From a review (via A&L Daily) of a biography of Hans-Georg Gadamer (of whom I am as ignorant as a newborn):
Was Gadamer really like Socrates? Or did he lack the courage that made the Greek drink poison rather than submit to the mob?
Uh, Mr. Reviewer, sir? Socrates drinking the poison? Uh, that was submission to the mob — the mob being the jury which in accordance to the laws of Athens had sentenced him to death. That’s part of what democracy was/is about: respecting the laws supported by the demos, no matter how misguided or a/immoral those decisions might be (and trying to change them for the better when possible). Had Socrates chosen not to submit to the ‘mob,’ had he chosen to submit, rather, to the advice of his aristocratic buddies, he could have continued philosophizing in exile. Just a thought. (Of course, I’m following Plato blindly here, and should perhaps check my Xenophon and Diogenes Laertius, but even so…)
Tangential: things finally got so bad in Athens, the state coffers were so empty, that prisoners sentenced to death had to pay for the hemlock with which they were to be killed. (References (from Plutarch) available upon request.)