Other Essays/THE MELIAN DIALOGUE, A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE EXCERPTS term paper 41928

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The dialogue starts with the prevalent lifestyle of the era, when men where acquiring empires, subjugating, anne, a stage set in the setting or milieu of war. The issue of having allies has continued to repeat itself throughout history of mankind, here in the text; the Athenians had allies in their project of annexation and subjugation.

The first point that raises our political thought is that of diplomacy, it depicts diplomacy as a weapon used even during that era, by sending the ambassadors to the people of Melian shows an element of modernity,“ modernity” not in full but at least a respect for human dignity to some extent.

The next stage is that ,which depicts the extent of representative ness in Melian,the Athenian ambassadors met with just few leading citizens( Woodruff 1993:102-103),this exemplifies a deficit in representation, the common people are left out, just like in our present day, even the advanced democratic countries when it comes to issues of defence live their citizens out, the same applies here, like the United States invasion of Iraq, the expenses ,losses are mostly borne by the common people and not the decision makers.

The art of diplomacy is further employed here, through negotiations between the Melian Council and The Athenians, dialogue a reverse plan to war is crucial, if entertained and fruitful yields emanate from the dialogue. (Ibid)

The partition of the globe to two spheres in International politics, the periphery and core, can be seen here, it stems from a section been weak and the other strong as the Melians were weak, at the mercy of the Athenians, this is evidenced by the utterance, “we see you have come to be the judge of this proceedings”. (Ibid, p103)

Justice is clearly seen as influenced by teleological means, what the strong part considers to be in its favour is justice, this has been the case in global politics, even in cases of international law. It depicts the state of contemporary politics, where the weak gets the greatest spoils of globalization and the weak is left begging for aids, foreign direct investment, such was in Athenian-Melian case.(Ibid,p104)

The discussion continues with a look into the aspect of the Melians co-operating for a mutual gain, rather than fighting, obedience here is better than war, which shows the weakness of one part, servitude solves the equation .The centrality of the discuss here is the thirst for power and dominance, no wonder Kissinger depicts power “as the ultimate aphrodisiac”. Hatred by the servant however increases the build on power of the ruler.

The subject of safety comes to fore here, the Melians were urged to surrender and get security from the Athenians, neutrality is raised as another option by the Melians, which the Athenians refused, in International politics also, neutrality is cornered by diverse sanctions and punishment, like the Cuban case. Cooperation is therefore a necessary evil, crucial for the weaker states as we see in the Melian case and our contemporary globe.

The use of hope comes up again, its referred to as a prodigal element, to the weak word hope is out of the point, and its either you cooperate or face the aftermath.

Such was the case of the Melians, at the mercy of the Athenians, hope to the weak is just a show of not showing cowardice, but at the back of the mind, defeat is ringing its alarm. (Ibid, p105)

Futhermore,the discuss turns into a link of what weak people turn to,religion,the Melians were quoted as depending in the gods, for their sustenance and safety.

The element of deception, mesmerizing as an art of diplomacy is well articulated by the Athenians trying to convince the Melians of their weakness and condition, despite their resilient position of the Lacedomonians helping them, Justice, honor here depicts the philosophical undertone of the concept, the duo concepts to the strong Athenians invite danger. (Ibid, p106)This shows that the duo concepts are for the Lion hearted, strong and not weaklings.

Another issue raised in the discussion is the issue of sacrifice, still a deceptive means of winning the heart of the few Melian leaders, the Athenians cited that the Lacedomonians are weak and would not sacrifice their allies’ life’s in a confrontation to safeguard the Melians.

The strategies, warfare prowess of the Athenians are depicted in their knowledge of the geography and landscape of their opponents; this depicts a large sense of diplomatic attributes. The proximity and geography are vital things mentioned in favour of the Athenians.

The Athenians show their resolute interest and thirst for power, when they stated that, the goodwill of those who call for help does not offer any security to those who fight for them. This depicts a true picture in contemporary political relations, an ally or country measures the benefit from attacking or intervening before taking an action. (Ibid, p107)

Hope is fully stressed as a weapon or tool by the weak, this is further disclosed by the Athenians, having revealed to the Melians they have no solid arrangement, all they hope in is cheer hope.

The Athenians showed their verbal prowess here, taking the conference over with words demoralizing the Melians,the conclusive words tend to that as a matter of choice for the Melians to think over the discuss. This leaves them, the Melians still at the mercy of the Athenians, a show of great diplomatic qualities of strategies, deception, versatility in affairs, resilience and oratory is seen here on the part of the Athenians.

The Melians ,seeking to stay put to liberty and faith on religious ground ,calls for a strong critique, a look at this ,represents the sentiment of the Middle East, in our contemporary world , the Melians however were resolute on not giving up sovereignty, things have changed in this era, mostly there are no wars of conquest, but in terms of globalization,liberalization,regional integration, we find a loss of sovereignty and other aftermaths.

The condemnation of the Melians by the Athenians, linked to the insistence on factors the Athenians counted weak, seems to be the end product of victory.

The Ambassadors ,had no invitation to war other than that which the Melians have choosed,so war erupted, with the Lacedomonaians also having their own problem, little Melian,was hard hit from all edges.(Ibid,p109)

The picture of this dialogue is quite vivid, we can see that the thirst for power here is predominant as indicated in the dialogue and the resolution to go to war; another concept central here is that of nationalism and patriotism, shown by the Melians.

Philosophical obscurity, exist in certain words both in practice and theory, in this text, a path to critical analysis, through the concept of hope, sacrifice, justice, has been analysed.

The main theme been power and the struggle of nations to remain sovereign.

REFERENCE

Woodruff, P, 1993, Thucydides: On Justice Power and Human Nature, Hackett Publishing Company / Indianapolis, Cambridge.

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