Of course, elections are associated with democracy and tyrannies always try to undermine them or abolish them, of course. But ...

But the voting of an uninformed or misinformed electorate can be disastrous. Simply having elections is no guarantee against control by the wealthy.

It is the process that leads to voting, as much as the vote, that is crucial. The airing of views by everyone, the pushing back and forth on ideas, a process in which everyone learns and a consensus (sometimes) forms. At the end of a proper deliberative process, the citizenry is more informed. That means they can understand where their city is going and they can act to support it.

Out of this same time period as the origin of democracy came a number of writings that talk about deliberation - rhetoric - its impact on people, how it works, and what moral issues might attend being good at persuasion.


The entry to the Pnyx site.

Last modified 1/28/10;. Original content © 2010 John P. Nordin