Liberty or Equality? Pt. IV

THE MELIAN DIALOGUE: Isonomy, Aristophanes, and the Battle of Mosul

**For Sources, links, and text, pls visit: (…/wpblog/?p=75)

Reports from THE INDEPENDENT by Patrick Cockburn are pushing the upper bounds of the civilian death toll in Mosul up to 40,000. Previous estimates (5K) were based on aerial bombings, due to the inability to scour the rubble while ISIS was still operating. Now that the ground view is opening up, the carnage tells another tale.

This week we look into Hayek’s thoughts on the liberties of the ancient world, where the ideal of Isonomy and the drive for political equality resulted in democratic governance. We introduce these concepts through the lens of Aristophanes’s comedy, THE BIRDS, and the proceed to discuss two passages from THE HISTORY OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR by Thucydides: The Mitylenean Revolt and the Melian Dialogue.

**Featuring music from the Cello Sonata in D Major, by Pietro Locatelli; performed by Elizaveta Sushchenko. Provided by a Creative Commons license courtesy of

Also, featuring tracks by the Passion Hifi (@freehiphopbeatsforyou): Cold Heat, I Close My Eyes, and Untouchable.

Audio from A King in New York, a Charlie Chaplin film, provided with the expressed permission of Roy Export S.A.S. (, who holds the copyright thereto. Also featuring music from Isaac Albeniz and Haydn.

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Meet the hosts

Morgan A. Brown is the producer of The Culture & Anarchy Podcast and a former collegiate professor of English. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia (B.A.) and Georgia State University (M.A.), where he specialized in Restoration and 18th Century Literature in America and England. Morgan has been studying Austrian Economics and American literature since his late teens, and he writes poetry and critical essays on a number of subjects: libertarianism, economics, religion, atheism, epistemology, philosophy, and literary theory. He currently edits a quarterly literary journal for libertarian poets and critics, THE DIAL, which is featured at Culture & Anarchy. He is also the author of two books: A Rationalist Critique of Deconstruction: Demystifying Poststructuralism and Derrida's Science of the "Non" & The Spirit of Market Anarchy: A Critique of New Atheism's Secular Statism. Morgan currently lives with his wife and two sons in Dallas, GA.