Tuesday 24 September 2002

Hail Mr. President; muritori salutat!

This opinion contains undesirable language.
This opinion is politically incorrect.
This opinion expects you, the reader, to use rusty parts of your brain.
This opinion might have undesirable effects like causing conscience crisis. (In that case simply wash the soul with enormous amounts of beer and you'll be right as rain again.)

I thought Democracy could best be resumed with "Vox populi - vox dei": "The voices of the people are the voices of the gods". But maybe that's only the short and not essential version.
As I look up Plato's work I see no paragraph saying "The (more or less) elected leader of a democratic state has the right to impose his opinion of correct political system on another state by means of sharp metallic objects while he is comfortably watching TV." So I cannot help but wander at which point in history was this part added to the meaning of democracy?

Maybe it was when the great orator (=politician) Cicero paid thugs to set fire to the buildings of Rome so the citizens will finally understand just how vulnerable the Republic was and how the system must be changed and full executive powers must be given to Cicero if Rome was to survive. But that cannot be it since Cicero was kindly asked to empty the contents of his veins into a hot bath. Failing to comply, he was helped.

Maybe when Thoukididis put the "I'm a loony" paper hat and gave the speech on how the greek colonies in Sicily could be protected by means of an invasion. But wait; that cannot be it since Thoukididis personally led the two athenian phalanx divisions sent thus proving that he really believed the things he said. (And leading a phalanx for the athenians meant being one step in front of the phalanx when the enemy grinned!)

Maybe it was when Crassus maneuvered Spatracus into threatening Rome, blackmailing the Senate into giving him the "Praetorian" status? Hmm, could be. But then how come that Rome revoked that status the next year and left him merely a Consul?

No, I get it! It was when Julius Caesar scared the excrements out of Rome with inflated myths of barbaric invasions, used his army (the praetorians) as personal guards and as silencers for those who opposed him and so becoming Emperor? Hmm, but then if that would have been the "Vox populi vox dei" we wouldn't have heard of Brutus..

Nam et ipsa scientia potestas est...