Thucydides cont

Thucydides cont - Demagoguery-Tendency for them to...

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January 26, 2009 Demagoguery -Tendency for them to manipulate the people Thucydides: something of an aristocrat-looks down on the people, looks down on the demos Attempts to teach certain lessons about political life Civil War: Terrifying episode- according to Thucydides teaches us something about politics and nature Conflict breaks out Orligocs are wealthy and democrats are the lower case- democrats call upon the Athenians to help them- oligarchs are massacred. By war’s end there are very few oligarchs left standing. “War is a violent teacher” (page 90)- human nature. What human beings are capable of doing. Have a great perpensitity to break down into different groupings; is a disease of the race. Greatly concerned about this tendency and our incapacity to resolve conflict through rational means. Conflict for Thucydides stirs up the most dangerous passions: hatred, rage. Prone to feel this childish emotions and war is the circumstance that brings this out most clearly. Our impulses become as bad as circumstance. Human nature is capable of the highest to the lowest. Most of us will bend when faced with a bad situation. He argues that we don’t have a moral core, a strong moral conscious. We don’t want to have a naive concept of human nature. Not for all of us, not all the time, but for most of us. *Milbank. To what degree would Americans submit to authority and do terrible things? Tried to determine how to figure out if Americans would subject as the Germans during WWII did. People were subjected to a fake experiment. Asked to subject the person to electrical shocks as part of an experiment as to how much a person could handle (fake experiment). Most people in the experiment did what they were told to do. Very few people went against their orders. *Thucydides is presenting us with a political problem. How do we solve this problem?
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Thucydides cont - Demagoguery-Tendency for them to...

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