Why does

ask this question? Because I’ve been reading British history recently. The previous book was about Greek history, so during this period, I suddenly realized that the development of Britain seems to see little shadow of Greece. If Greece has influence on the west, where is this reflected? PS: it doesn’t help to repeat the history of Greece?

Nan Shanzi’s answer seems completely irrelevant… In fact, the professional answer to this question based on the political category has been like a river crossing crucian carp. I post an article that I personally think is clear and organized, The relevant part will be bold to indicate the original “return of selection: the practice and exploration of democracy” by Wang Shaoguang “Sortation”, it is estimated that most Chinese who have studied mathematics and English have never heard of the word. What may surprise them even more is that the most important feature of the original democratic system was the drawing of elections, rather than the well-known election today.

what is” selection ” ? Look at the practice of Athenian democracy in the 6th century BC. An important pillar of the Athenian political system is the 500 Member Council, of which 500 members are elected. At that time, there were 10 tribes in Athens, each of which could produce 50 members, adding up to 500. These members are not elected, but are drawn from voluntary candidates who have reached the age of 30 (of course, they must be citizens). The original method of drawing is to put white beans and a certain number of black beans equal to their seats in a pre prepared pot. Whoever draws white beans is a member of Parliament. After the 4th century BC, a special stone selection plate replaced the selection pot. Drawing is not only crucial in the operation of the 500 Member Council, but also the main way to produce other officials. About 500 judges in charge of the judiciary are selected, and more than 600 of the about 700 consuls in charge of administration are also selected. Except that a few officials who need special skills such as generals and treasurers are elected by the citizens’ assembly, all other officials must be selected by lot from citizens over the age of 30, without restrictions on experience, skills or property qualifications.

Herodotus, the “ancestor of history” in the West (about 484-425 BC), was probably the first person to leave a record for democracy. In his great book “history”, he stressed that the selection is the touchstone of Democracy: “the first advantage of people’s rule lies in its best reputation, that is, everyone is equal before the law… All positions are determined by lot, the people in office are responsible for everything they do, and all opinions are handed over to the people for adjudication.”

not only Herodotus, but almost all thinkers who talked about democracy in ancient Greece regarded selection as a symbol of democracy, whether they like democracy or hate democracy. For example, Plato (about 427 BC ~ 347 BC) understood that democracy is “citizens have the same citizenship and the opportunity to be an official – official positions are usually determined by lot”. His student Aristotle (384-322 BC) regarded whether there was a draw as a watershed between democracy and non Democracy: “the drawing of lots to assign official positions can be said to be the practice of a civilian (i.e. democratic) regime, while the election of various officials has the nature of an oligarchy.” According to the research of Mogens Herman Hansen, one of the most authoritative experts in contemporary ancient Greek history, this is a common knowledge that women should know in ancient Greece.

in fact, if democracy means that the people are the masters of the country, it is easy to understand why selection is regarded as a sharp weapon of democracy.

first of all, the selection is difficult to be manipulated. The selection of Athens has to go through a complex procedure. No one can know who will be selected. This is different from elections, whose results are easily affected by money, appearance, eloquence and even violence or threat of violence. Because of this characteristic, in the view of ancient people who do not understand modern random sampling theory and technology, sampling is the choice of God: only God knows the result, and people will not know it.

secondly, the selection is open to everyone. Under the electoral system, at best, we can only achieve equal opportunities to elect others; Under the selection system, everyone has exactly the same chance of being selected. No matter high or low, rich or poor, honor or disgrace, such opportunities will not be increased or reduced, and equal opportunities for all have been truly realized.

again, the results of the selection are representative. Whether ancient or modern, the elected people often come from the social elite. Although they are known as the “representatives” of the people, their social background, resource possession, living habits, mode of thinking and preference are incompatible with ordinary people. To what extent can they “represent” the people? It’s really an unknown number. Random selection may allow all kinds of people to be selected, including not only dignitaries, but also small families, but also traffickers and pawns. Modern sampling theory proves that if the sampling strictly follows the random principle, the final sample can fully represent the overall characteristics of the population.

finally, the selection is rooted in the belief that “everyone can be Yao and Shun”. Only by believing that ordinary people also have the ability to govern the country will they support the people as masters of the country and institutionalize the selection. Those who regard ordinary people as hooligans, grass mustard, mole ants and dung cannot accept the selection. Even if they boast, they will only support some kind of elite politics, such as elite governance through election.




are precisely because of the above characteristics. In the history of Western political system, there are some examples of the use of selection in addition to ancient Greece, although their purpose is not necessarily to fully implement democracy, but to prevent political power from being controlled by powerful powers. For example, the Republic of Rome has widely used selection in its political, social, religious, military, judicial and colonial life to reconcile political conflicts between elites and avoid dominance by one party. For another example, the Grand Duchy of Venice, which once attracted attention for its long-term stability, used cross selection through very complex procedures from 1268 to 1797The purpose of the Archduke of Venice, the chief executive, is to make it impossible for any powerful family to grasp the final result, because they may be able to control the election, but they cannot control the lottery. For another example, in Florence, after the civilian group took power in 1250, it gradually established the basic political system of selecting government officials by drawing lots, including the selection of the supreme administrative organ.

in the history of Western political thought, especially for a long time, democracy was considered inseparable from drawing. For example, niccol242;machiavelli (1469-1527) and Francesco guicciardini (1483-1540) were contemporary thinkers. The former tried to tap resources in the history of system and thought in order to limit the power of powerful families in politics. Therefore, he proposed to set up special institutions for civilians to compete with the elite, and supported the selection. The latter is extremely disgusted with the election because of their opposition to democracy, but they have a unique affection for the election; He was one of the earliest advocates of election in the history of thought. James Harrington (1611-1677), who was also critical of the people’s presidency, also believed that it was foolish to select decision makers by drawing lots. In his book Oceania, he spent a long time discussing the past practice of drawing elections in various countries, but believed that only elections can select the existing elites. Montesquieu’s as like as two peas of Aristotle before 2000, is almost the same as that of Aristotle before the year 1689~1755: “voting by balloting is a democratic political nature. Election by election is the nature of noble politics.” The reason why the election is democratic is that this method will not offend anyone, nor will it give anyone a special opportunity; It gives every citizen the same opportunity to be selected to serve his country. However, Montesquieu, who preferred aristocratic politics, was not optimistic about the selection. Until the end of the 18th century, this practice of linking drawing to democracy was still common. Rousseau (1712 ~ 1778) clearly agreed with Montesquieu’s statement in the theory of social contract published in 1762, and then pointed out that “the method of drawing lots is the most democratic”, “Because when drawing lots, everyone’s conditions are equal, and the choice does not depend on anyone’s will, so no one’s role can change the universality of the law.” Only under the aristocratic system, “voting is very appropriate”.

the ancient history of Cambridge summarizes this as “all ancient authorities agree that selection is a democratic setting to achieve equal opportunities between the rich and the poor.”

according to Samuel P. Huntington, the world ushered in the first wave of democracy in the early 19th century. However, it is strange that it was from the 19th century that the relationship between drawing elections and democracy, which lasted for 2000 years, was suddenly cut off. It faded out of people’s sight. Instead, elections became the symbol of Democracy: striving for democracy is striving for the right to vote and expanding the right to vote. The principles of representative government published by French scholar Bernard manin in 1997 has a special chapter on “winning the election”. He uses “astonishing” to describe this sudden change in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. This situation lasted until the second half of the 20th century. Over the past hundred years, the once democratic weapon of drawing has been lost,