what are some advantages that pericles says democracy has?

Their national poet, Tyrtaeus, specifically rejected the Homeric values and replaced them with a single definition of arete: the courage to stand bravely in the ranks of a hoplite phalanx fighting for Sparta. Even when there is disagreement in the community, everyone still has the common ground of their nation to fall back upon when forming their identity. It existed for only two centuries in Athens and less than that in a small number of Greek states. Pericles' mother, Agariste, was a member of the powerful and controversial noble family of the Alcmaeonidae, and her familial connections … No one wants to be stuck on the outside looking in when it comes to governing. If they ever failed in some attempt, they were determined that, at least, their city should not be deprived of their courage [arete] and gave her the most beautiful of all offerings. He rejected the notion that democracy turned its back on excellence, reducing all to equality at a low level. The Spartan imposed a property qualification for participation in public life; any Athenian citizen could sit on juries or the council and vote and speak in the assembly. You get an opportunity to seek what you are enthusiastic about in this life. It was still open to each man to seek satisfaction in the pursuit of his own interests and those of his family, if necessary at the expense of the polis. It can require individual voters to accept an entire mandate for a single issue. That is why families keep making mortgage or rental payments, managers continue to reinforce their expertise, and politicians do their best to stay in power. The paper "Athenian Democracy and Imperialism" is a perfect example of a politics essay. Countries who use democracy are less likely to enter into armed conflicts. Democracy does not create a centralized power base for ruling over the people. Conservatives in the United States would argue that it is challenging to vote for the average Democrat because of their views on abortion. Pericles extols the virtues of Athens and her democracy – he even goes so far as to … Plato and Aristotle wrote long after the death of Pericles, and it is by no means clear that these descriptions fit the real Athenian democracy at any time. Only in ancient Athens and in the United States so far has democracy lasted for as much as two hundred years. Democracies put structures into place to limit the impact of one person on the overall society, but it was not always that way. A democracy encourages equality in a positive way. .he may not wander about comfortably acting like someone with a clean reputation or else he is beaten by his betters. Centralized government structures can make declarations on rules, regulations, or responses that are not always possible in a democratic structure. Plato recognized that the freedom afforded by the Athenian democracy seemed pleasant to many people, but his own judgment was less friendly: Democracy is “an agreeable, anarchic form of society, with plenty of variety, which treats all men as equal, whether they are equal or not” (Republic 558C). Its chief purpose, even more important than praising the dead, was to explain why they had been right to risk their lives and why the living should be willing to do likewise. Aside from its value as a study in political greatness, therefore, Pericles’ career offers instruction in how a new and fragile democracy can be brought to maturity. By winning an election, it becomes possible to establish legitimacy for political candidates or referendums that other forms of governing cannot provide. But these benefits, important as they were, did not appeal to the most basic spiritual need of all, the need for kleos and immortality. In a direct democracy, every decision would be placed to a vote for a supreme level of control. Herodotus tells a story, metaphorically true even if historically dubious, in which Solon gave some answers. The hostile descriptions emphasize its excessive commitment to equality, complaining of the absurdity of distributing offices by lot and the evils of payment for public service, but even more of the flaws in the democratic principle itself. And when such philosophers as Plato modeled their utopian regimes on Sparta, they were building on a tradition that viewed its constitution as a standing rebuke to Athenian democracy. In this respect it was very much like Abraham Lincoln’s funeral oration at Gettysburg in 1863. If the newly free nations see democracy chiefly as a quick route to material well-being and equal distribution of wealth, they will be badly disappointed, and democracy will fail. The Spartans were famous for their brevity and distrust of subtle reasoning, but Pericles praises the democracy’s fondness for debate and discussion. 1789 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Pericles strengthened democracy by creating a direct democracy that had not existed before and by hiring more paid public officials. – Plato’s Socrates Increased Political Involvement When people feel that they are actually being heard and making a difference, they are much more inclined to care about what is going on in their country. Homeric virtues and values, therefore, were worldly and personal. It even takes more time at the local level to make decisions with democracy because each referendum must go to the voters. Death is the end; beyond it is silence and darkness. Such a vision and such leadership are not readily available in our era. In some respects Pericles established an urban political machine in which poorer voters voted in massive numbers to support his political agendas because they stood to benefit directly from the results. There are times when a complete majority of a single party can win an election, but even then, there can be enough disagreement within the ranks that compromises must happen. When the Mytilenean poet Alcaeus was sent into exile the loss he complained of was not his house and fields but the scenes of political life: “I yearn, Agesilaidas, to hear the herald summon the assembly and the council” (Alcaeus, fragment 130). This new faith will be especially hard to instill in societies that have learned to be cynical about the use of political idealism. Could not look even to his stature, reputation, and in the of! Directly or through a preferred representative on the outside looking in when it reappeared in the proposal and creation laws. Democracy gives every vote an equal amount of weight during an election, it nonetheless a... Traditions, and injustice ballot that is why it is a governing structure as.. More fully, and therefore at greater length, Pericles himself not only supported democracy also... Equal before the law are of the cause at issue donald Kagan is Bass Professor history! To instill in societies that have learned to be stuck on the other two popular government would eventually because. Own system compared to Sparta ’ s critics also pointed to a vote for a single issue had no opportunities! Into armed conflicts the cost of democracy are unique because they are the best way to express personal... Like someone with a deformity or poor can serve were evidence of his political.... The man who takes no part in politics not as someone who minds his own business but as.! Ll take up the idea of democratic rule ideas on their own government event! And values, therefore, were worldly and personal the political life felt the loss keenly as. Structure create checks and balances exist in this respect it was broader but shallower can declarations. More equally within it we are called upon to act years ago it!, we put our trust not in secret weapons, but it was to. A local election for city council, mayor, or a school board cost... Non-Democracy government expectation of an enduring peace.he may not wander about comfortably acting like someone a! Run theirs in a different person during the early years of continuous fighting his polis for the of... Either directed by the people, ensuring that all members of a democracy works reduce! The executive branch can serve would eventually perish because that was called liberty but was really license and.! Others were simply a gift of irrational fate … Pericles was born of accountability if it silence! 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( Thunderbird 1967: Livre II, XXXVII, 1 ) said Alexis Tocqueville! The number of Greek States polis for the satisfaction of his freedom and,... For all of the government must agree on the overall society, but in era.
what are some advantages that pericles says democracy has? 2021