The overt pro-democratic and equality message of 300: Rise of an Empire should still not overlook one of the most obvious points, that Persia and its African and Asiatic subjects are still portrayed as vile, grotesque, inferior and weak. Whatever one’s qualms with democracy may be, whether we be modern nationalists or ancient Spartans, it is a notion still only created and practiced by Caucasians and the movie remains loyal to that important point. The movie though exalting democracy, still exalts it as a purely Greek invention, in contrast with the tyranny and oppression of the oriental despot Xerxes.
So fundamentally it brings us to our world. Western Civilization is currently living out the Athenian dream in our form of liberalism. We have created a world now, where a the intellectual elites are willing to fight wars and expand the American Empire in the name of Democracy and equality for that is justice. Justice can only exist when equality and democracy are proliferating and stomping out ancient tyrannies, case in point Russia and the Islamic world.
Not to belittle noble Sparta to the nepotism of contemporary Russia, nonetheless, Russia in our age is the closet European nation to living out the principles of Sparta. Masculinity, heterosexuality, hierarchical religious order and a national strong man are key elements in Russia society and especially strong in contrast to the effeminate and egalitarian West.
Gorgo vs. Artemisia
Though they never confront each other in the movie, there are two running contrasts in the nature and type of women in the films two leading female roles Queen Gorgo of Sparta, the wife of King Leonidas and Admiral Artemisia of the Persian Empire.
Artemisia, born a Greek in what is now western Turkey (in reality outside of the city of Halicarnassus), according to the movie her family was raped and murdered by a random group of Greek hoplites. After witnessing the whole horror, Artemisia is sold into sex slavery, where after being discarded she is taken in by the same black Persian emissary that Leonidas Sparta kicks in the first movie. She becomes quickly trained in the arts of the war, as a natural warrior and leader, where she rises in the ranks quickly by proving her loyalty to King Darius.
Throughout the whole movie, Artemisia ‘s character is the ultimate feminist woman. Debased by a radical hatred of men, she radiates condescension towards males and loves to lord over them. However, due to this hatred she has held onto since childhood, her whole mission in life is to destroy Greece. In Artemisia’s war against Greece, Greece could almost be a metaphor for men. The feminist must exterminate and dominate men, yet it is ultimately a futile fight of the feminist as the female can never find any true peace or pleasure outside be submitting to a man.
As a good feminist, she can fight, often far better skilled than males and knows how to use sex as a weapon, that she enjoys and then gets both upset when the man does not submit to her and when she cannot be made to submit. Hence, she is a wrecking ball of emotions and actions as she kills her fellow generals, carelessly wastes lives and enacts all manner of cruelty and sadism, in the attempt to destroy the Greeks and Themistocles.
As the archetype feminist, Artemisia winds up defying that which she supposedly loved, (Xerxes and Persia) and dying an inglorious death at the hands of Themistocles as the Spartan navy arrives. Fundamentally proving the point that the feminist vision and lifestyle will ultimately implode in on itself, as Artemisia no longer could live by her creed of loyalty to Persia out of rebellious hatred towards Greece as it was utterly contrary other nature as a female and as a Greek.
In contrast to this ugly life of Artemisia, is Queen Gorgo. Having no description of what her childhood is, we generally only get a glimpse of her as she relates to her husband. Unlike Artemisia who’s only companion is vengeance, Gorgo synthesizes the inner military strength of Sparta with the submissive nature of the feminine.
Gorgo adores her husband as if he was a god and she understands that she will only be fulfilled, honorable and a dutiful wife, if she is successful in service. This is why in the first 300, she allows herself to be raped, in order to have the Spartan army mobilized. Once her rapist betrays his word, Gorgo kills him out of loyalty to both Sparta and her husband.
Additionally, Gorgo, unlike Artemisia, views her soldiers in an almost maternal way. She constantly praises them to foreigners, with the infamous phrase “only Spartan women breed real men” and antagonizing Themistocles saying upon his arrival “come to see how real men train?” Out of her maternal love for Sparta and Spartan warriors, she refuses time and again to have them needlessly die for Themistocles’s democratic vision that would serve no good to Sparta. Upon her husband’s death, she honors him with a funeral pyre, and then leads her soldiers into battle wielding Leonidas’s sword. However, she does not answer the call to avenge her husband until Themistocles returns her husband’s sword to her, which calls her to fulfill her husband’s calling and receive her reward, leading the glory of Sparta as the queen.
Both are women are submissive to their kings, whereas only one is genuine. Gorgo is willing to die to avenge her husband’s death, whereas Artemisia has only one love, vengeance. Gorgo’s loyalty to her king is absolute, whereas Artemisia is not absolutely loyal to Xerxes, resulting in her defying attack against the Greek navy at the battle of Salamis. This type of submissive obedience is impossible for Artemisia, as once she has married herself to vengeance, she has assumed the presupposition that only her life and goals matter.
