DEMOCRACY: THE POWER OF PEOPLE
The ancient Greek philosopher Socrates grew up in the suburbs of Athens overlooking the Parthenon Temple - a symbol of Western civilisation. But around the time young Socrates lived (470-399 BC) his city was ripped apart by a ferocious war with the unbeatable superpower Persia. When the brutal war finally ended innovative ideas, values and belief systems started flooding into Athens which raised Socrates expectations within his society. Eventually, he rose to become among one of three influencers who shaped the ideology of the modern world. Together with Confucius in China and Buddha in India, Socrates laid down the foundations of curiosity, encouraging people to search for the truth. As an independent thinker Socrates was not convinced by the explanations provided by Greek mythology and the immoral Gods that ruled the universe. He began to question superstitious doctrines.
Hence over the years, he developed a line of advanced systematic thoughts through public debates, which in turn encouraged fellow Athenians to question the belief system of the society they lived in. The Greek philosopher argued that it's not ideal to be fed information by the system. People must be taught how to harness the power of the brain to develop common sense through inquisitiveness. However, the incredible thing about Socrates is that he refused to document his philosophies in a book. He did not leave behind a single written word. We only knew he existed and can dwell inside his deep mind through one of his most dedicated students, Plato. Why? We still don't know, but it could be because Socrates believed the written word leaves an impression on people, and he wanted to encourage the unrestrained power of free-thinking. "The only evil is ignorance," Socrates said. He was, thus, among the first intellects to put ethics at the heart of philosophy. Adamantly, he was seeking to understand the foundations of a good, happy, functional society.
So, he raised questions such as: "What makes us happy? Is it wealth or is it democracy?" Eventually, Socrates concluded that virtue is knowledge of the human good. It lies in the power of the decisions we make in everyday life. He wasn't trying to undermine the power of the heavenly Gods, but he was putting forward the argument that humans from all walks of life have the power to shape their destiny, by using common sense. However, the complex intellectuality he spoke with was frightening to many influential people, as he was starting to influence young minds. To offend them even more, Socrates began to question the knowledge leaders, poets and writers claimed to have and exposed their embarrassing ignorance. He hated people who claimed to know what they really didn't know. But by openly exposing the aristocrats, the rebel philosopher was setting the stage for his ultimate downfall. He didn't seem to care, because he believed to rule you must prove you have the right kind of wisdom. And to the end, Socrates dedicated all his time to fighting false pretences and superficiality in Greek society.