PUBLIC SPEECH AND THE POWER OF THE PEOPLE IN DEMOCRATIC ATHENS
focuses on the role of public speaking in a democratic society. circulation. is a defining are guides for personal conduct in relation to one's community. ethos. Public Speaking and Democracy Student name Professor name Course number -communication/explain-the-relationship-between-public-speaking. tral concern the relationship between public speech (logos), brute facts. (erga), and power (kratos, dunamis). Thucydides was particularly con- cerned with how.
Furthermore, it is without doubt that no man is an island of knowledge. Indeed two good heads are better than one.
Public speaking and democracy - Essay Example
A good government will also wish to have a feedback from the society with respect to their policies taken, or about to be taken. This will afford them the opportunity of weighing their policies with the opinion of the public.
Recently, the Nigerian National Assembly embarked on wide consultation on the amendment to the Constitution. They sought for opinions, suggestions and contributions from every cadre of the society. Through the public speaking skill, it was possible for the citizens to contribute their intelligence to the development of the government. In addition, in the United States of America the debate on whether the government should place a ban on guns was brought into limelight.
The debate had two sides; those seeking for the ban and those opposed to the ban pitching their tents against each other.
The Relationship between Public Speaking and Democracy Essay – Free Papers and Essays Examples
The important point to note in this article is that we saw both parties employing fantastic public speaking skill hoping to convince the lawmakers in accepting their position. Another very important significance of public speaking in a democracy from the view point of a politician is that it enables the politician to have more votes if he is able to effectively canvass his manifesto to the electorate.
The electorate will most certainly vote for a leader that is able to speak to them boldly without stuttering. The American President Obama was reknowned as a great orator who was able to convince the voters with his the mastery of public speaking skills. Furthermore, the members of the National Assembly also employs public speaking skills during their sessions as they propose a bill, debate over the bill or urge the fellow members in accepting a particular point.
Public speaking actually matters for a democracy, because it is a good and sometimes the only chance to save democracy that is eroding now, to improve communicative skills, and to underline the problems that prevent people from happiness and well-being and need to be solved within a short period of time.
Discussion Public speaking as the way to save democracy from eroding. Democracy is that golden middle in governmental forms that cannot be controlled too much but still serve as an example of working and organized group.
This is why in order to create a proper government, it is necessary to consider the needs and interests of people and take the necessary steps to meet these demands. However, if these needs are not spoken aloud, they can be hardly recognized, let alone that they can be hardly met.
Public speaking may become a powerful mean to inform people, to persuade the government to define the problems and work on them, to think about the possible improving ways, or at least to entertain people and give them a hope that everything will be better.
Democracy needs to train public speaking skills. There are certain rules that need to be followed to present effective public speaking and be able to achieve positive results of these speeches. The role of public speaking is crucial indeed, this is why it is better for a democracy to train their skills as frequent as possible. First, it is obligatory to plan your speech before speaking: Second, if there is a chance, it is better to train a speech for several times: Popular ideology also dealt with wealth and the power brought by its possession.
Athenian society was certainly stratified along the lines of economic class.
Yet, on the other hand,- democratic ideology bath encouraged voluntary redistribution of wealth and -limited the political effects of wealth inequality. The ordinary Athenian juror -harbored a deep suspicion of the wealthy as a class; he tended to view rich men- as arrogant, wilful, and at least potentially hostile to the democratic political -regime that prevented them from translating their economic position directly- into power over others.
The rich Athenian litigant, well aware that his fate- hung on the opinions of resentful jurymen, was at pains to dispel their distrust- by demonstrating himself to be a man of the people.
Sometimes a well-to-do- speaker sought the sympathy of jurors by assuming the role of a poor man,- beset by richer, more powerful opponents.
Other speakers pointed out that -their private wealth had frequently been put to public uses, in the form of- liturgies, special taxes, and voluntary contributions to the state and to impoverished neighbors.
By contrast, one's opponents could be characterized as notoriously ungenerous. Historically generous litigants felt entitled to ask jurors- to give them the benefit of the doubt when they contended with selfish opponents. Since every rich Athenian had a good chance of finding himself in court,- this "market" relationship encouraged private generosity.
Yet since the individual litigant was put in the position of the suppliant, the terms of the bargain -were controlled by the ordinary citizens - it was they who decided if an elite- man's past behavior and current self representation were adequate compensa-tion for the favor he now requested.
Public Speaking in a Democracy
The frequency and importance of format mass judgment of individual- speech acts also tended to inhibit the tendency of elites to act cohesively in their own class interest.
