I've been studying the history of the early Roman Republic, trying to understand how that tiny city-state was able to take over the known world. It's a fascinating subject with parallels to the ULA's battles.
The early Romans were distinguished by their generosity toward defeated rivals, and by their basic integrity, their virtue. They were about the only society at the time which didn't own slaves. The class differences early on weren't striking (they were to go through cycles of narrowing and expanding class gaps). In the beginning, they were a city of peasants. Early Rome before Carthaginian and Greek influences appeared very democratic; the city simple and unadorned. The great civilizations of the time looked down on them.
The Greeks were impressive but hypocritical; democratic and wise in theory, yet aristocratic in attitude, slave-owning, greedy, corrupt, and constantly squabbling among themselves. The early Romans saw wealth and comfort as corrupting influences (as they would prove to be once the Romans absorbed Greek ethos and culture).
The Romans were unbeatable in battle because they were citizen-soldiers; farmers for whom war was a part-time activity. It wasn't how they supported themselves. The Africans and Asians by contrast used mercenary armies whose main motivation was booty.
There's a strong parallel to today's lit-world. The conglomerates are run by out-of-touch potentates like Morgan Entrekin, supported by skyscraper armies of mercenary help whose loyalty to the organization ends with the paycheck.
Roman leaders marched at the head of their armies. Noteworthy is the battle of Cannae, when Hannibal slaughtered 70,000 Roman citizens, including 80 Senators. (Quite a difference from today.) Could one imagine the entire U.S. Senate and George W. Bush marching at the head of our troops? It would send an unbeatable message if they did.
Has anyone seen Morgan Entrekin give a reading? Would it ever happen? He'd be lost. He's not a writer or artist, just an Overdog. He travels in limos through Manhattan circles of lavish and protected wealth.
ULA leaders have always marched out front. We're going to stay non-hierarchical and democratic, because that's our strength. We'll steadily expand, absorbing writers and lit communities into our ranks as we march forward.