[Marxism] From the desk of Reuven Kaminer January 14, 2009

Shane Mage shmage at pipeline.com
Wed Jan 14 10:11:42 MST 2009

> From the desk of Reuven Kaminer January 14, 2009
> I have the pleasure of hosting this insightful article
> “The Gaza war”
> Shmuel Amir
> Upon the launching of the attack on Gaza, Ehud Barak struck the pose  
> of
> Julius Caesar, who announced with his crossing of the Rubicon that  
> “the
> die is cast”, and declared “combat has begun”...

Insightful the article no doubt is, but false is its beginning.   
Caesar did not say a Latin equivalent of "the die is cast" ("die  
jactae sunt" is *plural*) but quoted a famous line of Menander (in  
Greek, of course), "Let The Dice Fly." Worse, the phrase "combat has  
begun" is a stupid invention.  It could not have been spoken by  
Caesar, for the simple reason that combat did not begin when his  
troops crossed the line demarcating Cisalpine Gaul.  Quite the  
contrary--when Caesar responded to the violation of law and  
constitution by the reactionary oligarchy (the self-styled "Boni" or  
"Optimates") by entering Italy proper with his bodyguard to present  
his candidacy for election to the Consulate, the mere fact of his  
presence set off a popular revolutionary enthusiasm throughout Italy  
so great that the Optimate party and its army (that of Pompeius  
Magnus, or, as Marx called him, Pimpey the Great) fled in such panic  
that they were not even able to take the State Treasury from Rome with  
them, leaving it intact for Caesar to appropriate as the masses  
welcomed him into Rome.  Combat (the "bellum civile") only began once  
the Optimates had fled across the Adriatic and moved the legions they  
still controlled from the Eastern Provinces into Illyria, where they  
were defeated by Caesar at Pharsalus (though combat was to continue  
briefly in the Near East, where Caesar was to utter the famous "veni.  
vidi, vici,"  and then for another year in Africa until the loathsome  
Cato--he of the famous Institute-- committed suicide in Utica rather  
than accept the unconditional amnesty that Caesar had given to all his  

Shane Mage

> This cosmos did none of gods or men make, but it
> always was and is and shall be: an everlasting fire,
> kindling in measures and going out in measures."
> Herakleitos of Ephesos

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