Part 3

• an excerpt from Part 3:

HOW WE, THE PEOPLE, RULE

(IN THE CIRCLE OF DEMOCRACY FOR OUR COMMON GOOD)

“We are ourselves a model which some follow, rather than the imitators of other peoples.”

- Pericles addressing the Assembly of Athens (5th Century BC)

Introduction:

♦ Part 3 is about how we can organize a real democracy large enough so we can govern ourselves through a General Assembly. First we are told by Robert Michels (in his classic 1910 book, Political Parties ) that this is impossible to do because all governments have an “oligarchical structure” which “suffocates the basic democratic principle.” This structure makes “the majority of human beings” “the pedestal of an oligarchy” “permanently incapable of self-government.”

♦ But then we discover that real democracy already has its own unique structure, invented by Kleisthenes in Athens in 508 BC — the circle of democracy.