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(E) Cast Your Vote by Socrates
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  03/19/2002 | Humor And Wisdom | Unrated
(E) Cast Your Vote by Socrates
Socrates. That seems very strange to me, when I consider the principle which 
you say governs your politics. But there is another class, so very numerous 
and important, that I am sure your legislators must have found a means of 
counting their votes, although there may be some material difficulty in 
doing so : I mean the dead. For who can have a greater stake in a country 
than its founders, whose whole soul and single hope was devoted to 
establishing it, that it might last and be true to their thought for ever ; 
or than the soldiers who in many wars have successively given their lives to 
preserve it ? Surely at every meeting of your assembly their votes are 
counted first, which they once cast so solemnly and sincerely, and at so 
great a sacrifice to themselves for your sake ; and their veto is interposed 
beforehand against any rash measures that might undo their labours, stultify 
their hopes, and banish their spirit from the house which they built and 
The Stranger. No ; the dead have no vote among us. On the contrary, we think 
they have too much influence as it is without voting, because they have 
bequeathed institutions to us which encumber our playground and are not to 
our liking ; and the inertia which these institutions oppose to our fresh 
desires seems to us a hateful force, which we call the dead hand. 
Socrates. Do you mean that every young rascal, who knows nothing of the 
origin and laws of his country, and has never done anything in it but be 
born, may cast a vote, or that foreigners fleeing from famine or seeking by 
trade to enrich themselves privately, although in their hearts they may be 
sworn enemies to the land that receives them, may cast a vote also, but that 
the founders and defenders of it are not suffered to make their voices 
heard, because they happen to be dead ? I, who am dead myself, see a great 
injustice in that... 
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