Sunday, September 28, 2014

Very different values

We generally try to make sure disagreements don't inflate into violent disputes (despite the revolutionary origin of the country). Editorials cluck-cluck about the partisan divide we have, though they celebrate it quietly: "our party is principled, theirs is obstructive." "Moderate" is a nice label to wear.

I started reading The Constitution of Athens, and in Chapter 8 find this about the rules confected by the famous Solon:

And seeing that the state was often torn by faction, and that some of the citizens from indifference stood aloof, of his own motion he passed a law specially directed against them as follows—that anyone who, when the state was divided into parties, did not take up arms and side with one or the other, should be deprived of his political rights, and have no part in the state.


Assistant Village Idiot said...

Loved this! I'm sending it round.

Korora said...

No wonder the Athenian Old Comedy was almost as politically subtle as Captain Planet.