On second thought, don't respond. Nothing constructive is being accomplished by this or any of my other contributions. I'll go back to lurking this section as the differences in perspectives between myself and the rest are far too different.
Giving up already?
Vigilance, the purpose of this discussion board is not to have a "we all agree with one another so let's pat each other on the ass" circle jerk.
We come to genuine consensus and purposeful agreement by contrasting these different perspectives. That is both the beauty and function of a dialogue.
It's like a cooperative investigation into the nature of reality. I could very well be mistaken and misinformed on certain things. I'm here to learn.
Now then, I think we can classify the Civil War as a revolution in that it was a revolution against the Southern Slave Owner class and against the British and French who supported them. (Of course, the delusion is that the North's victory meant total freedom, when in reality they never freed themselves from the Northern Wages Slave Owner class.) Remember, secession, though usually unfavorable, is nothing more than a tactic or strategy or means of and end: revolution. The South's "revolution" was really nothing but a very late counter-revolution to 1776. Another way of seeing this in the "big picture" is that there are different factions of oligarchs who engage in internecine conflict; it's definitely not as simple as "the masses versus the elites" or "the poor versus the rich". I'm sure we agree there.
Regarding Athens being a democracy, this is exactly what I was getting at: it was a plutocracy in which the masses were fooled into believing it was a democracy. In other words, there is only ever the appearance of democracy in formalities, but even this never lasts long, and rarely produces substantive improvements in the lives of the many. Most importantly, we must remember this is the same society which murdered Socrates. (Unrelated but relevant, we must remember the Weimar Republic had democratic features and elections with popular votes, and even though Hitler lost the election in public, behind closed doors in private it was decided he would be appointed.)
Regarding Plato, I'm saying that democracy cannot be some force outside the cycle which makes it less- or non-violent, precisely because democracy is inside of and a part of that very cycle.