Friday, October 21, 2011

Where democracy started

Greece is the place where democracy started. The city of Athens established democracy somewhere between 5th and 4th century BC (some sources mention year 507 BC). Name comes from two Greek words: δήμος (people) and κράτος (power), and is translated simply as “the rule of the people”. The classical Athenian democracy is considered to be “direct democracy”, as all citizens were eligible to vote (in fact only male, born from parents from Athens, not slaves, not foreigners, not below 20 years old were allowed to speak and vote). Democracy as we know today, is “parliamentary democracy” or “liberal democracy” where all citizens choose their representatives through elections, later, the representatives form the government.

The building on the photo is Patras court, located between streets of Korinthou, Maizonos, Gounari and Kanari, in the center. Photo was taken in September 2010. Strikes, demonstrations, protests against the government, slogans written on buildings – all this are tools of today’s direct democracy, and where else, if not in Greece, should we find them…
One of the biggest general strike against the Greek government and Troika proposals, took place just recently this week in all major cities of Greece, including Patras. It might be, that the building from the photo is “updated” with some fresh new slogans :-P

Photo details: NIKON D70s, Aperture priority, f 1/8, 1/160s, -0.7EV, f=37mm (for 35mm), GIMP software

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