Nissani: Cheers for Direct Democracy

Dr. Moti Nissani writes in The Dissident Voice:

Revolutionary strategists must ask themselves: How can we best structure our own movement? And: What kind of political framework should we aim for, once we relegate the Banking-Militarist Complex to the dustbin of history? The answer to both questions is the same: genuine (or direct) democracy.

Democracy, for the Greeks who coined the word, meant “power of the people” or “rule of the people.” Perhaps the best-known example of a genuine democracy in a highly-advanced, highly-literate, polity, is Athens and its sister democracies of Ancient Greece. There, all significant political, legal, and judicial decisions were made directly by the people. Democratic Athens went to war if, and only if, the majority so voted; a man was exiled, or condemned to death, if, and only if, his fellow citizens so decreed.

It is a typical reformist treatment of the Athenian system. Sortition is discussed in the context of juries, but its application to political offices is given barely a mention:

The Athenians knew that power-seekers could not be trusted, so they filled many important public offices by lot. Moreover, most office holders maintained their positions for extremely short durations. Athens thereby bypassed, to a certain extent, a key problem in all other extant political systems: The ascendancy of the psychopaths.