The Threshold of Democracy
My fellow Athenians
We are all gathered here today to discuss an important topic concerning how magistrates and those in charge of executing the decisions of the Assembly are chosen. As of today my fellow Athenians, the people who make decisions for this great city are those who own land or equivalent properties. But as a radical democrat, I believe that selected individuals should not hold so much power to the detriments of others. In order to keep the situation balance, officials should be chosen by lot. We have to get rid of this “Iron law of oligarchy”. (Michel’s). What is the use of democracy if a selected few make decision that affect every Athenian? Isn’t democracy supposed to involve everyone in decision making? Why can’t women, the metics and the youth participate? Questions I leave for you the oligarch to answer. The answer to this topic of discussion is fairly simple. Involve everyone in Athens, be it women, slaves, metics and the youth. One shouldn’t have to own land and equivalent property to vote. No, if we claim we are under democratic rule, then these two conditions shouldn’t be the only reason for one to vote. I know many of you are claiming that by allowing a lot (including everyone) to select government positions, (have a voice in decisions made by this assembly), we are not abiding by Athena’s choice. Since our assembly was personally bespoke by Athena to decide the fate of Athens .But my questions is, what good has it done to us my brothers? According to Socrates, the citizen must treat the state with more reverence and respect than he treats his father, or, if he is a slave, his master. (Socrates) Now, going with what Socrates said, shouldn’t we include the metics in voting? These are people who proved they can be citizens of Athens. You all are claiming we cannot allow illiterate or inexperienced persons to make decisions for our beloved Athens. Even...
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