The procedures of Athenian Assembly debate and litigation placed elite speakers in contention with one another for scarce resources: Moreover, Athenian jurors- were well aware of the dangers that could attend intra-elite cooperation and- were highly suspicious of any aspiring politician - who did not engage in fierce- and public litigation with other politicians. Some legal processes seem designed to encourage inter-elite competition and litigation, notably the antidosis exchange procedure: Rich citizen A, who found himself saddled with a non--voluntary liturgy and who thought rich man B's estate had paid less than its -share of liturgies, could formally challenge B to assume the liturgy.
If B refused, A could then sue B in court for a mandatory exchange of property so -that A could pay off the liturgy from B's former estate. The antidosis procedure- encouraged rich Athenians to spy out one another's hidden financial resources- and pitted fellow members of the wealthy elite against one other in courtroom- contests for the sympathy of the masses. The Athenian democracy channelled the activity of an aristocratic elite characterized by a highly competitive, agonal ethos into public competitions that -benefited the demos and were judged exclusively by mass audiences.
Elite -attributes were not eliminated; indeed, they might be flaunted to good effect in -certain circumstances. But it was the ever-fickle "mob" ochlos of non-elite- citizens that determined whether the particular circumstances had justified a- particular elite display.
The elite Athenian lived and operated under conditions of institutionalised instability. If he wanted what Greek aristocrats tended -to want - political influence, public honors, wide acclaim, and the respect of -society - he was forced to play a game with rules that shifted constantly and -subtly, a game judged by a collectivist that worked according to deep-set demotic ideals.Yascha Mounk: "The People vs. Democracy" - Talks at Google
The judges prescribed severe penalties for losers and those caught -breaking the rules: Yet as losers were- sent off, new players were always waiting in the wings.
Paradoxically, the enduring strength of the competitive aristocratic ideology among the Athenian -elite supported the democratic order by providing a constant supply of compe-tent advisors, each dedicated to explaining to the demos, in word and deed, the depth of his allegiance to democratic ideals and practice, and eager to -expose his fellow elites' failures of allegiance.
The game of Athenian political life was hard and often unkind; this is one of the reasons for the development of antidemocratic positions by Thucydides,- Plato, Aristotle, and other contemporary critics of Athenian democracy. But it- was also entirely voluntary: He was free to criticize the democracy, in writing and conversation, to his heart's content, so long as he did not- as Socrates did take his case into the public space or lead others to engage in -bloody coups against the democracy.
Both classicists and theorists have -traditionally regarded the fifth century as the really exciting period of Athenian history. The democratic period after the Peloponnesian War has sometimes been characterized as an age of decadence and decline - or at least of bureaucratization, institutionalizationselfish individualism, civic flaccidity, and sadder-but-wiser moderation of radical political ideals.
And yet virtually- all of the texts to which I have referred in this essay were written in the fourth -century. Thucydides wrote at the very end of the fifth century and composed -at least part of his history after the Peloponnesian War.
Plato's and Aristode's- active careers were entirely fourth century. All but seventeen of the speeches I- used in my study of Athenian rhetoric were post-war. The period after the war- opened with the remarkable and successful democratic resistance to the- Spartan-imposed regime of the Thirty Tyrants and ended with an equally -brave although ultimately unsuccessful resistance to Macedonian imperialism.
Meanwhile, the Athenian demos radically expanded the scope of- payment-for-participation by extending pay to Assemblymen, and did so in- the face of financial stringency. Aristode certainly considered the democracy of- his own day in Politics as the full realization, the telos, of democracy, and regarded fourth-century Athens as an example of the most extreme form of democracy.
The disdain felt by same political theorists for Athens of the fourth century seems to be the product of a deep-set distaste for political stability in any farm-and an equally strong attachment to "radical democratic moments" of the sort- characterized by American political activism of around I certainly do not wish to denigrate work that focuses on insights gained from fleeting -revolutionary moments.
But I think that the enterprise of democratic theory- as a whole will be weakened if we reject, a priori, the possibility that a vibrant -democratic culture that originated in a revolutionary moment might subsequently exist for a relatively long period of time and serve as the underpinning -for the government of a complex state.
Characterizing stability negatively as -an entropic decline in revolutionary energy is to ignore the possibility that -democratic stability can be achieved through dynamic tensions.
Indeed, in Athens, the never-resolved tensions between aristocratic values and demotic -ideology, and between apparently contradictory but deeply held political- values e. The unresolved status of these tensions and contradictions sparked critical political thought and contributed to the ongoing institutional and to a more limited degree ideological adjustments that characterized democratic Athenian culture - and that have never ceased to dismay -its conservative critics.