Athens, Direct Democracy, Now.

To Rekindle The Fire Of Civilization, Direct Democracy Needs To Be Re-Activated. Besides, It’s A Question Of Survival:

In Eighteenth Century Great Britain, as in the European Middle Ages, seven years old was considered to be the “Age of Reason”. Thus, if an 18C English child was found to have caused a fire (a very dangerous thing then), the child would be tried, and, if found guilty, would be hanged (this really happened).

Nowadays, we are more civilized, and we protect childhood better. Human brains become mature only around 25 years old. There have been minimum ages for political offices since Republican Rome and Athens, 25 centuries ago.

The Economist, in an access, and excess of disinformation, suggests to lower the voting age to 16. That would motivate the youth, it disingenuously claims. I have a better idea. In its golden age, the Parthenon, other monuments, and all statues were covered with colors, sometimes realistic, sometimes spectacular:

At her greatest, Athens was colorful in all ways. The city tolerated radically opposed philosophies, and they debated each other.

At her greatest, Athens was colorful in all ways. The city tolerated radically opposed philosophies, and they debated each other.

Pericles directed the construction of the Parthenon and other fabulous monuments. Pericles was re-elected nearly 30 times over 30 years. He was the talking head to  a group of civilization-class philosophers, all them extremely close friends with whom he debated continually, including his own second wife, who wrote his most famous speech. (As historians of antiquity explained, the rise of the Athenian empire launched Sparta in an all-out war; Pericles’ passive way of fighting, using only fortress Athens and her fleet, backfired, when a plague appeared. “I had not anticipated that.” he bemoaned… The plague killed Pericles and two of his three sons; the war lasted 30 years, and Athens lost it, in a roll of the dice gone wrong.)

Lowering the voting age to 16 (why not 15?) is somewhat silly. That’s not the problem. Having more and more immature voters is not the solution.

Verily, the youth is disgusted by politics to the point of turning away from it. Being interested by politics at this point is like being interested by corruption. Financial, ethical, mental, intellectual, political corruption.

The problem is that representative democracy is intrinsically immoral, hopelessly satanic (or as is also said, plutocratic). Why? Because it elects people who are automatically tyrants. I suspect that youth is suspecting this, and thus finds politics ever more unpalatable.

Elections, as they are, give divine powers to a few people. Mitigate and discontinue that immoral madness. Debate and elect ideas instead. That will motivate people to mature and think. This is what happened in the greatest age of Athens, our present civilization owes so much to.

Instead, as it is now, even adults are treated like children. Whereas, if youth believes it can get to power, it will be interested by in democracy. As in Athens, where some offices were attributed by lot, so anyone could lead! So everyone learned much more as much as they could about everything (to be ready, just in case they would be promoted to leadership overnight).

A weakened, dispirited and unmotivated Athens was subjugated by the Macedonian tyrant Antipater in 322 BCE, with the help of another Macedonian general, Craterus. Antipater, personal friend, lover and executor of the will of Aristotle, was very smart and vicious (he may have assassinated Alexander through his youngest son). Whereas Alexander respected an exsanguinous Athens, Antipater, a typical uber-plutocrat, enforced plutocracy in Athens, and assassinated his highest intellectuals. Athens became free again in 1834 CE. For a while, the Parthenon had been turned into a mosque.

Athens was freed in a ferocious war against the (Turkish) Islamists The Islamists had turned the Parthenon into an explosive storage facility, during a war with Venice, and it had exploded: Islamists have a pattern of hatred to monuments (as anything that makes man a competitor to god).

All adults nowadays feel like children, all the more as they get led by the nose. Nassim Taleb points this out in ‘Trump makes sense to a grocery store owner’. He adds that, for years, the world was led by an “actor”, Obama. An actor who solved nothing, but for making the rich richer. I could not agree more, unfortunately.

There are not just pseudo-experts, as Taleb correctly says (pseudo-experts who pontificate about what the universe had for breakfast, 13.76 billion years ago… Or that only the economy they feast on serves We The People best, contrarily to evidence and mortality graphs…).

There are also pseudo-leftists, pseudo-thinkers, pseudo-intellectuals, pseudo-empaths (Bill Clinton an example of the latter). All thoroughly fake and fat. There are also pseudo-universities, even richer in their folds, which are real centers of plutocratic power (to attend many of them, one needs the median US family income).

We also have plenty of intellectual fascists, people who are led by just a few ideas, and refuse civilized debate with anyone not obeying those ideas. The paradigm there is “Islamophobia”, which is viewed as a form of racism, whereas it’s just the critique of a system of thought (Christianophobia is institutionalized in the West, thank god…).  

