If it were not for Athenians creating democracy in Greece over 2500 years ago, it's highly unlikely that there would even be a democratic republic of the United States of America.
If it were not for Athenian democracy the Greeks could not have created the first great civilization, and we would probably never have heard of great thinkers like Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.
And if it were not for Pericles refining democracy into the pride in citizenship of direct democracy wherein the free expression of ideas flourished, the thoughts of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle would have never survived.
So why did a great thinker like James Madison, the principle framer of the Constitution, dismiss democracy and argue for a republic when he should have known and appreciated the precious Athenian gift like Thomas Jefferson did?
Indeed, they were both great thinkers. Jefferson studied Athenian democracy, and that was the basis of his dream for America. But when Madison thought as Plato did, that the people were too ignorant and unsophisticated to govern themselves, he demonstrated elitist, shallow thinking that prevailed simply because Athenian direct democracy gave him and Plato the freedom to do so.
And how ungrateful they were, indeed, how ignorant and unsophisticated our political and education establishments have been, to sell the decision-making wisdom of individual citizens and collective judgment of the people short...
Daniel B. Jeffs, founder
The Direct Democracy Center
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