era. By ignoring the needs of both whitesrnand blacks to preserve their uniquerncultures, policymakers threaten bothrngroups. Blacks, however, will stand uprnand defend their institutions, whilernwhites sit passively by.rnOne hundred years after the muchmalignedrnPlessy decision, black nationalismrnis as strong as ever. Whites, on thernother hand, do little more than mumblernplatitudes about a nation dedicated to arnproposition when given the opportunityrnto defend their culture. It does not takernmuch guesswork to figure out which ofrnthe two nations will survive another 100rnyears.rnWilliam ]. Watkins, Jr.,rnof The Freeman.rn; assistant editorrnPOLITICSrnPlaying PoliticsrnWith Periclesrnby Nicholas J. PappasrnSomewhere toward the middle of ThernBook of Virtues: A Treasury of MoralrnStories, William Bennett has includedrn”The Funeral Oration of Pericles” fromrnThucydides’ The Peloponnesian War. TornBennett (or to his ghostwriter), thisrn”speech reminds participants of democracyrntwo and a half millennia later thatrnthe character of the state is determinedrnby the irtues of individual citizens”; it isrna paean to civic virtue and teaches thernimportance of citizen responsibility.rnIf vou remember the speech fromrnschool days, you probably recall it as arnnice piece of oratory in praise of the soldiers,rnsailors, and marines killed in thernfirst year of the war. Rereading it in Bennett’srnbook does evoke an uplifting feeling.rnBut you have to grow up sometime,rnand it is useful to ponder what Bennettrndoes not pose: whether Pericles representsrnthe highest ideal of democraticrnleadership or a general societal illnessrnthat was then infecting Athens.rnIt is true that during the Age of Periclesrn(mid-fifth century B.C.), “the Athenianrnempire reached full developmentrnmilitarily, commercially, and culturally.”rnMilitarily, development meant becomingrnthe hegemon of an alliance systemrnforged to fight the Persians from c. 490-rn448 B.C. Or, to use the blunter terms ofrnPericles himself, “what you hold is, tornspeak somewhat plainly, a tyranny; torntake it perhaps was wrong, but to let it gornunsafe.” This military development allowedrnthe Athenians to control the searnlines of communication in their thalassicrnworld, bully allies who were in arrears onrntheir dues, and use the riches of their farflungrnholdings to build public gymnasiarnand theaters for the people who mannedrnthe ships. The essence of her commercialrndevelopment was the use of sea powerrnto satisfy the desires of the masses.rnCulturally, in the years between thernPersian and Peloponnesian wars, Athensrngrew up. During the Persian Wars, thernAthenians were motivated by fear ofrntheir enemies, friendship for each other,rnand devotion to the gods, and they definedrnjustice as the painful process ofrnfinding righteousness in difficult circumstances.rnBy the time of Pericles, the rusticrnsimplicity of Athens had been replacedrnby a cosmopolitanism motivatedrnby fear, honor, and interest. Justice nowrnbecame submission of the weaker to thernstronger. Pericles, the head of state,rnmust take some credit for this majorrnchange. What shall we think of him?rnIn Gorgias, the old realpolitiker Calliclesrnasks Socrates whether he has notrnheard that Themistocles, Cimon, Miltiades,rnand Pericles were all good men.rnSocrates replies:rnYes, Callicles, they were good men,rnif as you said at first, true virtuernconsists only in the satisfaction ofrnour own desires and those of others;rnbut if not, and if, as were afterwardsrncompelled to be acknowledged,rnthe satisfaction of somerndesires makes us better, and ofrnothers, worse, and we ought torngratify the one and not the other,rnand there is an art in distinguishingrnthem—can you tell me of any ofrnthese statesmen who did distinguishrnthem?rnCallicles: No, indeed I cannot.rnSocrates then confronts Callicles withrnthe observation that Pericles and the otherrn”great” statesmen were the real authorsrnof Athens’ calamities. If they are tornbe praised for building harbors, docks.rnwalls, and revenues, let them be so. Butrnthey likewise are to be damned for “leavingrnno room for justice and temperance”rnand causing the “swollen and ulceratedrncondition of the State.”rnDid Pericles in his funeral oration givernAthens’ citizens a genuine picture ofrncivic virtue and citizen responsibility or arnfacade to justify their greed? WilliamrnBennett’s editing of the speech leavesrnout a key segment that demonstratesrnhow prepared Pericles is to substitute thernorder of human power for the power ofrnthe gods. In this section Pericles callsrnAthens the “school of all Hellas” whosernrenown is so great that her assailants havernno occasion to blush when beaten, andrneven her subjects do not question herrntitle to rule. The Athenians’ pathos is atrnits peak here, as Pericles makes a desperaternattempt to reconcile necessity withrnjustice. But he cannot stop with thisrnequation. Pericles seems compelled torntake the fatal step that turns his speechrninto an assault on the order of the gods:rnThe admiration of the present andrnsucceeding ages will be ours, sincernwe have not left our power withoutrnwitness, but have shown it byrnmighty proofs; and far from needingrna Homer for our panegyrist, orrnothers of his craft whose versesrnmight charm for the moment onlyrnfor the impression which they gavernto melt at the touch of fact, wernhave forced every sea and land tornbe the highway of our daring, andrnevervwhere . . . have left imperishablernmonuments of evil and ofrngood behind us.rnHomer and the others of his craft representrnwhat we might call the “Order ofrnZeus,” the poetic and philosophic articulationrnof the spiritual experiences of thernHellenes from Homer through Hesiod tornPlato, as the truth of the myth becomesrnthe truth of the philosopher. In contemporaryrnterms, the Athens of Pericles hasrnreached that point where there are twornstrata of thought, each contending forrnthe soul of the city. One, represented byrnSocrates, recognizes that the Homericrnmyth no longer is authoritative, but mustrnbe replaced by the theology towardrnwhich the myth had always pointed. Thernother, represented by Pericles, would berncalled the “fact/value dichotomy.”rn”Truth” is determined by the methodologyrnof physical science, whereas “justice,”rn”love,” “right,” and “beauty”rnAUGUST 1996/47rnrnrn