We need a debating society. Debates motivate human beings. Now we are suffering from so much intellectual fascism, that we cannot debate what is necessary for survival. This is what Trump and his tweets answer to. And every time one of my erstwhile, new-born pseudo-leftist friends smother me with insults and blocks me, it’s another proof of this evidence.

Reality shall proceed, the survivors will debate it, and will survive, probably because the debated it, the old fashion way, as Athens did it, in her greatest age.

Patrice Ayme’

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8 Responses to “Athens, Direct Democracy, Now.”

  1. Paul Handover Says:

    You open your essay by saying that direct democracy needs to be re-activated. When I read this I was expecting your recommendation of replacing representional democracy with a form of direct voting system.

    But, no, your plea is for a debating society with the implied message that it alone would lead to better governance.

    Clearly I have missed something key in your essay! Please come to my aid! Because my fear is that any such debating society in these challenging times would rapidly descend to a litany of angry exchanges.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Paul: Thanks for the comment. Anger is OK.Litanies, less so. My seven year old daughter was saying yesterday (in French, I’m paraphrasing) that children she knows are repeating what they heard from their parents, have never listened to Trump himself (whereas she did, plenty) and do not even have the “concepts” to talk about what they say.

      “Concepts” are big with Athena…

      First I do not advocate to “replace representational democracy”. That’s outright impossible (without major strife). Instead, the present system should be COMPLETED by a direct democracy system. This is exactly what Switzerland is in the process of doing, and also California (less so, but nevertheless). It’s no accident that these two places are important and rich.

      California, in particular, has been leading the USA in many ways for decades (although NOT in the fight against plutocracy; not coincidentally, the top monopolistic richest tech companies in the world are based in the Bay Area, where a strange balance of extremes has been established…)

      Referenda through Internet is the way to do it. Yet, it’s a debate; typically, polls in Switzerland change wildly between when they are considered for a vote and the plebiscite itself. Often people are all for them, and then the arguments fly, and generally they are voted down (although a few controversial ones passed, against minarets, or against free circulation of EU citizens… The latter contradicts Swiss law, and it is still under review, debate, mitigation… differently from the ridiculous and somewhat criminal Brexit…)

  2. Gmax Says:

    PC has killed intelligence. Only feel good feels right. Keep at it, even if there are no comments! So readers adore you!

  3. Gloucon X Says:

    Thanks Patrice for another interesting post.

    (Christianophobia is institutionalized in the West, thank god…).

    Not in the US. Christian extremists still have tremendous power. To placate the Christian lunatics Trump just had to sign a ban of all aid to groups that even mention the word abortion. Only thanks to the internet have anti-religion arguments been gaining public attention.

    “Debate and elect ideas instead. That will motivate people to mature and think. This is what happened in the greatest age of Athens, our present civilization owes so much to.”

    Debating ideas requires leisure time for learning, and US plutocrats don’t believe in leisure for the people, for obvious reasons.

    The ideas are quite simple: Do we want a society where everyone believes that all people deserve to be treated as equal simply because they are human beings? Do we want a society that exists to improve life for all the people, not just the wealthy few?

    In the US the answer is no. Religious bigots make enemies of all who do not believe as they do. Racial bigots demonize those who do not look like them. And we have class bigotry against the poor who are demonized as subhuman. With all these divisions within a single nation, a democracy of equals becomes impossible and the people are left with a choice between two camps of plutocrats. The result is a stagnating plutocracy. Intelligence decreases, fear and crazy beliefs increase, leading ultimately to helplessness, violence, and madness.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Washington and Adams, first 2 POTUS declared that “the US had nothing to do with Christianity”. The present Christian lunacy is extremely grave, and a direct consequence of McCarthyism. “In God We Trust”, I explained is a copy of the SS motto. Gott Mit Uns.

      Trump can do whatever, his mere presence is a way to make Christians more willing to admit how devilish they are. Differently from (pseudo-) saintly Obama, he seems closer to devil incarnate, for all to see (not that he minds). His suggestion that he felt like dating Ivanka, except she was his daughter (so there was no need?), brought a smile to my evil mind...

      I must admit that right now the level of stupidity is beyond compare. Years ago, I had written the right off as the source of any intelligence. Now I discovered the pseudo-left. I know some personally, and they never were on the left, but, like Obamas, they learned to fake it so much, they don’t even know what’s real anymore…

  4. Kevin Says:

    Amusing, and tangentially related : http://edition.cnn.com/2017/02/02/politics/south-dakota-corruption-bill-republican-repeal/

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Very interesting, Kevin, and totally related! We The People passes an anti-corruption law in a referendum (direct democracy!) then professional politicians, anxious to get riches and gravy, like Great Leader Obama going from multi-billionaire to multibillionaire, overturn the decision… in spite of Donald Trump’s explicit opposition!!!!

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