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Join the conversation! There are now 7 comments on this chapter's page 131. Athenian Segue. What are your thoughts?
  1. B.J. says

    …Governing by force isn’t the innovation either, is it?

  2. Madeleine says

    Looks like bald person got outvoted by majority of both heads and arms.

    • Arms, yes!
      I mean, what good is democracy if you can’t force the minority to comply with the majority’s vote?

      [Note: That’s a call for discussion, not an assertion. Sometimes I don’t make that clear.]

      • To answer your question directly: It’s not democracy that needs to be able to enforce its decisions, it’s clans, tribes, and states – whether democratic or not. One difference between Athenian democracy and band democracy is that Athens was a state.

        During humanity’s band phase, democracy didn’t have any coercive power, nor did it need it. If you didn’t want to go along with the band’s decision, you were free to strike out with the people you agreed with (or on your own if you thought you could go it alone). Emotional ties to the family and the practical necessity of having people to cooperate with kept the band together. So democracy was a tool for expressing the group’s decisions and building consensus.

        Athens was much larger than Dunbar’s Number, and had a state. It had to have some method of resolving disputes between citizens and coercing them to contribute to Athens’ empire (primarily through military service), as well as controlling its noncitizen and slave population. So Athens’ democracy (and modern democratic republics) need some kind of fist to enforce the majority’s decision on minorities. Otherwise you get the “make me” scene from the part where clan-tribe societies were figuring out dispute resolution.

  3. Nikolay S says

    The new site navigation doesn’t have any links to the blog from the main site. It was included in the top bar before, but the new “Contents” menu doesn’t link to it, nor does any other part of the site.

  4. Nikolay S says

    Also, I see that Justice still has her sword even while the State has her hammer. I wonder in which part of history does Justice put her sword down and let the State be the only one with a weapon, and what historical event does that represent? (Justice and the State do seem more antagonistic in the future.)

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