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Interesting that anarchy gets only one fleeting mention in the article. The reality is that ancient Greek (Athenian) democracy is more akin to anarchy. Another ancient word that needs to be broken down to better understand its true meaning. An-archos - without authority - meaning direct involvement of the people in decision-making and power sharing with no hierarchies involved. Modern society is now full of hierarchies and power pyramids which dominate and suppress the people. It's difficult to see a way out of the current hierarchical mess that megalomaniacs have created to dominate us but I am currently writing a book about it "Restructuring Capitalism" which will discuss a practical, viable way of doing just that. Bringing democracy (the power to make decisions) back to the people and breaking down those hierarchies in the process.
 

Athens and the creation of democracy

I've been thinking about Athens and how it's the birth of democracy. I wondered if other societies had experimented with the concepts or if Athens was unique? Does anyone know? I know that there's been some evidence that other societies experimented with community leadership, but none had a true democracy like what Athens developed.

It was unique in developing a system where a significant portion of its inhabitants could participate directly in decision-making processes. This early form of democracy was largely initiated under the leadership of Cleisthenes in 508/507 BC. His reforms reorganized the population into ten tribes based on their residence rather than lineage, promoting a broader and more inclusive political engagement.

In this Athenian democracy, citizens had the right to attend the Assembly (Ekklesia), where they could speak and vote on legislation and executive decisions. The Council of Five Hundred (Boule), selected by lot for each of the ten tribes, proposed legislation and handled daily affairs. This lottery system for public office sought to prevent power monopolies and encourage civic participation.

I know that this work truly influenced other democratic governments through the world!

Feel free to chime in with your thoughts- I find this stuff interesting.

History of the Greek bailouts/financial crisis?

I'm reaching out to tap into our collective knowledge regarding a significant episode in recent economic history — the Greek financial crisis and the bailouts that followed. This period, marked by severe economic downturns, austerity measures, and complex international negotiations, has had long-lasting implications not only for Greece but for the European Union as a whole. Some things:
  1. Origins: What were the primary causes that led to the Greek financial crisis? How did Greece's economic conditions prior to the crisis contribute to its severity?
  2. Bailout Measures: Could someone explain the specifics of the bailout agreements? How were the terms negotiated, and what were the conditions placed on Greece in exchange for the financial assistance?
  3. Impact on Greece and the EU: What have been the short and long-term effects of the bailouts on the Greek economy and its citizens? Additionally, how has this crisis influenced the policies and economic strategies within the broader European Union?
The reason I am asking is that I got into a debate with someone before having my facts straight and the conversation didn't go well for me lol.

Greek Independence Day History

Greek Independence Day is coming up! I thought I would share a bit that I know about the history. Please chime in with corrections or anything to add!
  1. The Spark of Revolution: Greek Independence Day marks the day in 1821 when the Greeks began their revolt against the Ottoman Empire, a state that had controlled Greece for nearly 400 years. This revolt was influenced by the surge of nationalism throughout Europe and inspired by the Enlightenment ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity.
  2. A Poet’s Declaration: The revolution officially began after Bishop Germanos of Patras raised the Greek flag at the Monastery of Agia Lavra in Peloponnese, symbolizing the call to arms. However, it was rumored that the war of independence was actually declared a few days earlier by Alexandros Ypsilantis, a Greek national hero, in the Danubian Principalities.
  3. International Support: The Greek fight for independence was not just a local effort; it garnered substantial international support from prominent figures such as Lord Byron from Britain, who notably spent his own money and later died in Greece, contributing to the Greek cause. This international backing was crucial for the morale of the Greek fighters and helped in diplomatic efforts later on.
  4. The Battle of Navarino: A pivotal point in the Greek War of Independence was the Battle of Navarino in 1827, where the combined fleets of Britain, France, and Russia defeated the Ottoman and Egyptian fleets. This naval battle marked a significant turning point that led to the eventual independence of Greece.
  5. Recognition and Autonomy: Greek Independence was formally recognized in 1830 by the Treaty of London. However, full sovereignty and the delineation of the Greek borders were not achieved until later. It allowed the foundation of the modern Greek state, under the governance of King Otto from Bavaria.

Learning about the Olympic Games

It's an Olympics year so I thought I would chat a bit about the Olympic Games!

The original Olympic Games, held in Olympia, Greece, were primarily a festival celebrating Zeus, the king of the Greek gods. These games began around 776 BC and featured a range of athletic competitions, from foot races to combat sports like wrestling and boxing. Interestingly, the games were so significant that wars were put on hold, and conflicts paused to allow athletes and spectators to travel safely to Olympia. This ancient tradition of the Olympic Truce or "Ekecheiria" is a testament to the power of sport in fostering peace and unity, a principle that remains at the heart of the Olympics today.

I find it absolutely intriguing how these ancient games laid the groundwork for the modern Olympics, introducing concepts of sportsmanship, excellence, and the idea of bringing people together through the universal language of sport.

Has anyone visited ancient Olympia? Do you guys enjoy watching the Olympic Games?
Share and discuss Greek history!

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