Democracy can simply be defined as a philosophy of decision making within groups of people that functions on a principle of a simple majority to make binary decisions.
Democracy is most commonly credited to have begun with Solon ( See Ancient Greek Democracy: Readings and Sources), an Ancient Athenian thinker, lawmaker, and poet. Solon sought to subjugate the ever growing dichotomy of economic inequality between the upper and lower classes of Athenian society. His goal was first and foremost to bridge this divide by working to alleviate the poor lower class of their suffering, whilst not removing the privileges that the aristocracy (Higher class within a society, namely figures such as Kings, Dukes, and Lords. When contextualized to Athens, our aristocracy consists of the upper class nobility) held so dearly. Solon began by dividing all citizens into 4 separate classes: the Pentakosiomedimnoi (The highest possible class. They would need to make approximately 500 medimnoi a year to suffice this class. This class was mainly comprised of the Athenian aristocracy), the Hippeis (A sort of upper middle class; to suffice this class you would need to make 300 medimnoi annually), the Zeugitai (A middle class. The name suggests that these men were able to afford livestock to feed and slaughter. They would need to make approximately 200 medimnoi yearly to earn this position. Mainly composed of members of the Athenian military.), and the Thetes ( Any person who did not qualify or meet the standards for the above classes. Mainly composed of serfs.).(See Aristotle on The Athenian Constitution) All citizens were granted the right to vote in the Ekklesia, a legislative assembly responsible for declaring war, writing and passing laws, and electing officials. The Ekklesia served as a directly democratic council, one of the first of its kind.(See The World of Athens: An Introduction to Classical Athenian Culture (Reading Greek))( See History Alive! The Ancient World)
Democracy is a very fundamental principle in modern society. It is seen everywhere, however some familiar examples to you may be:
- The Open Debates debate system
- Athenian Democracy (Reference What is Democracy?)
- Sweden’s statutes referendum, and constitutional amendment initiative
- The Crow Nation
- Other forms of internet-democracy
This thread doesn’t exist to explain to you what democracy is; instead, it exists as a means to help build a discussion around the topic of democracy itself. Be it in grievances, or support, replies to this thread must be well sourced and strive to build a viable argument supporting your position. Though you can disagree with another person’s arguments, it is highly encouraged that you create another thread if you wish to debate the subject.
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