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Sources: Are we a democracy?

How democratic was Athens?


Athenian democracy: A brief overview

Socratic Seminar Notes


Question 1: How democratic was ancient Athens?
Points:
Very democratic
Democratic, but not exactly Platos way
The city of Athens were the first to have a democracy and invented it H
ow
democratic was Athens?
If Athens invented a democracy, than their way is the right way when
it comes to democracy
Athens was the longest lived democracy How democratic was Athens?
Any claims stating that Athens didnt represent a democracy cant be
true considering they lasted the longest
Because it was so early, they werent informed as much
Therefore they were as democratic as they could be at the time
period
The people governed themselves A
thenian democracy: A brief overview
This is what occurs in Platos democracy definition A
re we a
democracy?
They did not run as a mob Athenian democracy: A brief overview
Plato's definition of democracy: rule by the people as a wholea
mob Are we a democracy?

Question 1: How democratic is America today??


Points:
We are a multarchy
Not democratic
We fall into all of the upcoming governments, so clearly we cant be a direct
democracy because there are other governments that are practiced
We can fall under an aristocracy A
re we a democracy?
in plato's words corresponds to our federal bureaucracy, the various
departments and agencies that usually keep everything, from relations
with foreign countries to national law enforcement, running pretty well

Are we a democracy?

How democratic was Athens?


Athenian democracy: A brief overview

Definition in Plato's Words: rule by the best, that is, by experts


specially trained at governance
We can fall under Timarchy Are we a democracy?
corresponds to our military, with no independent authority but with a
culture of competence and character that makes it a reliable
instrument of civilian policy
Definition in Plato's Words: rule by those guided by their courage
and sense of honor
We can fall under Oligarchy A
re we a democracy?
The one percent of people who are super wealthy and fund our
political campaigns as well as the corporations whose power permeates
so much of political life
Definition in Plato's Words: rule by a wealthy minority
We can fall under Tyranny A
re we a democracy?
Our allowance for wide presidential discretion in matters of national
security, which can, specifically during a war, give the president
somewhat dictator powers
Definition in Plato's Words: rule by a despot answerable to no one
but himself
We are called a democracy, but we do not completely fall under Plato's
athenian sense of democracy. This means that we must not be a democracy
because the athenians were the first to practice democracy, therefore their
way is right Are we a democracy?
If they invented it, then their way has to be correct
Plato's democracy definition: rule by the people as a wholea mob A
re we
a democracy?
We do not have the people rule: in elections we vote on the popular
vote, and then we also vote on representatives who ultimately decide
for us
Here, the people are considered to be involved since they pick
the people who pick the people, but they do not rule directly,
therefore not a democracy
A complex interweaving of many forms of government A
re we a
democracy?
(A multarchy)
Americans desire a full democracy because they wish that leaders do not
have as much power as they do. If the law were to be changed, the people
would have the ability to vote on whether or not the leader has the power to
do certain things Are we a democracy?

Are we a democracy?

How democratic was Athens?


Athenian democracy: A brief overview

Shows that the people would like to run the country, but dont,
therefore there is not a democracy
Implies the people have less power, which supports even more that
there is no democracy
We dont fit the definition of democracy, yet neither does other countries
who call/called themselves a democracy How democratic was Athens?
Latin American military dictatorships are called democracies
We have a piece of tyranny in our culture, and we are called a
democracy Are we a democracy?
Tyranny is not part of Platos definition of democracy,
therefore everyone must have it wrong A
re we a
democracy?
Russia was called a democracy under the communist era and had a
handful of party leaders and one legal part H
ow democratic was
Athens?
Germany was considered to be a type of democracy when it was under
Hitlers rule How democratic was Athens?
There have been varying degrees of democracy, which includes us
considering we have pieces of other governments within us How democratic
was Athens?
In Athens, the power rested in the hands of the people H
ow democratic was
Athens?
Today, the power indirectly is in the hands of the people A
re we a
democracy?
(considering the people vote for people who overall decide the
leader)
In Athens, there was no system of representation How democratic was
Athens?
We have a system of representation with unnecessarily long
campaigns and elections
Athens did not do this, and we do. This does not demonstrate a
democracy

Are we a democracy?

How democratic was Athens?


Athenian democracy: A brief overview