Saturday, December 13


Here's one of the men who as the leaders of Athens drove it to defeat in the Peloponnesian war. 

This kind of leader is quite common son. Populist leaders are very very dangerous. They appeal to the base instincts. And thus seem popular in polls and there are short term gains but the country suffers in the long term. One extreme example is Chavez of Venezuela. Another is ex president Ahmadinejad of Iran. Same with bibi Netanyahu of Israel. And our own David milliband with his stupid idea of price controls on energy bills. 

Be wary of people who are like this son. Look at them with the deepest suspicion. Even though David milliband's proposals will help me right now by reducing the electricity bill for 2 years, you and Diya then run the high risk of having no electricity or load shedding. Short term gain for long term pain. Not fun. 



Cleon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cleon (English pronunciation: /ˈklən/; Greek: Κλέων, Ancient Greek: [kléɔːn], Kleon) (died 422 BCE) was an Athenian statesman and a strategos during thePeloponnesian War. He was the first prominent representative of the commercial class in Athenian politics, although he was an aristocrat himself. Contemporaries Thucydides and Aristophanes represented him as a warmonger and a demagogue.


Public service

Opposition to Pericles

Cleon first came to notice as an opponent of Pericles in the late 430s through his opposition to Pericles' strategy of refusing battle against the Peloponnesian League invaders in 431 BC. As a result, he found himself acting in concert with the Athenian aristocratic parties, who also had no liking for Pericles. During 430 BC, after the unsuccessful expedition by Pericles to the Peloponnesus, and when the city was devastated by the plague, Cleon headed the opposition to Pericles' rule. At this time, Pericles was accused by Cleon of maladministration of public money, with the result that Pericles was found guilty and removed from office (see Grote's History of Greece, abridged ed., 1907, p. 406, note 1). However, Pericles' setback was temporary and he was soon reinstated.

Rise in popularity

The death of Pericles from the plague in 429 BC left the field clear for new leadership in Athens. Hitherto Cleon had only been a vigorous opposition speaker, a trenchant critic and accuser of state officials, but he now came forward as the professed champion and leader of the democracy and, as a result, dominated Athenian politics. Although rough and unpolished, he was charismatic, being gifted with natural eloquence and a powerful voice, and he knew how to work upon the emotions of the Athenian populace. He strengthened his support amongst the poorer citizens of Athens by increasing the pay of the jurymen, which provided many of the poorer Athenians with a means of livelihood.

The fondness of the Athenians for litigation increased his power; and the practice of "sycophancy" (raking up material for false charges), enabled him to remove those who were likely to endanger his ascendancy. In 426 BC, Cleon brought an unsuccessful prosecution against Laches based on his generalshipin the unsuccessful first Sicilian expedition. This is one of the very few times that an Athenian general escaped civil punishment for a defeat. Having no further use for his former aristocratic associates, he broke off all connection with them, and thus felt at liberty to attack the secret combinations for political purposes, the oligarchical clubs to which they mostly belonged. Whether he also introduced a property-tax for military purposes, and even held a high position in connection with the treasury, is uncertain.

War against Sparta, subsequent death

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