peace.

    Read carefully of both the Irish-English long, long history, and reframe familiarity with the Welsh and Scots, and the Scots Irish.

    Read carefully the underdog Rebels from 1775, Lexington, Concord, Bunker Hill, Dorchester Heights, Brooklyn, winters of starvation, and eventual Independence.

    The history lessons are rife with peoples living in harmony, synergestically, Egyptians, Jordanians, Syrians, Lebanese, Israelis, . . .Pakistani Indians, Underdog Vietnamese defending encroaching SuperBullDogs, China and USA.

    Hope springs eternal, and who would have foreseen in 1812 that Russian and Napoleonic France would become allies in World Wars, that British and U.S. after 1812-15 would become strong allies, that Israel and Germany and Italy would become allies with Greece and Turkey, and that Russians would become allies of Ukrainians, that Russia would be welcome as a partner in Western Civilization, and that China too now welcome in Science, Arts, Music, Engineering . . .all working towards acceptance, none without imperfections and regressions, but the arc worldwide is towards peace, understaning, progress and AGON, Shostakovich’s black and white Ballet, that sprung from, yes sprung from conflict

    It is a James Joyce, Patrick Kavanaugh, Dylan Thomas, and South Boston’s Olympic World Champion in 1896 stood for freedom of expression, and standing up and out against the oppressors of free expression, and the censors, and even Harvard that denied James Connolly’s request for a leave of absence to go to Greece to Compete.

    See James Connolly’s statue in Joe Moakley’s park, and see the statues throughout South Boston and Dorchester and downtown and on the Commonwealth Avenue, and read the plaques and see Joe Hobin’s mural on South Sydney Street, and read the plaque of that internationally acclaimed poetical peace broker, from . . .where Brazil, Argentina . . .

    Drop the stones, and pick up chimes, and turn weapons to tools to instruments, to laughingly brought in a New World of Freedom of speech, expression, association, religion, and the freedom to march, dance, peaceably assemble and distribute pamphlets or carry placards saying Up the Republic, Up the Republics

    1. “The lesson with North and South divided, is that opposing peoples occupying the same land can come to accommodation, acceptance and peace.”

      Huh?

      1. Abe
        As Matt always reminds us the universe is
        divided into North-South and we need to
        be aware of the Deep State giving us a false
        flag operation using Aliens as our new common
        enemy.

        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/may/20/ufo-obama-cbs-60-minutes-america-aliens

        I’ve seen the saucers: Obama weighs in as US interest in UFOs rises

        In other false flags….

        I hope the 20th anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001 will draw a crowd this coming 9-11, Saturday at 10:00 AM in Greenfield, Massachusetts. Flyby News has reserved the Garden Cinema on Main Street for the showing of the film by Dylan Avery, “7”. Following the film and a couple of Trailers and perhaps some discussion, some of us plan to pick up lunch at Stone Soup to share a meal and thoughts on the day.. Perhaps GCTV will show up to record various sentiments, which is also when U.S. forces officially plan to leave Afghanistan, our longest war justified by 9-11 events, twenty years ago. Time to awaken, not soon enough!

        Best Regards,
        Jonathan

        Dropbox link to download posters in various sizes:
        https://www.dropbox.com/sh/2a159u5fkuzbtta/AADh7Ncl3FtdQXaaMfvlh9Saa?dl=0

        11 September, 2021 – Garden Cinema – Flyby News
        9-11 20th Anniversary & Building 7
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        12 September, 2020 – AE911Truth – Dylan Avery
        SEVEN: A Film on Building 7
        Narrated by Ed Asner

        Perspective — Resources — Archives
        New 9/11 Investigation vs New World Order

        1. I always liked the slow part of Dvorak’s New World Symphony . . .and someone did a good movie about Pocahontas and Englishmen and Native Americans circa early 1500s and that movie was entitled New World, too, and they took back to Queen Elizabeth or King Henry V, VII or something, anyway the story of love between man and woman of different cultures and the cinematography and art-work was great
          Peace, smoke that peace pipe . . .

          1. The second movement of the New World Symphony is spectacular. The whole symphony is full of loads of wonderful little ditties. Likewise the second movement of Beethoven’s 7th. Lately I have been entranced by The Pastoral Symphony of Beethoven. His 6th. Sit alone in a dark room and listen to the second movement of that 6th symphony and you will hear what I believe is the most beautiful music ever composed. I just melt when I listen to it.

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