At 06:02 PM 9/22/2003 -0500, you wrote:
>There is a good argument to be made that we live in the Second (or even
>the Third) (U.S.) Republic. (Or possibly the Fourth, if one begins
>counting with the Declaration of Independence.
Those may be good and higly useful arguments, but do not alter the fact
of the composition of the government of the US.
>The Athenian Democracy lasted nearly 200 years, and when it was
>destroyed by Alexander (I'm closly following the language of M.I. Finley
>here), it went down fighting, and those who fought that losing battle
>knew what they were fighting for in a way that it has never quite been
>possible to say of the U.S.
I'm taking it that you are not following M. I. Finley in that last,
which is perhaps not a necessary conclusion but more the result of an