Democracy

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See also: Government | Politics | Poll | Public opinion | Public sphere

Derived from the ancient Greek word demokratia. Demo is derived from "demos" or "deme" (people), cracy is derived from "kratein" or "krateo" (to rule).

In a democracy autonomous citizens are the source of power. Thus, the pure version of democracy is anarchy wherein all power rests with the free will of the people. Representative democracy, which is common in Western government, is a form of democracy in which the people create political systems by electing leaders to act for the people. Democracy, Capitalism and Industrialism (all integrated into a form of Plutocracy) are major forces driving the idea of the global village.

Democracy is strongly related to free, open communications, free speech and personal liberty. These aspects often require law for protection. Arguably justice is served when the will of the people is represented by gauging the public opinion of an informed and educated jurisdiction.

Anarchists prefer democracy to occur in a radically decentralized manner. Democracies in which a leader is chosen require legitimate counts (e.g. of ballots) so the preferred candidate is elected.

In democratic societies, there must be public debating. The people need debate and discussion which is elevated and constructive. The best communications for this public debate would be an information system which is diverse and has high standards.

The Information Age may assist the growth of the public sphere which fulfills the requirements all off people, unlike the impotent and unmotivated mass media.

Democracy, Public Opinion and the Law

Politics is often described as the process of working out what is wrong and right. In democracies we are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Democracy is best served by lawyers doing their greatest to represent their client's case. Lawyers might choose to represent people whom others don't like. Ideally it is up to a jury or judge to determine an outcome and deliver justice from the evidence provided, but like most large institutions of hierarchy there is often corruption.

If a lawyer disagrees with your morals, that is his right, but you have no right to impose forcefully your moral opinion one someone else's voluntary behavior.

Lawyers who represent the accused and those found guilty are not doing the a bad thing. Not only do lawyers have every right to represent alleged criminals, and not to represent them, many feel they have a greater duty to democracy, to serve those placed before a court. Having lawyers that will argue unconditionally ensures that innocent people as well the guilty are protected. Justice is served by the output of the court, not by the morality of a lawyer.

Not many people know the law to adequately provide their case themselves. If the law of the land was studied in educational systems like the bible or koran is studied in private religious schools we might not need lawyers to represent us.

Ideally all laws just be just and we would all have free legal information but for some sad reason legal advice is expensive and laws are involved in endless dispute. That is unfortunate when life is so dominated by legal restrictions because it means people can become criminals or create violence through ignorance and not knowing the laws or the long-term consequences of our lifestyle upon those in distant places or in the future.

Why Democracies Fail

Democracy can fail because of many reasons including bthe problem of cultures which are not compatible with democractic values. At other times it is because of a lack of information. To a work properly democracy must include the matter of being sufficiently informed about crucial issues to participate in decision-making processes. If someone doesn't know something is important its not likely to concern them when its time cast a ballot.

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury. From that time on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the results that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.

The average age of the world's great civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence:

from bondage to spiritual faith;

from spiritual faith to great courage;

from courage to liberty

from liberty to abundance;

from abundance to selfishness and greed;

from selfishness to complacency;

from complacency to apathy;

from apathy to dependency;

from dependency back again to bondage." Source.

Written by Scottish jurist and historian Professor Alexander Fraser Tytler (1742-1813), nearly two centuries ago while the thirteen original United States of America were still colonies of Great Britain. At the time Tytler was writing of the decline and fall of the Athenian Republic over two thousand years before.

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