[AAACE-NLA] The Glory of Greece
andreawilder at comcast.net
Thu Apr 6 08:55:42 EDT 2006
Greece is a conundrum. We probably haven't changed much mentally in
the last 50,000 years.I think that democracy/voting/citizenship may be
an index of other changes, probably technological changes. If we
haven't changed much, then we should be able to figure this out.
Greece makes the news on this because of writing..print. We know about
Greece through print, manuscripts, scrolls.
On Apr 5, 2006, at 10:10 PM, Merle Ayres wrote:
> I like the concepts of the Greek system of democracy. I think we use
> the same system. Representative assemblies, voting, debating. I always
> taught if we lose the right to vote then we have another system other
> than democracy. Methods of voting, pebbles in a jar, paper ballot,
> show of hands, computer voting, paper ballots all mean the same, the
> right to choose. A sense of we-ness in a nation such as our system,
> It may not be perfect but workable. We elect representatives to do our
> work in the states where we live. Vote them in or out according to our
> Merle Ayres
> 412 8th st. North
> Humboldt,Iowa 50548
> Fax 515-332-1738
>> From: Andrea Wilder <andreawilder at comcast.net>
>> Reply-To: National Literacy Advocacy List sponsored by
>> AAACE<aaace-nla at lists.literacytent.org>
>> To: National Literacy Advocacy List sponsored by
>> AAACE<aaace-nla at lists.literacytent.org>
>> Subject: Re: [AAACE-NLA] The Glory of Greece
>> Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2006 09:22:33 -0400
>> I know it's your culture, and I'm trying to think of the whole
>> picture. I did reading on the web last night, and the term
>> "oligarchy" applies to what the Greek city-states evolved, that is,
>> rule by free men from within a certain high class of families.
>> What I'm trying to do is get away from mythic elements that cloud our
>> thinking about what really happened. I am partly reacting about what
>> Sen talked about, and what he said was part of that democracy myth
>> that is part of the teaching about Greece.
>> You (and Andres, ?) have championed, as I recall, literacy behavior,
>> that is, looking at literacy not as private reading, but as
>> engagement with the world. This is how we think of literacy, now, I
>> So under literacy behavior we would have to place the magnificent
>> Greek plays, Greek drama, which explored....everything. So the
>> discussion about issues of concern to the populace maybe took place
>> there, in the theater. Certainly themes which engaged an audience
>> were not ones that would have necessarily engaged an oligarchy. I
>> am thinking of "Antigone" and how she stood up for a concept of
>> honor. I think I've got that right. Who attended those plays, i
>> Sen also talked about Greek influence going eastward, into Persia and
>> carrying ideas of democracy. Who took those ideas? Greek influence
>> even went down into Sri Lanka, I've seen art there which looks
>> classically Greek--the drape of robes, for example.. Part of the
>> democracy myth is that Western civilization is all there ever was,
>> and this isn't accurate.. This is why Sen is so important, he has
>> different points of reference, but he can get trapped in the myth,
>> And this is also why we have to look critically at literacy, voting
>> and citizenship, here, and get away from easy myths. Myself, I would
>> not use the term "evolution" because that suggests an organic change
>> and we leave out leveling effects of technology and of course power.
>> If the library at Alexandria hadn't burned, what more would we have
>> of Greek plays?
>> On Apr 4, 2006, at 2:30 PM, George Demetrion wrote:
>>> I agree that if you freeze the thought of democracy at a single line
>>> of development, one would not be accounting for the evolution of the
>>> concept. From what I remember (I was there, but was very young)
>>> ancient Athenian political culture was democratic based on its
>>> notion of citizenship, namely Greek men, I think of a certain basic
>>> property class. There was a popular assembly which was elected by
>>> citizens, in which, obviously, a lot of people were ruled out.
>>> Clearly, by late 20th century standards, this was not much of a
>>> democracy, but one might argue that it would be the height of
>>> presentist hubris to place such a standard on a political phenomenon
>>> that is 2500 years old. The fact that there was a constitution,
>>> representative government, reasoned political discourse, including
>>> sharp polemics does substantively speak the political foundations of
>>> western constitutional government.
>>> Its possible we are saying the same thing. I agree that what
>>> existed in ancient Athens is very far from the ideal of what a
>>> democratic political culture should be-an ideal that eludes the
>>> reality of contemporary US political culture, too, one might argue.
>>> Still, without the foundations there wouldnt even be a basis for a
>>> discussion of such a phenomenon as democracy as the concept,
>>> emerging from its Greek etymology would not have even been invented.
>>> Remember, this is my culture Im defending.
>>> Socrates the Younger
>>> AAACE-NLA mailing list: AAACE-NLA at lists.literacytent.org
>>> LiteracyTent: web hosting, news, community and goodies for literacy
>> AAACE-NLA mailing list: AAACE-NLA at lists.literacytent.org
>> LiteracyTent: web hosting, news, community and goodies for literacy
> AAACE-NLA mailing list: AAACE-NLA at lists.literacytent.org
> LiteracyTent: web hosting, news, community and goodies for literacy
More information about the AAACE-NLA