Saturday, June 06, 2015

implementing social democracy at the municipal level won't be easy...,

wikipedia |  In cities of ancient Greece, the boule (Greek: βουλή, boulē; plural βουλαί, boulai) was a council of citizens (βουλευταί, bouleutai) appointed to run daily affairs of the city. Originally a council of nobles advising a king, boulai evolved according to the constitution of the city; in oligarchies boule positions might be hereditary, while in democracies members were typically chosen by lot, and served for one year. Little is known about the workings of many boulai, except in the case of Athens, for which extensive material has survived.

The Athenian Boule

The original council of Athens was the Areopagus. It consisted of ex-archons and was aristocratic in character.

Solonian Boule

The Athenian boule under Solon heard appeals from the most important decisions of the courts. Those in the poorest class could not serve on the Boule of 400. The higher governmental posts, archons (magistrates), were reserved for citizens of the top two income groups.[1]

The Reforms of Cleisthenes

Under the reforms of Cleisthenes enacted in 508/507 BC, the boule was expanded to 500 men, made up of 50 men from each of the ten new tribes also created by Cleisthenes. The 500 men were chosen by lot at the deme level, each deme having been allotted certain number of places proportional to population. Membership was restricted at this time to the top three of the original four property classes (the Pentacosiomedimni, Hippeis and Zeugitae, but not the Thetes) and to citizens over the age of thirty. The former restriction, though never officially changed, fell out of practice by the middle of the 5th century BC. Members of the boule served for one year and no man could serve more than twice in his life, nor more than once a decade. The leaders of the boule (the prytany) consisted of 50 men chosen from among the 500, and a new prytany was chosen every month. The man in charge of prytany was replaced every day from among the 50 members. The boule met every day except for festival days and ill-omened days. According to Aristotle, Cleisthenes introduced the Bouleutic Oath.[2]

The Boule in the Democracy of the late 5th century BC

After the reforms of Ephialtes and Pericles in the mid-5th century BC, the boule took on many of the administrative and judicial functions of the Areopagus, which retained its traditional right to try homicide cases. It supervised the state's finances, navy, cavalry, sacred matters, building and shipping matters and care for invalids and orphans. Its own members staffed many boards that oversaw the finer points of these many administrative duties. It undertook the examination of public officials both before and after leaving office (most offices lasting one year) to ensure honest accounting and loyalty to the state. It heard some cases of impeachment of public officials for high crimes and mismanagement or serious dereliction of duties.[3] At some point in the late 5th century, pay was instituted for those serving in the boule; this may have been a way to encourage poorer citizens to volunteer, who would otherwise be reluctant to serve. The boule was considered the cornerstone of the democratic constitution, providing a locus for day-to-day activities and holding together the many disparate administrative functions of the government. Because of the rotation of members, it was assumed that the boule was free from the domination of factions of any kind, although there is some evidence that richer citizens served out of proportion to poorer citizens. This may be due to the heavy investment of time required, time that poorer citizens would not have had to spare.[4]


makheru brradley said...

“Social democracy” can be implemented at the state level as was proven by Thomas Sankara, the Upright Man.

[Sankara purged corruption from the government, slashing ministerial salaries and adopting a simpler approach to life. Journalist Paula Akugizibwe says Sankara “rode a bicycle to work before he upgraded, at his Cabinet’s insistence, to a Renault 5 – one of the cheapest cars available in Burkina Faso at the time. He lived in a small brick house and wore only cotton that was produced, weaved and sewn in Burkina Faso.” In fact the adoption of local clothes and local foods was central to Sankara’s economic strategy to break the country from the domination of the West. He famously said: “’Where is imperialism?” Look at your plates when you eat. These imported grains of rice, corn, and millet - that is imperialism.”

His solution was to grow food - “Let us consume only what we ourselves control!” The results were incredible: self-sufficiency in 4 years. Former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Jean Ziegler says that a combination of massive land distribution, fertiliser and irrigation saw agricultural productivity boom; “hunger was a thing of the past”.]

[The Sankarist Revolution was one of the greatest attempts at popular and democratic emancipation in post-Independence Africa. That is why it is considered a novel experience of deep economic, social, cultural and political transformation as evidenced by mass mobilisations to get people to take responsibility for their own needs, with the construction of infrastructure, (dams, reservoirs, wells, roads and schools) through the use of the principle ‘relying on one’s own strength.’]

As difficult as implementing "social democracy" is, as was proven with Bro. Sankara, defending, and expanding "social democracy" is more difficult because the global oligarchic psychopathocracy see "social democracy" as a threat to their power, wealth, privilege, and prestige.