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Epilogue—Scale
Part 2 of 2: Our Real and Proximate Master: Case Study, Rome
© 2022 James LaFond
FEB/28/23
The Roman Legion under the Republic was the most successful instrument of collective conquest we have an example of in the ancient world. The conquests of Cyrus, Alexander, Genghis Khan, these were individual efforts of the captain of the ship of state steering the collective according to his ambitions. These efforts, with the passing of their actionary architect, collapsed quickly.
Rome endured ages of folly, civil war, revolt, changes in the form of government, changes in the state religion and even cataclysms to finally expire in 1453 as a Greek version of its Latin ancestor.
Though the institution of Rome transformed and limped on, we are concerned here with the Roman People, the Latin Race, the original folk inhabiting the seven hills above the Tiber. Those people, their prosperity and ambitions, their safety and security, had been totally discarded by the mechanistic state by A.D. 410. Some of the Roman descendants remain yet, but the Roman state failed them in the mid 200s and then, in the mid 300s utterly abandoned them and decided to become Greek.
Imagine if in times of crisis, the United States Government, decided to move from Washington D.C. to San Francisco, and to declare Spanish the language of America. That is essentially what Constantius did when he chose for his new seat of power, Byzantium. This storied emperor, the adopted father of Christianity as well, seems to have been less evil and selfish than most of his station, and to have had some deep concern for the state itself above his own ambitions and survival.
While the founder of the Roman Empire, Octavian Augustus yet saw himself as a guardian of the Roman culture, Constantius was now, three centuries later, the guardian of the Roman Government, and in this role, literally threw the Roman Race overboard into the unkind Sea of Fate, placing the original officers and crew of that ship of Roman state beyond all concern.
The ruthless character of the Roman Race and the high stake a citizen soldier had in the continuance of a state dedicated to the preservation of his race, accounted for the ability of men like Scipio, Marius, Sulla, Pompey, Crassus, Caesar, Antony and Octavian to conquer barbaric races as well as more civilized races, such as the Greeks and Carthaginians, and to whether the disasters that came with contesting for supremacy with military geniuses like Hannibal and Phyrrus, who inflicted terrible annihilation defeats upon Roman armies. Yet, due to the tenacity if the race and the shared purpose of race and state, Rome prevailed and would conquer the entire Middle Sea, and far beyond.
These feats were done with a racially homogeneous army, divided by age and class into the following:
-The Velites were youth warriors who filled the role of skirmisher and peltast, something that most heavy armies relied on mercenaries for. This gave the moral advantage to the Roman army, whose heavy soldiers were of the same race and perhaps even family as the skirmishers, rather than a Macedonian pike man having to depend on some Thracian contractor.
-The hastati were young men armed in the heavy fashion, with pilum, scutum and gladius, the vicious Iberian sword that so terrified spear men and barbarian brawlers at close range.
-The primus, or veterans, men in their thirties with perhaps a better kit, held the center of the Roman formation, with operational and racial continuity held from the velites to them, with all three ranks in tribal harmony, and all having in common a throwing weapon, so that they might work their way up the prestige ladder of the Legion.
-The triaria, the Third Line, were older veterans armed with spears for last ditch work and as a rally point, the older men offering a psychological and physical wall for the younger to rally around.
-The horsemen were of the same race, men of the leading families. From their ranks were taken the generals, and from their ranks politicians, maintaining a racial continuity through the entire predatory Roman system.
Legions would develop their own tribal identities, placing them in competition with one another, especially when civil war would bring the legions back from the frontier to challenge for power on behalf of their leaders. This would place the legions furthest from Rome, in the most powerful position, as they were hardened with external combat against barbarian nations.
The Roman road system, which was one of the major occupations of the military, enabled these legions to move across the empire to punish revolts. Thus Rome used some 150,000 to 300,000 men to rule an empire that was more vast in population compared to its military strength, than modern nations employing armies with high tech weapons and vast police forces.
The Praetorian Guard was a home legion that was supposed to protect the ruler from internal upheaval and also provide a defensive force against revolting commanders. This legion, as of the death of Caligula and the rise of Claudius in about A.D. 50, would become the Roman Deep State, selling the throne to politicians and deposing them, some multiple times in a year. During this period various emperors would bring this Deep State power broker to heel through the use of frontier armies. This brought its own problems.
