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Thucydides was a conspiracy theorist!

What with anyone who questions Dan Rather being considered a conspiracy theorist, I wondered what one of the most respected Western historians of all time had to say about events that took place during his lifetime.
If you suspect the motives of your leaders, fear that you are being manipulated by the manipulation of words in ordinary discourse, feel that the administration of justice in our country is more dependent on the personalities of the administrators than on the impartiality of the law, think that illogic and child psychology are being used to get you to hate someone you've never met and is probably a lot like you, or feel that ordinary citizens are being held at arms length from the civil process by the very people who should be embracing them, you're in good company!

On the motives of leaders:

...Cleon and Brasidas were dead - the two people who on each side had been most opposed to peace, Brasidas because of the success and honor which had come to him through war, Cleon because he thought that in time a of peace and quiet people would be more likely to notice his evil doings and less likely to believe his slander of others.

On the meaning of words:

To fit in with the change of events, words, too, had to change their usual meanings. What used to be described as a thoughtless act of aggression was now regarded as the courage one would expect to find in a party member; to think of the future and wait was merely another way of saying one was a coward; any idea of moderation was just an attempt to disguise one's unmanly character; ability to understand a question from all sides meant that one was totally unfitted for action.

Excerpts from Cleon's speech at the Mytilenian debate:

Cleon, son of Cleaenetus, the same who had carried the former motion of putting the Mitylenians to death, the most violent man at Athens, and at that time by far the most powerful with the commons, came forward again and spoke as follows:

"I have often before now been convinced that a democracy is incapable of empire, and never more so than by your present change of mind in the matter of Mitylene. Fears or plots being unknown to you in your daily relations with each other, you feel just the same with regard to your allies..."

"...bad laws which are never changed are better for a city than good ones that have no authority; that unlearned loyalty is more serviceable than quick-witted insubordination; and that ordinary men usually manage public affairs better than their more gifted fellows. The latter are always wanting to appear wiser than the laws, and to overrule every proposition brought forward, thinking that they cannot show their wit in more important matters, and by such behaviour too often ruin their country; while those who mistrust their own cleverness are content to be less learned than the laws..."