Friday, October 25, 2019

The Role of Government and Culture on Innovation in Greek City-States :: Essays Papers

The Role of Government and Culture on Innovation in Greek City-States A simple analysis of the culture, structure and technologies of Greek city-states reveals the fact that culture plays a vital role in the development of technologies. More specifically, an analysis of the government of Greek city-states demonstrates the very influential role of culture upon technological development. The democratic form of government first seen in Greece is reflected in the structure of the city-states. The basis for this form of government, which is more sensitive to the needs of the people, can also be seen in some of the more traditional types of technological development. Water supply fits the more traditional definition of technology, shows a concern for public well being, and is apparent in the Greek city-state. Analysis of the Greek city-state is further strengthened by comparison to Sparta. This opposing city was built into a much different culture, and as a result, was structured quite differently and produced different technologies. While it is certain that more than simply culture and form of government influence technological innovation, the evidence highlighting these factors' contributions is ample. Culture influences and is influenced by the form of government in a given region. This government and culture then influence the manner in which the environment in treated, and the innovations that occur. In his chapter on Greece, Colin Chant writes: "The system of cities was also shaped by fundamental political changes" (p. 57). This statement leads into a discussion of the rise of democracy in Greek city-states. An elected assembly wielded the authority in these city-states. Chant states, "Although the development of participatory modes of government might well be seen as a product of enlightened Greek culture, the influence of the Aegean environment must also be considered" (p.57). This assertion deserves some attention, as it insinuates that macro-level forces could be more responsible for governmental evolution than micro-level changes. The statement also walks the fine line concerning the innate political nature of individuals. In his article "The Pentagon's New Map," Thomas Barnett explains that one must be very careful with this type of thinking, as it is a definite generalization to say that something is inherent in a people making them govern themselves in a certain manner. It is a small step from this type of thinking to the statement "those people will never be like us" (Barnett, p.174). Barnett goes on to explain that it was once thought that there was something innate in Russians and Slavs that prohibited them from accepting capitalism and democracy (Barnett, p.

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