Thucydides Criticism Of Democratic Knowledge

Topics: Government, Form of government, Political philosophy Pages: 3 (775 words) Published: March 18, 2016
Question Two
“From the very first day members of an oligarchy have no truck with mere equality, and they all think they deserve unquestioned first place: whereas in a democracy the result of an election is easier to bear when the loser can console himself with the thought that he was not competing with his equals.1” The political views of Thucydides are not blatantly expressed to the reader, and are quite difficult to fully understand what his views are. But as explained by his quote, the differences of the oligarchy and the democracy are evident, and democracy is explained with more of a light on it, explaining it as the better option. Thucydides does an excellent job in explaining what is going on at the time, but his own opinions of political systems is more inferred rather than factual. Thucydides describes and talks about numerous forms of government, especially ones that are relevant during his time period. Even with talking about different forms of government such as, democracy, oligarchy, and tyranny, Thucydides has never stated he agrees with and follows one form. From many of his writing pieces, the reader may believe he has a strong argument for democracy, but then he talks about the faults of democracy. He doesn’t only do that with democracy, but all the forms he talks about. For an example, when talking about the government of the Five Thousand he states, “Athenians enjoyed a political system of substantial and obvious merit, which blended the interests of the few and the many without extremes, and began to restore the city from the wretched situation in which it had fallen into. 2” Yet when Thucydides talks about Pericles’ ‘protoandrarchy’ form of government, at first he agrees with the concept and believes it is the best form of government, later he explains the flaws of the concept. The flaws in which he stated are, “rule of the first man leads to instability after the first man’s death.” So the reader makes the interpretation that Thucydides...
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