Essay: Why Pericles joined politics

Sample Essay

In his wisdom and dignity, Pericles remained incorruptible, never seeking favors from any source and never wanted to favor anyone. This is the reason why he joined politics but never bought the votes unlike Cimon who believed in using money to help people. The reason for Pericles’ joining of politics was because he considered Cimon a danger to democracy (Plutarch 49). His use of money was chiefly for security or entertainment reasons but his way to being voted in was through his powerful rhetoric, which could only enable garner support from the majority which he gets. Pericles cannot be exonerated from shrewdness and calculative moves. He instilled fear and hope to enable him realize his goals, a characteristic equivalent o modern days’ transformational leadership (Thucydides 120).

Pericles’ empowerment of Athenians took three fronts: first he led them to establish a military power by patrolling the Aegean to keep the Persians away. Secondly, he emphasized education for it was the only way political matters agreed upon easily due to being informed. His need for Athenians to think of themselves as superior than other Greeks prompted this empowerment program which cultivated a high social esteem for his citizens. Thirdly, he turned Athens into a great trading zone which led to gaining of revenue that was used paying salaries to the council representatives and paying wages to the poor Athenians who built infrastructure (Plutarch 188).  From this empowerment program, modern states can be seen to emphasize on education of its people, their security and economic restructuring of their cities and villages for prosperity. This great idea from Pericles forms the basis of the change of regimes if the existing ones fail to empower their citizens in these fields and others as per the immediate needs of those regimes.

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