The development of the Greek alphabet enabled the writer of an idea to have a sense of separation from the written thought. Ideas no longer needed to be remembered in order to be expressed, and as such could be altered or expanded upon at a later date. This allowed for greater objectivity in thought than had ever occurred before. Furthermore, this separation between the idea and the mind helped to give rise to the concept of individualism, which profoundly influenced the development of Western culture and thought even to the present day.
It is clear that literacy provided many benefits to the Greeks of the Golden Age. In the realm of social evolution, these benefits included the development of increased political freedom. In the words of Peter Green, the Greek alphabet "was one of the great democratizing forces of ancient culture" (Green, 1990, p. 90). In the age of orality, despotic kings were often able to hold sway over the people. This was because there were no adequate means for storing, and thus accurately remembering and using, the laws pertaining to limits on government power. This changed with the rise of alphabetic literacy, when the people at last had the means for increased control over both political affairs and their own lives. According to Oswyn Murray, language in pre-literate times was "fluid" in its descriptions; by contrast, literacy enabled people to "fix" words and their meanings. This had a powerful impact on the development of Greek cultural history. Thus: "The evasions and reinterpretations of the oral tradition ceased, and the resulting gap between written statement and actual experience led to the formation of a critical approach to life based on a notion of the essential rationality of all aspects of reality, public and private" (Murray, 1980, p. 97). This new way of perceiving life resulted in an increased emphasis on the values associated with individualism. As such, the revolution of the alphabet can be seen as contrib