The play concerns a group of women, the leader of which is Praxagora. She has decided that the women must convince the men to give them control of Athens, because they could rule it better than the men have been. The women, in the guise of men, sneak into the assembly and vote the measure, convincing some of the men to vote for it because it is the only thing they have not tried.
The women then institute a communist-like government in which the state feeds, houses, and generally takes care of every Athenian. They enforce an idea of equality by allowing each man to sleep with any woman, provided that he sleeps with every woman in Athens who is uglier first.
Private property is abolished and all money and property are to go into a common fund. All expenses and purchases by each individual are to come out of the common fund. Any individual with personal property is considered to have stolen from the community…
The plot presents and makes fun of the ideas of abolition of private property, abolition of the family and purely material prosperity.
r/K has always been around. Look at the themes. K’s recognizing that effeminate men are the ruin of nations, and that the logical extension of a society of effeminate men is a society ruled by women which implements communism and free sex. What does sex have to do with resource allocation in the human mind? Why are they linked, even this far back? And why are feminism and communism related to abolition of the family?
Only r-selection links instincts leaning toward promiscuity, female assertions of leadership authority, expectation of free resource availability, and abolition of two-parent rearing. It is literally the only answer, and you see it all throughout history.
Interestingly this decline toward an effete society in Athens, which inspired the play, was coming after a long period of hard-fought war, which had both exported large numbers of K’s outward to fight, and probably killed them off as well.
War can be an r-stimulus at the genetic level. It kills off a society’s Jim Mattis-like warriors over time, while leaving behind the Woody Allens on the home front to breed. That is a recipe for genetically-mediated societal ruin. It is even worse when you have an all-volunteer force, so the rabbits can easily escape the selective pressure.
Someone here once postulated that warriors heading into battle should have their sperm banked by the government, and there should be a reward for families who raise offspring with their genes. I agree wholeheartedly. K is as genetic as it is epigenetic and environmental, and the genetic foundation may be the most important of all, because it takes eons to replace once lost.
Any government which ignores the genetic springs from which it’s philosophical spirits well up, is destined to fail.