Free Capitalist Network - Community Archive
Mises Community Archive
An online community for fans of Austrian economics and libertarianism, featuring forums, user blogs, and more.

Athenian Democracy

rated by 0 users
Answered (Verified) This post has 3 verified answers | 7 Replies | 2 Followers

Not Ranked
13 Posts
Points 290
FlameOfRevolution posted on Tue, Jul 24 2012 11:29 PM

What are the pros and cons of Athenian Democacy? What makes a democracy so bad? What is the fallacy of collectivism?

  • | Post Points: 50

Answered (Verified) Verified Answer

Top 25 Contributor
Male
4,249 Posts
Points 70,775

The majority can vote to take away the minoritys money, as has always happened.

My humble blog

It's easy to refute an argument if you first misrepresent it. William Keizer

  • | Post Points: 40
Top 75 Contributor
Male
1,018 Posts
Points 17,760

For starters, in a democracy 1 group gets to tell group 2 what to do if the group 1 is a majority.

It undermines the sovereignty of the minority in a direct (and also representative) democracy. A and B decides what C shall do for D, A and B force C to do an action, therefore denying the sovereignty of C.

The best solution is for us to rule ourselves.

“Since people are concerned that ‘X’ will not be provided, ‘X’ will naturally be provided by those who are concerned by its absence."
"The sweetest of minds can harbor the harshest of men.”

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.org

  • | Post Points: 40
Top 75 Contributor
1,288 Posts
Points 22,350
Verified by FlameOfRevolution

In some ways the incentives of Athenian democracy were not as bad as modern democracy.  Most of the offices were held by lot rather than by vote, and the office held by vote - the strategos - rotated from day to day between ten strategoi.  In addition, at their end of their term, every magistrate was examined for whether they performed their duties well and if they were found to have failed to do this, they could be taken to court and be personally punished.  At least unpopular measures could not carry, which isn't necessarily the case in modern democracy.

Of course, as in modern democracy certain features led inherently to demagoguery.  There was of course the election of strategoi, but also just the populace voting on measures in the Assembly could obviously be corrupted (but is an elected oligarchy that much better?).  The long Peloponnesian war likely had much to do with the latter features, with demagogues seeking to extend the war for their own glory and power, at the expense of the polis overall.  There is, of course, the corruption of the courts also (e.g. the trial of Socrates), and Athenians appear to have had a strong inclination towards statist law from the earliest details we know about their law (perhaps a result of codification, e.g. by Draco) - in contrast to the Romans whose law is much closer to common law.

The Voluntaryist Reader: http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com/ Libertarian forums that actually work: http://voluntaryism.freeforums.org/index.php
  • | Post Points: 40

All Replies

Top 25 Contributor
Male
4,249 Posts
Points 70,775

The majority can vote to take away the minoritys money, as has always happened.

My humble blog

It's easy to refute an argument if you first misrepresent it. William Keizer

  • | Post Points: 40
Not Ranked
13 Posts
Points 290

Yes, it is tyranny of the majority. Democacy is bad, its a collectivist system. But why is collectivism bad?

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 75 Contributor
Male
1,018 Posts
Points 17,760

For starters, in a democracy 1 group gets to tell group 2 what to do if the group 1 is a majority.

It undermines the sovereignty of the minority in a direct (and also representative) democracy. A and B decides what C shall do for D, A and B force C to do an action, therefore denying the sovereignty of C.

The best solution is for us to rule ourselves.

“Since people are concerned that ‘X’ will not be provided, ‘X’ will naturally be provided by those who are concerned by its absence."
"The sweetest of minds can harbor the harshest of men.”

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.org

  • | Post Points: 40
Top 75 Contributor
1,288 Posts
Points 22,350
Verified by FlameOfRevolution

In some ways the incentives of Athenian democracy were not as bad as modern democracy.  Most of the offices were held by lot rather than by vote, and the office held by vote - the strategos - rotated from day to day between ten strategoi.  In addition, at their end of their term, every magistrate was examined for whether they performed their duties well and if they were found to have failed to do this, they could be taken to court and be personally punished.  At least unpopular measures could not carry, which isn't necessarily the case in modern democracy.

Of course, as in modern democracy certain features led inherently to demagoguery.  There was of course the election of strategoi, but also just the populace voting on measures in the Assembly could obviously be corrupted (but is an elected oligarchy that much better?).  The long Peloponnesian war likely had much to do with the latter features, with demagogues seeking to extend the war for their own glory and power, at the expense of the polis overall.  There is, of course, the corruption of the courts also (e.g. the trial of Socrates), and Athenians appear to have had a strong inclination towards statist law from the earliest details we know about their law (perhaps a result of codification, e.g. by Draco) - in contrast to the Romans whose law is much closer to common law.

The Voluntaryist Reader: http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com/ Libertarian forums that actually work: http://voluntaryism.freeforums.org/index.php
  • | Post Points: 40
Top 75 Contributor
Male
1,018 Posts
Points 17,760

You can try this:

This is just the first part, but there are other videos that link to it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMYicq_SN1E&list=UUwgZKBN65iRbNVrUi5yRopw&index=6&feature=plcp

one of the first videos i watched...

There are 5 videos in the series, this should give you a basic idea of collectivist and individualist ideals; however i think its more of a statist vs an a non statist thing instead of  collectivist vs individualist, but it still is a good intro.

This link is all the videos in 1, then you wont have to keep clicking:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXEZQSYgwU0&feature=related

Might want to take a look at this too:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_democracy#Philosophical_criticisms

And this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JYL5VUe5NQ

 

“Since people are concerned that ‘X’ will not be provided, ‘X’ will naturally be provided by those who are concerned by its absence."
"The sweetest of minds can harbor the harshest of men.”

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.org

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
2,258 Posts
Points 34,610
 
 

"The best solution is for us to rule ourselves."

This is called "autarchy"; rule of the self by the self.

How could this work as a society? I've been trying to answer this question for the last year or so since it occurred to me as the optimum soluton for creating a libertarian state in actuality.

It seems to me the way to do it would be to allow anyone to create law, for themselves to adopt and for others to similarly adopt. So, we'd call this the generation of private law. And people whom accept similar legal systems would, ideally, group together in communities.

Imagine that, an ideologically similar populace living together in essentially perfect harmony.

To facilitate this, and to keep out those whom don't agree, I imagine this instituted as charter cities, which are voluntarily joined by those whom accept the charter. The boundaries of these charter cities then would be the collective property lines of those whom accept the charter, no community property (necessarily).

Disagree with the charter? Don't live or visit there and start your own charter, live there how you see fit.

All the political in-fighting we see in the US and around the world today would basically instantly melt away under such a scenario.

No longer could political opposition keep anyone from living exactly as they see fit.

Naturally, we'd want to institute voluntaryism in such a society so that some charter cities didn't become despotisms we had to war with but could be stopped before they got to that point and prosecuted legitimately as rights-violators.

It would be possible to, in such a system, live as a communist, assuming you did so volutnarily. Even as an islamist. And also as an anarchist--in a charter city with no rule-stipulations at all.

A whole host of benefits would accrue in such a society where democracy has been outlawed by the elevation of voluntaryism as the highest political ideal in society.

 
Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 75 Contributor
Male
1,018 Posts
Points 17,760

Im still wondering if i should start an ancap club at school.....

I probably need to read more.

“Since people are concerned that ‘X’ will not be provided, ‘X’ will naturally be provided by those who are concerned by its absence."
"The sweetest of minds can harbor the harshest of men.”

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.org

  • | Post Points: 5
Page 1 of 1 (8 items) | RSS