Wednesday, October 07, 2009


2,400 years ago, Greek democracy collapsed.

American and British democracy may be in a similar state of collapse today.

Dr Michael C. Scott, the Cambridge University classicist, has written 'From Democrats to Kings'.

On 5 October 2009, The Daily Mail, commenting on Scott's book, reported on The truth about Greek 'Legends': Alexander was a mummy's boy, the Spartans were thugs and Athens was corrupt.

Dr Scott explains what Athens was like 2,400 years ago:

1. There was a big economic downturn.

2. Politicians were corrupt.

3. Politicians sent troops to fight unpopular foreign wars.

4. Politicians struggled to cope with immigration.

Dr Scott sees parallels with today's Britain. And there are similarities with the USA.

There has been a lot of spin about Greek heroes being wonderful blokes.

According to Dr Scott:

1. Alexander the Great was a mummy's boy. When he was on the battlefield, he sent lots of letters home to his mum, Olympias.

2. The Spartans were bullies who used mindless violence.

According to Dr Scott:

Athens gave up democracy because it wanted to try to remain a big power.

Dr Scott says: "In many ways this was a period of total uncertainty just like our own time.

"There are grounds to consider whether we want to go down the same route that Athens did.

"It survived the period through slippery-fish diplomacy, at the cost of a clear democratic conscience, a policy which, in the end, led it to accept a dictator King and make him a God."


McGonagall said...

Deja vu?

Franz said...

Or maybe deja WHO?

American democracy was always a joke, but the tug-of-war between elites at the top was real if misrepresented.

Does the "span of democracy" in all these disparate places only represent the time it takes competitive elites to flatten their competition or kill off any new contenders? Are we attributing to democracy something democracy only hides from the masses from the start? No axe grinding here. Honestly curious.

Salute to aangirfan for great timing. October 7 is the ancient feast day of Pallas Athena, and before then the feast day of the Egyptian goddess Ma'at, the original Lady Justice. A most appropriate day for reflection.

Anon said...

The Glenrothes by-election result (it looked rigged) would suggest that British democracy is something of a joke? Some sort of feudal system may still be in place? One of the main problems, in the USA in particular, is the manipulation of the minds of the voters (Obama was presented by the media as a man of 'change', rather than as the reprersentative of one faction of the elite.)

- Aangirfan

Anonymous said...

Real democracy is still an unattainable ideal, and even then, there is no system in the world as a basis, rule or sense of comparison for evaluation of full and genuine democracy.
All nations must be free, sovereign and independent of any imperialist interference, to design and build the process of democracy and freedom, as their ideals of development or social, cultural, political and economic, claim always to ensure the sovereignty and independence national.
The processes of democracy are diverse and reflect the political, social and cultural development of each nation. Democracies are based on fundamental principles and practices not in uniform because there is no real model, perfect shape, or full copy of Democracy in the world, and there is no single model that fits all regions and all countries.
Therefore, the will of an absolute majority of people in change and to defend an ideal that meets the interests or wishes of the majority of the population, can also constitute itself as a process of freedom and democracy when it happens, when tens of million people come to the conclusion that one can not keep living like this and thus chose the path of social revolution for national liberation.
For it is only applicable to the native peoples of a nation or territory, form an opinion critical of the exercise or performance of his government, and whatever form of government established.
And so is only applicable to the native peoples of a free nation, the overthrow of political power drivers side, they deem to be stewards despots, demagogues, corrupt, crooks, opportunists and profiteers, and all this must be done without interference of any foreign imperial power.
People really free, sovereign and independent of any force or imperial power, should always lay the foundations and goals to constantly strive for the construction of the process of democracy and freedom, as their development ideals that bring them benefits.

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