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Modern parliamentary democracy elects representatives and these representatives constitute the government. Before the democracy came into power, the Greeks had been governed by various forms of government, including government by representatives. The democracy knew representative government and rejected it. It refused to believe that the ordinary citizen was not able to perform practically all the business of government. Not only did the public assembly of all the citizens keep all the important decisions in its own hands. For the Greek, the word isonomia*, which meant equality, was used interchangeably for democracy. For the Greek, the two meant the same thing. For the Greek, a man who did not take part in politics was an idiotes, an idiot, from which we get our modern word idiot, whose meaning, however, we have limited. Not only did the Greeks choose all officials by lot, they limited their time of service**. When a man had served once, as a general rule, he was excluded from serving again because the Greeks believed in rotation, everybody taking his turn to administer the state.
* equilibrium of dosages in Hippokrates, adapted by translators, yo, to Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle (another "anti-democratic" philosopher), 4th cen. BCE
** This statement is not entirely true. Quite a lot of classical historiography documents the opposite effect to protect minority rentiers, oligrachy or patronage (Latin), in Athens. "There are great gaps in our knowledge of many aspects of Greek life" (James): Indeed this this admission recurs with alarming frequency in "authoritative" historiography. A vanishing amount of documentary evidence of "democracy" in other Greek city-states (Pelopp. or coloni) survives. Romantic interpretation of the political economy, expressed in this essay, does illustrate however how widespread, misunderstood, and corrupt this model of western hegemony is. I don't call it the "bibble", for nothing.
Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
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