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Koukopoulos
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It could be that Athenian democracy is explained by the emergence of a special type of liberty related to freedom of speech. Democracy in Athens correlated with the heightening of free competition in public debate, which was not a result so much of protected individual liberty but of the public's need to better judge which teacher/philosopher/doctor's services to choose. At a time when these relatively new professionals were travelling from city state to city state in a pretty much free way, the only criterion for prospective customers was who could explain his merits better and debate with his competitors. It is not too far from here to realize that obstructed speech and one-sided debates do not produce the required results, hence "equality of speech" (ισηγορία) becomes a social value, one which may have played a role in the adoption of democratic rules.
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May 3, 2011