Athenian democracy

How ancient Athens made the rich love taxes

18 March 2017 9:00 am

Now that Philip Hammond is promising yet more tax hikes, he might consider how Athens managed it. During the whole…

Plutarch: the father of anti-democracy

11 March 2017 9:00 am

Hardly a week goes by without someone applauding Thomas Carlyle’s objection to democracy: ‘I do not believe in the collective…

How Socrates judged experts

11 February 2017 9:00 am

The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, raises his growth forecasts and suddenly everyone believes the ‘expert’. So…

Ancient Greeks wouldn’t recognise George Osborne’s idea of democracy

7 January 2017 9:00 am

Ex-chancellor George Osborne is planning a book to be titled The Age of Unreason. He says that ‘it will be…

Aristophanes had Donald Trump’s number

3 December 2016 9:00 am

As self-important comics fantasise about unseating Donald Trump with their wit, they should remember the great Aristophanes. In 424 BC,…

Meet the Donald Trump of ancient Athens (he won)

2 April 2016 9:00 am

Why does the Republican party loathe Donald Trump? Because Trump is the ultimate loose cannon, beholden to no one. And…

There were no safe spaces at the dawn of democracy

19 March 2016 9:00 am

Brilliant Oxford undergraduates argue that it is right to prevent us saying things they object to, because speech they do…

Become like ancient Athens — leave the EU

13 February 2016 9:00 am

One feels that Sir Stuart Rose, leader of the EU referendum ‘In’ campaign, should really try a little harder. First…

Jeremy Corbyn and Pericles: spot the difference

24 October 2015 9:00 am

Whatever else one can say about Jeremy Corbyn, one thing is clear: he is a leader who does not believe…

Why Hesiod would have gone for Grexit

27 June 2015 9:00 am

Why do Greeks want to keep the euro, or remain in the European Union? The combative, creative, competitive, mercantile classical…

Athenians didn’t need coalition negotiations. We should learn from them

9 May 2015 9:00 am

Whatever the result of the election, it has become clearer by the day that our ‘democracy’ is run by politicians…

When Rome’s 99 per cent stood up

28 March 2015 9:00 am

In the UK the richest 1 per cent — 300,000 — of the working population control 23 per cent of…

Today’s TV debates are pointless – here’s the real thing

28 February 2015 9:00 am

Ancients would have been astonished that parties never debate against each other in open, public forum except on the telly…

Ched Evans: law vs people power

17 January 2015 9:00 am

‘This was the rule for men that Zeus established: whereas fish, beasts and birds eat each other, since there is…

The lesson of Athens: to make people care about politics, give them real power

15 November 2014 9:00 am

Voters explain their apathy about politics on the grounds that the politicians do not understand them. No surprise there, an…

Forget Ukip – what we need is some ostracisms

1 November 2014 9:00 am

For all Nigel Farage’s appealing bluster, he is never going to be in a position to get us out of…

Sorry, Rory Stewart, but you don't understand the Greeks

18 January 2014 9:00 am

In last week’s Spectator, Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith, was reported to be proposing that we should create in Britain…

Ancient and modern: Modern Egypt vs ancient Athens

24 August 2013 9:00 am

Whatever problems Greeks and Romans faced, a politicised priesthood was not one of them. They might have made three observations…