Writing → Rule of Law

For a long time, caste-based systems worked well to divide up property and responsibilities, but the introduction of the written word, geometry, and money stretched the existing social connections and showed that a new way of organization was needed. The concept of a truly vibrant institutional democracy began in the ancient Greek city-states as they pursued these technological advancements to maximize each citizen’s personal stake in the affairs of the state; and out of it came a passion for written decrees, regulated voting, energetic debate, juries, theater, self-reflecting fine art and culture – proof that democratic societies could be as resilient and strong as any kingdom of their time. But even though Greek citizens cast beans well over two thousand years ago – giving them the competitive edge needed to trounce their enemies – their version of democracy was still quite limited and rudimentary, as their technologies weren’t very advanced.

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