Monday, July 22, 2013

Solon the law giver: Regarding the utility of good laws

Solon was the one who gave the city of Athens its laws.

"My laws were not destined to be long of service to the Athenians, nor have you done any great good by purifying the city. For neither can the Deity nor lawgivers do much good to cities by themselves; but these people rather have this power, who, from time to time, can lead the people to any opinions they choose; so also the Deity and the laws, when the citizens are well governed, are useful; but when they are ill governed, they are no good." - The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, Diogenes Laertius

Solon was worried about Tyrants.  The later history of Athens was that of a people willfully choosing leaders who were worse through Democratic means.


Ursula said...

Smiling over your comment to the original quote.


Looney said...

:) We learned about Democracy from Athens, and it is because of what happened to Athens that no one attempted Democracy for 2,000 years.

Max Coutinho said...

Hi Looney,

"he later history of Athens was that of a people willfully choosing leaders who were worse through Democratic means"

This sums it all up.
Democracy is good, and we dream of it; however, the fact is that we do not live entirely in a democracy...we rather live in a pseudo-democracy (at least in Europe).

I was thinking of how a democratic act may have led Egypt into the abyss when it put Islamists in power.

Have a great week ahead.


Looney said...

Max, I hope you are enjoying your vacation.

It does seem to me that the EU is more like an Aristocracy than a Democracy.

Max Coutinho said...

Hey Looney,

My vacations are over (time went by pretty quickly). But it served its purpose.
By the way, I read Marx's communist gave me a bloody headache but I survived it lol.

Aah, it would be good if the EU were an Aristocracy, but it's not unfortunately - it is more like a "dangerous class: the social scum, that passively rotting mass thrown off by the lowest layers of the old society, may, here and there, be (..) the part of a bribed tool of reactionary intrigue" (Marx)...

Looney said...

Does Kleptocracy work? ;-)

It was several decades ago when I read the Communist Manifesto. I remember it as an angry and vile rant.

Max Coutinho said...


Yes, it works perfectly ;)
And you remember it well: it is an angry, vile and dangerous rant. But it may be used against leftists though...