Temple University Ancient Athens vs US Social Structures Today Discussion


This is a discussion question. In what ways does ancient Athens remind us of the social structures in the US today? In what ways does it seem completely different? Explain, using examples from the viewing and reading for Section A. I will need two paragraphs for my answer and a one paragraph answer to this post:

The similarities in the social structures of ancient Athens and the modern U.S. were that voting and the public office had no restrictions based on wealth. Both societies are able to vote regardless of class. Using re-election to keep favored leaders in power is also a modern democracy tactic if you consider the tenure of many members of our Senate. Those in office in both societies are/were given a pension for their service in office, thanks to the law supported by Pericles and current laws. Unfortunately one of the other similarities to Pericles’ Athens was the re-appropriation of public funds for defense (or other projects) to be placed into whatever pony-show of an interest a political figurehead has. Such comparisons can be made of the Parthenon to the Border Wall, or alternatively to any number of non-utilitarian yet high-visibility projects. It seems a comparison can also be observed that while these “favorable” undertakings were happening in both ancient Athens and modern U.S., less re-election friendly events were taking place such as wars, and therefore having less attention drawn to them. Cough..cough Benghazi…cough pro-active Ebola precautions.

The social structures that are different (within the last hundred years) to ancient Athens is the exclusivity to voting and influence on the Democratic government. Elections and appointments to office in ancient Athens were also by chance of lottery among its eligible male citizens vs our political election system. Foreigners and slaves could not obtain citizenship and be awarded benefits whereas today there is a naturalization program and non-citizens can benefit from socio-economic programs.


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