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The honey and the hemlock : [electronic resource] democracy and paranoia in ancient Athens and modern America / Eli Sagan.

By: Sagan, Eli.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: New York : Basic Books, c1991Description: ix, 429 p. ; 25 cm.ISBN: 0465030580 :; 9780465030583.Subject(s): Athens (Greece) -- Politics and government | Democracy | Paranoia | Politieke geschiedenis | Sociaal-economische geschiedenis | Griekse oudheid | Politieke stelsels | Democratie | Politieke psychologie | Demokratie | Sozialpsychologie | Athen | USAAdditional physical formats: Online version:: Honey and the hemlock.DDC classification: 321.8 Other classification: 15.51 | 15.85 Online resources: Free eBook from the Internet Archive | Additional information and access via Open Library
Contents:
Introductions. 1. The Great Paradoxical Society: Ancient Athens. 2. Democracy and the Paranoid Position -- Pt. I. The Bright, Clear Air of Democratic Society. 3. The Founding Miracle: Crisis and Possibility. 4. The Founding Miracle: Compromise, Reconciliation, and Continuing Strife. 5. The Spirit of Society: Citizenship, Freedom, and Responsibility. 6. The Health of the Democratic Polis -- Pt. II. Deep Inside Plato's Cave. 7. Moderate Antidemocratic Movements and Oligarchic Death Squads: The Coups of 411 and 404. 8. Antidemocratic Thought, the Beginnings of Totalitarian Theory, and the Origins of Political Terror. 9. Clubs, Factions, Political Parties, and Mass Action. 10. The Eating of the Gods. 11. The Demos as Tyrant. 12. Narcissus-Dionysus. 13. Warfare and Genocide. 14. Political Action with a Class Basis--Sometimes Violent, Sometimes Not -- Pt. III. Problematics Within Ancient and Modern Democratic Society. 15. The People Reign but Elites Rule. 16. The Boundaries of Justice and the Tribal Bond. 17. Gain, Honor, Wisdom. 18. Education for the Political Life: Small-Town Democracy. 19. The Instability of the Republican City-State. 20. Democracy and the "Paranoidia" of Greed and Domination.
Summary: "Democracy is a miracle," Eli Sagan writes, "considering human psychological disabilities." To shed light on this "miracle," Sagan focuses on the world's first democratic society, Athens, and mounts a compelling argument that Athens and the modern American republic, although separated by more than two thousand years, share the same fundamental moral and psychological dilemmas. Athens was a paradoxical society, Sagan maintains. Obedient to the rule of law, concerned with social justice, remarkably tolerant, it displayed an unprecedented psychological maturity. Yet at the same time it was an imperialist state, capable of genocidal action against other Greek states, that rested on the labor of thousands of slaves and treated women as political and social pariahs. The Honey and the Hemlock probes this profound mystery, exploring the intimate connection between political paranoia and a society's capacity--or incapacity--for democratic behavior. Sagan offers provocative observations, drawn from the Athenian and American experience, about the rule of elites, the political psychology of war and imperialism, the boundaries of social justice, and the roles of gain, honor, and wisdom as ruling political passions. A cautionary tale of ancient Greece and the ongoing struggle for democracy today, The Honey and the Hemlock is a fascinating account of the struggle between the rational and irrational in our public life.
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Includes bibliographical references (p. 407-414) and index.

"Democracy is a miracle," Eli Sagan writes, "considering human psychological disabilities." To shed light on this "miracle," Sagan focuses on the world's first democratic society, Athens, and mounts a compelling argument that Athens and the modern American republic, although separated by more than two thousand years, share the same fundamental moral and psychological dilemmas. Athens was a paradoxical society, Sagan maintains. Obedient to the rule of law, concerned with social justice, remarkably tolerant, it displayed an unprecedented psychological maturity. Yet at the same time it was an imperialist state, capable of genocidal action against other Greek states, that rested on the labor of thousands of slaves and treated women as political and social pariahs. The Honey and the Hemlock probes this profound mystery, exploring the intimate connection between political paranoia and a society's capacity--or incapacity--for democratic behavior. Sagan offers provocative observations, drawn from the Athenian and American experience, about the rule of elites, the political psychology of war and imperialism, the boundaries of social justice, and the roles of gain, honor, and wisdom as ruling political passions. A cautionary tale of ancient Greece and the ongoing struggle for democracy today, The Honey and the Hemlock is a fascinating account of the struggle between the rational and irrational in our public life.

Introductions. 1. The Great Paradoxical Society: Ancient Athens. 2. Democracy and the Paranoid Position -- Pt. I. The Bright, Clear Air of Democratic Society. 3. The Founding Miracle: Crisis and Possibility. 4. The Founding Miracle: Compromise, Reconciliation, and Continuing Strife. 5. The Spirit of Society: Citizenship, Freedom, and Responsibility. 6. The Health of the Democratic Polis -- Pt. II. Deep Inside Plato's Cave. 7. Moderate Antidemocratic Movements and Oligarchic Death Squads: The Coups of 411 and 404. 8. Antidemocratic Thought, the Beginnings of Totalitarian Theory, and the Origins of Political Terror. 9. Clubs, Factions, Political Parties, and Mass Action. 10. The Eating of the Gods. 11. The Demos as Tyrant. 12. Narcissus-Dionysus. 13. Warfare and Genocide. 14. Political Action with a Class Basis--Sometimes Violent, Sometimes Not -- Pt. III. Problematics Within Ancient and Modern Democratic Society. 15. The People Reign but Elites Rule. 16. The Boundaries of Justice and the Tribal Bond. 17. Gain, Honor, Wisdom. 18. Education for the Political Life: Small-Town Democracy. 19. The Instability of the Republican City-State. 20. Democracy and the "Paranoidia" of Greed and Domination.

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