Democracy and Money: Lessons for Today from Athens in Classical Times

Bitros, G.C., Economou, E.M.L., Kyriazis, N.C.
2020 EUROPEAN RESEARCH STUDIES JOURNAL  
The present book presents the Athenian monetary and financial system in relation to current problems of the international financial system. The authors argue, that useful lessons for the present may be drawn from the Athenian example. The authors maintain that to forestall another financial crisis like that of 2007/8, which may prove more unsettling nationally and internationally, the US must reform its central banking. In particular, the book explains how the main political institutions
more » ... institutions (mainly the Assembly of the citizens and the Council) were functioning regarding monetary matters. It explains the Athenian monetary system as a benchmark for reference and adaptation, which would provide an effective way out of the current dreadful predicament that government managed money holds for the US and the world at large. The Athenian monetary system may be conceived as a benchmark, for under it: i) money would be produced in private markets as every other good and service, e.g., money supply was driven by the private and the state sectors needs in combination ii) the general price level remained stall for almost two centuries iii) following the Athenian example, the US government should return to its main task of minding the common good through prudent fiscal policies, instead of hiding the looming risks of unsustainable national debt behind the Fed's monopoly over the issuing of fiat money and reducing nominal interest rates close to zero. Like the US today, Athens during the Classical times reached the apex of its military, economic, political, cultural, and scientific influence in the history of the world. A critical difference between the Classical times and today is the institutional (political and economic) setting. Athens was a direct democracy where decisions were taken at the Assembly by voting. Thus, the citizens-decision makers were the
doi:10.35808/ersj/1668 fatcat:i2krtfh26renhden4tifvpdsau