Iaian Vernier's Memoir
Chapter 14. Our Democracy
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From the very beginning of the dream of a world government and a democratic society, there have been plenty of naysayers, even among our own people. The record is not good. The stories about the first urban civilization in Sumeria are distant and vague. A democratic polity may have taken place when they were still little more than tribal ethnic communities in the possible model of the Cro-Magnon tribes of the North from which they probably descended after the waning of the ice flows.
By the time literacy was established they were clearly urban with a complex economy. The scholars were relatively isolated from the people. Reading and writing now were skills handed down from family to family a secretive knowledge not yet available to the folks on the street. You cannot have democracy when the majority of the population does not have the knowledge to say no to the leadership. And there were complex decisions to be made in a city of specialized vocations, separated from the ruling classes such as military, priests or monarchs.
Thousands of years later the Hellenic population was definitely literate in their centurylong heyday of democratic procedures. The dramatists and ← 89 | 90 →Sophists gave them something to read. The general assembly of the polis successfully functioned as long as the Polis was economically on the rise and militarily successful. By the time the Athenians lost the war to the Sparta, Pericles, their visionary inspirer was long gone. The ordinary folks...
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