As Rome expanded and then demarcated a boundary beyond which it was not practical to conquer and administer, the army changed, beginning in at least A.D. at the siege of Jerusalem. From that siege and Trajan’s Dacian War, the Roman Soldier, was relegated to combat engineer, with his armor reflecting this. The men who would be at the point of the spear, as reflected on Trajan’s Column, were barbarian allies, the actual Legionary relegated to a support role.
The Roman legion was rebuilt in cohorts [battalions] rather than maniples [hands or companies] and was functionally homogenized into all heavy infantry, the classic Roman swordsman based on the hastati and primus. Imperial Rome had collected on the frontier many specialized warrior types as allies, for instance tribal archers and slingers who were better then the youthful velites, and Asiatic horsemen who were better than the aristocratic Latin horsemen. If you were building your fantasy ancient army, would you rather have as cavalry the sons of Roman Senators, or Hun horse archers and Sarmatian lancers?
These auxiliary forces were dependent upon the Roman Legion as the earlier legion had been upon the third line spear men.
Something else was happening. The prosperity of Rome reduced the Latin birthrate of the Roman race, placing the Latin men as candidates for only command and the most important heavy swordsman units. Also, the expanded Republic and then Empire called for an expansion in citizenship, gradually extending Roman identity into a purely civic nationalism, demonstrating a calculated shift from Ethno-Nationalism to Civic Nationalism.
This was not one gross move, but a series of practical inclusions necessary for political stability. Empires such as the Assyrian and Persian and Macedonian had terrible internal stability problems based on the fact that they were forever called upon to slaughter restive ethnicities under their rule. By offering these peoples Roman status, most conquered nations and tribes became part of the solution rather than the problem, extending the life of the state by hundreds of years.
This development would cause the tribal identity that soldiers and warriors must have to function at a high level, to switch to the legion itself and away from the nation and its population. Frontier legions now acted like the Preatorians, auctioning rule to generals who wished to be emperor.
The nation was being demographically hollowed out. Additionally, the work of soldiering was being outsourced, with most legions in the west staffed by barbarians, bigger, stronger, racial aliens. Logistically, this was very much like the shift in the American construction force in our time from Caucasian Americans to Mestizo Latin Americans. More troubling was that the army was now staffed by non-Latin military contractors with tribal identities transferred [if at all] from their tribe to the legion.
Imagine if the U.S. Military establishment began doing most of its recruitment outside of the U.S. and not only paid these soldiers, but rewarded them with citizenship?
This process would be accelerated by external tribal pressure and also by the evolution of the horse soldier with the use of the stirrup, making soldiers from outside the political and racial boundaries of the nation, more valuable than those recruited within it.
This was a Roman problem of old date.
Spartacus, had been an allied Thracian soldier, that engineered a rampage in the homeland of Republican Italy, winning 8 of 9 battles, circa 50 B.C.
A German chieftain, who had served as an allied soldier, engineered the slaughter of Varus’ three Imperial legions in Germany in A.D. 9.
Once Rome had to rely on Germanic tribesmen and even racially more alien Hun tribesmen, for effective horse soldiers, the greatest Roman Government Executive of his age, Constantius was moved to migrate from Italy to Greece, completely severing the founding ethnicity of The State from The State, in favor of the continued function of The State.
I intend to continue listening to and summarizing Gibbon’s Decline and Fall. However in his first few chapters of his first volume, it is clear that Republican Latin Rome evolved into Imperial Universal Rome, in large part, due to practical choices made in increasing the combat ability of the army at the very same time that the ethic building block of that army, the Italian farmer/soldier, disappeared as the first casualty of his own collective success.
This moves one to consider the words of Andrew Jackson, the most tenacious and combative of American presidents:
“I was a soldier, so that my son could be a farmer, so that my grandson could be a poet.”
[Editor, please search exact quote and attribution.]
Thus does the means of power and the demands of scale, even in the dedicated ethno-nationalist state, lead the functionary of that state, at levels high and low, to practical considerations that favor The State over its original people.
Epilogue—Power
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NC     Feb 28, 2023

quote from above

"Imagine if the U.S. Military establishment began doing most of its recruitment outside of the U.S. and not only paid these soldiers, but rewarded them with citizenship?"

They already do, along with paying invaders to come here.....
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