Welcome to my page where I relate how Democracy began, solely on how I feel it went.
When Democracy was first conceptually stumbled on by the Athenians, it took off like a herd of snow leopards. (Aka Quickly and Effectively, because that’s how snow-leopards roll. If you have never watched a documentary on Snow Leopards – Do it, they are Cool as Shit.)
Anyway, when Democracy hit the fan – it wasn’t just Grudgingly Participated in, like it is today. It was Celebrated. Everyone who was Everyone would go and vote, and people Freaking Loved It. “What’s that – I can Make Decisions for the Fate of my City???” They thought it was the best thing since the Goddess Athena gave them the Olive.
(Please note – at the time, “everyone who was everyone” meant Male Caucasians. Also, the farming and workin-Joe types only had so much time to put aside for going and making decisions, so it ended up being mainly Rich White Men. Becca: Umm…. no.. Fact Check’D. Only rich landowning men were allowed to vote. It stayed that way for the vast majority of Western history…. Let’s just say society has come a long way from that – although when our generation doesn’t vote, a similar thing happens, often followed by a conservative majority… whoops there goes my personal bias again 😉 )
The Point is, they Celebrated it, they Loved it. From thence, it became a big thing for what Western Society considered “Western Society.” More men have fought and died for the ideals of democracy and freedom, than for… well, than for lots of other shit. It’s kind of a big deal. Interesting when juxtaposed against Canada in 2015, where many of us grew up able to afford taking things for granted, or disillusioned by those that fall through the cracks of the system, and many just don’t seem jazzed about having a small say in how their country is run. That’s why we have this section; to delve a little into the mysterious past of that ancient Greek fad that caught like Yogurt did, Democracy. It’s kind of a “for fun” page – yes it is about history, but I’m not a historian, I’m an amateur stand-up comic, so I will include lots of links for more infomation in between my jokes and opinions.
During th ‘ol Bronze Age
(btw, here is a Hilarious Clip about the Bronze Age: Video)
At this point in history, while Ancient Chinese and the Egyptians had elaborate well-established cultures by this point, most of Europe were still riding around fighting with clubs painted blue, occasionally concentrated in a few regions or City-States. The Greeks having settled around the Mediterranean, were in a prime location to become important for trade (as well as fishing). At the time, they were divided into a few cultures – the “Helladic” were on the Mainland, the Minoans were on the isle of Crete and liked Bulls, and the Cyclades occupied the various islands in the archipelego of the Aegian sea. The Helladic transitioned into Mycenean civilization, considered the first “Greeks.” (1)
They weren’t democrats yet, but they are described as “the central trade hub of the Medditerannean and surrounding regions,” which I guess is pretty legit. The style of warfare at the time was for teams of heroes to go challenge each other, sometimes champion to champion – and man did they like their warfare, the individual kingdoms were always fighting each other. Thus, the many heroes and battles led to many of the legends that became mythology such as Hercules and Dionysus (who made a lot of wine.) The Bronze age was their heyday, full of war and heroes and bearded men yelling “This Is Sparta!”
But all good things come to an end, and suddenly the Myceneans plunged into a “dark age.” Nobody knows why. Plague? Climate Change? Being Vanquished by Enemies? Poor plumbing decisions? Less light? Even the Greeks don’t know. During this time, they were decimated, their cities were largely abandoned, and they were all having a Really shitty day. The socio-economic structure, even the ability to read and write – which was like Their Jam – all went the way of Atlantis. Specifically, “Blub blub blub.” (1)
Post Dark-Age: from the Rubble Rises the Phoenix (or atleast its alphabet)
Thing is – when the rubble cleared and the sun came out (get it? Dark Ages? lol – sorry) they got to start again from the ground up, and the results were – interesting. Civilization re-emerged, now concentrated in distinct City-States like Athans, Sparta and Thebes. An alphabet borrowed from the Phoenicians got them reading and writing again. Warfare was revolutionized by a style of workaday-warrior named “Hoplites” after their large shields, and most workin joes got drafted into arms. An organized army of Schmoes (instead of a band of a few heroes) led to a different style of fighting: The Phalanx, aka. a wall of those big round Hoplite shields with spears bristling out the you-know-whats. (picture the movie “The 300.”) This walking, bristling, spearhead-shaped shield wall was a Hit – literally – and plowed through other armies, earning the Grecian cities some serious street cred.
Ofcourse, success led to one thing – internal strife. The Cities of Athens and Sparta were continually at each others’ throats, vying for dominance, and drawing other cities around them into the conflict. A common enemy of the Persian Kingdom brought them all together for a few battles, but once that was over, back to domestic violence it went. For a long time, Sparta held sway (this is called a “Hegemony,” kind of like “Matrimony” only it was Sparta making all the rest of Greece its b****). The Persians kept their hand in the cookie jar too, backing Athens against Sparta most of the time (old grudges die hard) but eventually switcthing to backing Sparta after they traded in some cities. This was fairly stable: until Thebes – under a brilliant general Epaminondas – figured out how to rock the boat. Marching into battle, he reinforced One Side of the phalanx, and left the other two to just back up and try not to die: the Spartan-Confederation
and then *** democracy (1)
– who invented it? what was it? where did it come from? where did it go? stay tuned! Or just look it up, if you’d like, as we’ve been working on our youtube video lately and this site isnt quite done yet.
** This page is in progress! Much more to come. Wanna contribute to the content? send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org **
(1) Ancient Greece . ORG , History Of Greece: Bronze Age