Democracy as the Form of Government
The world we live in is so diverse, and sometimes it’s even hard to imagine that such things can exist somewhere. Tastes differ, people differ, their ways of life also differ, for that reason, what is acceptable to us is not acceptable to others. This situation also applies to forms of government.
Nowadays there are various types, some of them are more popular, and others aren’t so wide-spread. But today we will focus our attention mainly on democracy as a leading form.
Where did it come from?
Democracy was originated in ancient Greece, and literally means “rule by people”. You may be surprised but these three words generally express the whole point of this phenomenon. From the time of its appearance and up to now democracy passed various stages of historical development, but in the end, it has become the most popular form of government in the world. Despite this fact, you should know and understand that not all countries are able to implement the democratic form, and there are some particular reasons.
What is it?
Many years ago, Abraham Lincoln defined democracy as a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people”. Unlike other cases when the authority is concentrated in the hands of an individual or a small group and the government keeps under control the lives of others, democracy is inextricably linked with the rights and freedom of the people. Equality before the law, free and fair elections – these are two principles institutionalized by democracy. As you can see, in democracy humans and their rights are in the center of the system.
The USA, Norway, Sweden, the UK are examples of such an effective functioning of the democratic form. Nowadays democracy exists in different corners of our planet but it doesn’t mean that this form can be adopted by any country in the world.
Why is it criticized?
No matter, how desirable the democratic form of government may seem, it also has some weak points. Even Socrates and Plato, well-known ancient philosophers, mentioned some disadvantages. In particular, Plato argued that democracy didn’t provide evidence and arguments considering its leader, his knowledge, and special experience. In other words, the people may entrust their lives to an inappropriate person. Unfortunately, this statement is valid nowadays too.
Another weakness covers a control over citizens. The government can’t control the people sufficiently to achieve the goal. The lack of control is beneficial for individuals, but not for all people, on the contrary, it may have a negative impact on the economy and a general development of the country.
The democratic form may be very slow in making decisions since the decision is taken by the majority. For that reason, the representatives may spend a lot of time on unnecessary discussions, debates, and the passing of legislation. There is also the risk of authority abuse.