Jay Samons & ‘What follows Democracy?’

Prof. Samons gave his famous Trireme lecture last Tuesday – a most exciting highlight of CC101 according to our alumni!

Refresh your memory with some select quotes from previous years:

  • “Triremes were built to kill. You can’t have fun on a trireme. You can’t water-ski behind one. You can’t hold an afternoon BBQ on one. You can’t do anything but kill on a trireme.”

  • “Why did the Athenians beat the Persians? Because the Persians showed up to the wars with wicker shields. Wicker. The Persians showed up with Pier 1 armor.”

  • “What do you know about Sparta? Leather underwear (because you have all seen that terrible movie. Look, even the Greeks didn’t wear leather underwear and do you know why? Because chafing is a universal concept, scholars.”

  • “The poets said Pericles’ head was shaped like a ‘sea-onion’. I don’t know what a sea-onion is but you don’t want your head to be shaped like one. It’s not a good look.”

  • “Some gods like their wine poured on the ground because that’s how they like it: dirty. It’s good to be a god.”

  • “Assembly of Citizens is the most important organ of the polis. Are we going to war? These are the types of issues the Assembly directly voted on. Imagine that… You came into this place thinking democracy is great for you have freedom to vote, to occupy. Because we are the 99%.”

  • Prof. Samons speaks more of democracy:

    “How would Plato describe America? We are primed for tyranny.”

    “Plato would be so appalled by the television and internet that he would commend us for keeping it together this long.”

    Indeed, a centerpiece of our Alum Advice for new Core students, is:

    Beware the man whose trireme or codpiece is more impressive than yours.
    ~ Jonah Blustain (Core 2007, CAS 2009)

    A most relevant post from Gawker, titled ‘Americans Done With U.S. Democracy, But What Will They Choose Instead?’

    Having learned what happens when giant babies are elected to govern the United States, Americans are very disgusted with their government. They like the Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security and Obamacare and Prescription Drug Benefits, but they don’t like democracy, which is a pretty weird way to run a country.

    This republic has dragged on for a very long time, and once the Capitol is burned down, nobody will really miss it. That rich white people were expected to do their lobbying and governing from a poor black city with no government representation was always a cosmic prank, and few will mourn the end of the “federal city.” But what’s next?

    Millions may be killed in house-to-house combat, what with the hundreds of millions of guns in this country, or people might just continue to stay inside with their TVs. California will likely join Oregon and Washington and maybe British Columbia, and the South will finally get to fly that Confederate Flag as it sinks deeper into poverty and environmental degradation. New York and coastal New England will probably unite as the Republic of Acela, while the fracking corporations will seize as much of the interior as they can. Life may be better or it may be worse or it may be roughly the same, with the very rich still very rich. (There will be no appreciable change in Florida.)

    The post proceeds to provide a poll, asking what the next form of government should be. Funny stuff:

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