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Antique History, Democracy - Slow Boat To China

Feb 27, 2008
Ancient Greece lifted the souls of men of imagination and thoughts they had wanted to express for ages. But in ancient Egypt there was no time for that; all rules and thoughts of any worth were by decree by the reigning Pharaoh of Egypt.

Greece was a land that, like Rome next door did have a winter when the people could not grow crops and had to be able to survive an occasional winter blast unknown in fortunate Egypt.For many months each year in Athens or Rome the weather would not allow crops to grow, and it was a matter of ample food storage.

And always, there was ample fresh food in Egypt, where the frosts never followed.Three crops a year were common, and to hungry people to see the abundance of crops and figs and dates dropping from their trees onto the ground uneaten, caused visitors such wonderment.

Egypt was the bread basket of the Mediterranean, where ships would line up at the mighty wharfs created by Alexander to supply the known world within this vast sea, and pull in and enjoy the riches. But being free to speak your mind was not allowed in ancient Egypt. Nor, for long was free speech allowed in Roman times. The idea of theaters to act out actual events led to free discussions in Athens between free men, some at least.

Thomas Jefferson and others saw in America a new Greek Democracy of free Men in a New World, and it has come to be, imperfect but evolving well.

The founding fathers of what came to be America considered the ways of Imperial Rome and Democratic Greece. Wisely, they chose the democracy of Greece and a vote for all. This would be a far superior means of creating a nation. Gone should be the days of a Caesar or Kaiser or Czar or Emperor.

When free, the First Founding Father George Washington did as no Napoleon would ever do. He refused to be crowned king, and stepped down after two terms, in order to not set a precedent, or appoint a son as his heir.

And now, as the Adam Smith example of Hong Kong and Japan and Singapore and Malaysia proved that well regulated free capitalism provides more riches than the common poverty of state control by those who understand party politics but have long lost connection by a fair election to hear what the people want.

A court mandarin who does not need to face the people for approval in elections can make many decrees and have the army carry them out. Up to a point.

Democracy is not in China yet, but in these storms we notice a very nervous leadership out there with a megaphone asking forgiveness for the weather and that the army was not quicker to help.

If you were the Mighty Khan inside the Forbidden Temple might you also not quake. The times are most certainly changing. And we feel that is a good, if belated thing.

As we have had the good fortune to have been brought up to understand capitalism and democracy as if it is a given. And around the world in too many places it is not that yet at all.

Yet it is coming. And hopefully one day other grand parents can share the joy of one such as I, who is amazed at this new generation again. My grand daughters are on the net more often than at the mall, or watching the television. History would seem to make it inevitable that free speech and this range of personal choice will soon make it through the remaining shreds of the bamboo or silk curtain.

And we think that is a very good thing.
About the Author
Derek Dashwood reads that while another billion people are more free and have been lived from abject poverty to low income. Education, health, clean water, are still needed in so many places including rural China. But progress is being made and seems likely to continue
Antique History Books
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