Tag Archives: ancient democracy

Daniela Cammack: “The dêmos in dêmokratia”

“What is exciting about democracy, even in its modern formulation, is that it includes all citizens, even the poor, the uneducated, the insignificant—not
even the rich, the privileged, the powerful. Democracy still implies rule by the poorer majority—that can hardly be avoided. The question is how to instantiate this, assuming more people than not would want to, and here, modern democrats face a problem. One implication of the foregoing is that dêmokratia
requires a dêmos; but how is it possible to construct a dêmos today? We no longer need to assemble in order to hear news or take instructions from our rulers: everything we need to know can be delivered to us in the comfort of our own homes. Voting in elections or referenda are as close as we come, but on every other day of the political cycle, ordinary citizens do not constitute a dêmos: they are only disparate laoi.”