3 - Cumulative Question #3 While democracy is universally...

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Cumulative Question #3 – While democracy is universally accepted as the only legitimate form of government in the Western world today, ancient and medieval political thinkers were severely divided about the value of democracy. Provide a nuanced discussion of the views about democracy in Pericles, Plato, Aristotle, Augustine and Machiavelli. Make sure to pay attention to why each think holds the views he does about democracy and what type of democracy the proponents of democracy favor. Pericles: In favor of democracy, in his funeral oration, trying to explain how democracy is better than Sparta emphasizes individualism, cultural openness, commerce Democracy is better because it encourages a sense of Exceptionalism – we are better, we are unique, we have discovered something other nations benefit from Athens, chosen to serve a special role in the world and in history o “Our constitution does not copy the laws of neighboring states; we are rather a pattern to others than imitators ourselves.” Better in war because people will fight harder to maintain freedom. Democracies are versatile , you can be a farmer and still be allowed to participate Pericles has an optimism about human nature Athens has a direct democracy – legislature consists of every citizen, selected by lot, not election The laws of the democracy “afford equal justice to all in their private differences.” “Our ordinary citizens, though occupied with the pursuits of industry, are still fair judges of public matters, for unlike any other nation, regarding him who takes no part in these duties not as unambitious but as useless, we Athenians are able to judge at all events” “I doubt if the world can produce a man, who where he has only himself to depend upon, is equal to so many emergencies, and graced by so happy a versatility as the Athenian.” “Athens, alone of her contemporaries is found when tested to be greater than her reputation” “Never decline the dangers of war…for it is not the miserable that would most justly be unsparing of their lives; these have nothing to hope for; it is rather they to whom continued life may bring reserves as yet unknown, and to whom a fall, if it came, would
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course PSCI 495 taught by Professor Lester during the Fall '08 term at Mary Washington.

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3 - Cumulative Question #3 While democracy is universally...

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