For Gorgo it is the opposite. Gorgo, though strong and perhaps more masculine than any male reading this, nonetheless, understands that it is through being submissive and letting herself serve her husband, king and Sparta, that she finds liberation. Much in the same way that Sarah, Abraham’s wife called him “lord” Gorgo submits to her husband. Yet, she is no slave, as much like Claire Underwood from House of Cards, Gorgo never accepts her husband to be weak or confused.
This again is the true beauty of the Spartan model, which calls upon all individuals to be devoted members of their community by fulfilling their divinely given purpose. Gorgo understands this completely as a wife, woman and queen. She gains fulfillment and power though service, not self-aggrandizement. Hence, though she is strong, she is the enemy of the feminist. The feminist submits to no one and nothing. Consequently they are without perspective, peace or rationality. They are irrational, angry at often villainous females on a rampage against not just men, but the whole world, for the natural state of the world leads to patriarchy. God made it that way, and consequently they have to change the way things are or have always been. Ultimately, their goals implode, as it does with Artemisia, who in her arrogance and self righteous hatred for the Greeks, makes the fatal mistake of rushing into battle, which costs her life and the Persian navy.
The results on this from their respective men is also evidence of the success of a submissive, natural woman as opposed to a feminist, artificial woman. Upon Leonidas’s death, his last thoughts are of her as he cries out “my queen! My love!” Meanwhile in conquered Athens, Artemisia surveys the burnt out city, having thought she defeated Themistocles, with utter emptiness in her soul. She then does what any true feminist would do once her initial goal of destruction is finished, turn on her allies. She then turns around, insults Xerxes’s conquest of Athens and talks back to him, upon which he slaps her. Too bad for Xerxes the feminist isn’t looking to be put in her place by the back of a hand. Artemisia just becomes more obstinate and reminds Xerxes that he is ultimately dependent upon her naval skills and she was responsible for him becoming the god king….never mind that Xerxes defeated Leonidas without her help or amassed the largest army in human history. Like a good feminist she destroys and beats down. She does not edify her man/king, rather she must tear him down at every meaningful opportunity.
None of this matters to the feminist Artemisia, as once she hears of the return of Themistocles, she immediately experiences an almost erotic hatred, as she both is attacked at his resilience, but her hate is too powerful to cast away. It is her life and her destiny as the rebellious female. Hence, unlike Leonidas crying out for his wife upon his death, upon Artemisia’s death, Xerxes walks away in both shame and in embarrassment. He probably got a lot of satisfaction watching the Greeks trash that rebellious and uppity woman. Even gender identity often can transcend national loyalties.
Her feminism ultimately turns on her, as she fails her king and her feminism ultimately cannot defeat Themistocles. The climax of this, is at the end, when after the whole tide is turned against Artemisia and she is defeated before Themistocles she asks him one last time to join her again, which he of course refuses. But it is all symbolic that ultimately the feminine needs the compliment of the masculine. She cannot exist without Themistocles’s power and influence and ultimately, she has to submit to the man.
Despite the somewhat sophomoric nature of the blood, acting and dialogue of the two 300 movies, they still have an important role to play in the West. The 300 movies serve as an echo from the past. It’s crude, riveting and yet almost authentic storyline serve as a way to bring the history of our people to the modern American audience that has lost almost all touch with the past. Americans need constant excitement, explosions, hardcore sex scenes and lots of blood to be entertained. Yet at the same time, they crave these otherworldly stories that take them out of the nihilistic contemporary society. This explains the broad fascination and in many cases utter fanaticism with Game of Thrones and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
American males need to watch 300 and should be encouraged to live it out. Obviously we do not need modern males running through their neighborhoods half naked swinging swords at people, but what we do need are males that are off the couch and breaking free from the American Dream. 300 inspires the male to get to the gym, train his body, mind and soul, learn to be a fighter, rather than a couch potato. 300 inspires men to connect to the divine and look towards a higher and better world than where he is presently.
Perhaps most relevant to our age, is that 300 reminds us that family and county are worth fighting, killing and dying for. In an age when the only officially sanctioned realm for males to express these desires is in the feminized, deracinated American military that does more politicking than fighting and actively works to undermine the nature of the warrior, 300 does allow us to transcend this reality and it brings the purpose of the Spartan warrior to the street activist, the community organizer and political operative. Golden Dawn has tapped into this by harnessing Spartan and hoplite imagery, the Identitäre Bewegung in Germany and Mouvement Identitaire in France have adopted the Spartan insignia as their own. This same symbol was seen on the Spartan ships at the end of 300: Rise of an Empire.
The reemergence of an organic nationalism is not going to happen because we get more people to read Pat Buchanan or Herodotus. Rather we have to develop a culture and a cadre that embodies an alternative belief system and lifestyle than what contemporary American offers us. 300 helps lay out a narrative that even the most shallow of Americans basically understands and it allows these sacred principles of Faith, Family and Nation to not only be brought to the forefront of discussion, but marketed as cool, exciting and trendy, in contrast to an American world of shallow, boring, repetitive material accomplishment and aggrandizement.