"Spartans" are popular, and this is not only true since the actually quite homoerotic gore movie "300". Yes, the graphics were fine and yes, rarely did anybody think hoplite battles could look spectacular prior to "300" and "Alexander". That's not what I'm aiming at here.
I'm rather aiming at the fact that "spartan" has nowadays a positive sound in the mainstream.
Let's look at what "spartans" were actually about.
The inhabitants of Sparta won a war against two neighbouring nations while being utterly outnumbered (at least that's how the story was passed on). Later on, the men of Sparta specialised on land warfare as hoplites, with very, very few serving as horsemen. They didn't even bother about their family's household much any more - their women ruled at home.
This specialization was possible because others were doing work for them. One defeated nation was semi-enslaved comparable to colonial nations in the 19th century, the other was enslaved. Spartans spent their lives being unproductive asshats, living in poverty because their economy didn't allow for the niceties of ancient Greek culture.
Now maybe you think that's still kinda respectable, given that they were really proficient in battle (though not always) and modern professional soldiers don't need to do normal work to justify their income either.
Well, that's where the shock therapy might work:
Spartans were Nazis.
Not just some Nazis - pure 150% asshat Nazis.
Lebensraum bullshit Nazis.
The spartan society had more than just a resemblance to what Hitler planned for Eastern Europe: It was the plan. Hitler's plan was to have Germans settle in fortified cities in Eastern Europe, oppressing the rural (Hitler actually hated rural environments) Slavic population (or what was left of it). Germans were supposed to be full-time soldiers oppressing these lesser people as the Spartans did.
Be aware; the next time you admire Spartans, you are channelling your inner Nazi.
Maybe I ruined a lot of fun for you, but this shouldn't be by much: Nazis were not some freaks of nature; they were merely dangerous idiots who gained power. Dangerous idiots are everywhere, at any time, and tiny seeds for this stupendous state of mind are most likely in all of us - anywhere, at any time.
We should at least be aware of it, and not think that it couldn't happen to us since those evil [insert favourite asshat group here] were so very much unlike us. They weren't. Most of them merely took a wrong turn or two sometime. Experimental psychologists figured this out half a century ago already.
You expect a Spartans movie embed, right?
It's Defence and Freedom, after all. OK here's your treat ;)