It was my second day in Sparta since my mysterious travel back in time. I decided to get outside so I could get some fresh air and maybe learn something new about this interesting place. As I walked around, something about the atmosphere of the town didn't seem right. Everyone was huddled into little groups and I couldn't tell what was going on. I needed to figure out what was happening, so I went up to a group of people near me and asked them what everyone was talking about. They said, "Προφανώς υπάρχει-" Oops. I mean, they said, "Apparently there's a decision being made for the town; whether to make all people from city-states we captured slaves." They offered to take me to the town square to maybe converse with some other people about the situation, and I gladly accepted.
There were already many other people in the town square before we got there. Up above us on a little hill was a building. One of the men from the group pointed to the building and said, "That's where the king and his group of several rich people are deciding what to do." Huh, I thought. That sounds like an oligarchy. The USA has a representative democracy and I'm glad the citizens can actually vote. I replied, "That's weird. So no one else really knows what's going on in there. Wouldn't it be better if the people actually got to say what they thought in regards to the decision making process?" He said, "Yeah. I don't really like the way decisions are made around here." A few other people chimed into our conversation and said, "We think it's really unfair and we want to be able to tell the government what we think." I feel bad for these people, I thought. Here, the people don't even know how the discussion is going, but in the USA, voting takes place in open, public areas.
"Well I wish you guys could tell them, too," I said sadly, and asked, "What's your opinion?" One of them answered, "Well, I think that everyone from the captured city-states should become slaves." But another one argued, "I don't think so. Not all of those people should become slaves."
"You all could show your opinions if we had a democracy," I told them. "You know, 'of the people'. It seems like the government around here isn't 'of the people' at all." Some people around me shook their heads in discontent.
"I heard that another polis, Athens, has a direct democracy," replied one of the men. Oh yeah, I remembered. Polis is a greek word for city-state.
"What's a direct democracy?" asked another. The man answered, "A direct democracy is where all of the citizens have an equal say in the decision making process."
"That would be amazing for us," agreed some of the other people.
"Well now, I guess we'll just wait until the decision is made," I concluded. My group and I agreed and we continued walking around the town square. I had already learned a lot that day about the ways of Sparta's government.