Categories
Politics

Democracy = Participation

In ancient Athens, contributing to politics -and in extent to your country- was considered the norm and highly desirable. Being apolitical and selfish was frowned upon. All good citizens aspired to be politically active.

It was rare for someone to demonstrate apathy towards what was happening in their state and remain indifferent to common/public issues. The overwhelming majority of Athenians participated in politics to a greater or lesser extent.

Anyone who was interested only in his own affairs and refused to take part in the current affairs was by definition considered a weakly presented member of Athenian society, and therefore a person of low intelligence, apathetic, and almost worthless.

If you did not demonstrate social responsibility and political awareness you were considered uneducated and ignorant. Those who did not contribute to politics and the community were known as “idiotes”, that being the term for a person that chose to remain a private citizen. The opposite of an “idiotes” was a “polites”, an active citizen. It still is…