Man is by nature designed to live in the polis, the highest form of koinonia, community; that is man's end or goal if he achieves the full potentiality of his nature.
A genuinely political society, in which discussion and debate are an essential technique, is a society full of risks.
Perhaps the best known, and certainly the most vaunted, discovery of modern public opinion research is the indifference and ignorance of a majority of the electorate in western democracies.
The Athenians made mistakes. Which governmental system has not? The familiar game of condemning Athens for not having lived to some ideal of perfection is a stultifying approach.
What I am arguing, in effect, is that the full democratic system of the second half of the fifth century B.C. Would not have been introduced had there been no Athenian empire.
Faction is the greatest evil and the most common danger. Faction is the conventional English translation of the Greek stasis, one of the most remarkable words to be found in any language.
We must consider not only why the classical theory of democracy appears to be in contradiction with the observed practice, but also why the many different responses to this observation, though mutually incompatible, all share the belief that democracy is the best form of political organization.
Political leaders, lacking documents that could be kept secret (apart from the occasional exception), lacking media they could control, were of necessity brought into a direct and immediate relationship with their constituents, and therefore under more and direct and immediate control.