Democracy Is the Worst Form of Government
What we have to understand now is what democracy is in nowadays? What it means? The forms of democracy and what democracy involves. Democracy is difficult to define as it is a contested concept because it means different things to different people depending on how they understand democracy. The reason democracy is contested is that “It has many different facets to democracy in practice and people are isolating one element and treating it as if it were whole. Another reason is that because we are all in favour o democracy that it has become emptied o all content: democracy is whatever we choose it to mean” (Beetham 2005: 1).
Firstly what do we understand about democracy? Democracy is whatever we choose it to mean but for the purposes of understanding it in this essay we go with Jack Lively’s definition “Democracy is the form of government in which the ‘demos’ the people, rule: in which political power is held by the many rather than by one or the few” (Lively 1975: 8). the activities done by government are not directly performed by citizens but citizens elect the representative of their choice on a free and regular basis to act on behalf of them. As Lively says the majority principle defines the principle of democracy (1975: 9).
Democracy promotes equal treatment of people but it said to be very difficult to sustain. ” It can result from and only from a federation of democratic states and societies ,and it proves to be legitimate in modern political life that the rules, laws and principles seem justified when they are democratic”(Held 199: 9-10). For democracy to happen there has to be a certain conditions for it to do so. Firstly there must be effective participation; people must be able to make their views heard by doing so they must have equal and effective control.
Secondly voting equality, people must be able to have an equal opportunity to cast their votes and lastly enlightened understanding; each person must have an equal and effective opportunity to learn about policies and the consequences of their actions. Democracy and market capitalism are said to have a strict relationship in that they cannot be separated from each other we will discuss this later in the assignment. Countries that are democratically governed must have “political arrangements, practices or institutions that would go a long way toward meeting ideal democratic criteria” (Dahl 1998: 83).
For a country to practice democracy it has to do so on a large scale and to do so it requires elected officials, free, fair and frequent elections, freedom of expression, alternative sources of information and inclusive citizenship. All of the above require in a nutshell the participation of citizen and without citizens there would be no democracy. Secondly let us look at the forms of democracy. There are two forms of democracy namely direct and representative democracy. Direct democracy “is systems of decision making about public affairs which citizens are directly involved” (Held 199: 12).
This type of democracy requires the participation of all citizens, they make the decisions and they do not elect representatives. The participation of all citizens, they make the decisions and they do not elect representatives. Representative democracy on the other hand is the opposite of direct democracy in that representative democracy “is a system of rule embracing elected officials who undertake to represent the interests or the views of citizens within the framework of the ‘the rule of law’” (Held 1992: 12). n this form of democracy what happens is that the citizens elect the person of their choice (through elections) to act on their behalf. in a representative democracy citizens have rights. The early point for a democratic government is with you and me the citizens. Democratic government is required to protect citizens from the abuse of power and acts as referee while citizens pursue their daily routines or own interests.
We have rights that cannot be taken away by government even If the government had to change the rights will always be there to protect us. The foundation for representative democracy is or the represented to experience equality and freedom for this to happen the constitution plays a very vital and important role. Democracy proves to be of some good but in my opinion it is the worst form o government and to critically discuss this statement I will for example use South Africa, a democratic state that I live in. From all what we now know about democracy.
Democracy and market capitalism have a strict relationship in that they cannot be separated from each other (as mentioned earlier) in market capitalist economy the economy belong to the individuals or enterprises and not to the state so If this is so and If democracy goes hand in hand with market capitalism then the capitalist benefit and become more rich whilst the poor remain poor and even more poorer. Private ownership in South Africa is evident the owners rom rich countries get richer and the country with many natural resources remains poor.
The government represents the citizens but fails to provide basic needs or the people such as food, shelter, water and clothing as a result there are high crime rates and the rights of citizens are infringed. Having carefully discussed the two kinds of democracies and flashed out the shortcomings of each of them. The energy now must be vested on evaluating the overall account of these kinds of democracies at hand. One would notice that upon variation of these democracies follows that what constitute a failure to one democracy may not be the case to the other.
For example, in a representative democracy, the main idea is that there be elected representatives, it is not a must to involve as many people as it is the case in a case of direct democracy. Put another way, should there be no mass involvement in a direct democracy that would be a blatant failure. Whereas, in a representative democracy the mass is still required but the main norm is to have the elected representatives. One would also have noticed that some of these democracies do not precipitate neutral grounds for its subject.
This is so in the sense that those who live well-to-do lives and highly educated are always given upper hand, needless to say, that those belonging to the lower classes accept less influence. For example, in a democracy where people from all works of life get together to talk about various issues concerning their wellbeing, the rich and educated can say their views more clearly and convincingly than those below them in terms of the standard of living.
As a result, the not so educated and the not so rich or the poor would end up agreeing to any one of the influential participant’s views. The above statement is powerfully taken in the famous line “all human beings are equal but some are more equal than others”. Democracy does not seek out what is best for all citizens but seeks the best for the majority so how can democracy promote equality when it contradicts itself in this way. Democracy also promotes too much freedom of speech this can lead to violence in society as individuals can say whatever they want and do whatever they want.
As democracy seems to work with capitalism that makes it the worst form of government in that if maybe the market is left to itself it then causes problems in the production process and as a results in prices increasing and decreasing this results in economic decline in the GDP(Gross Domestic Product) and thus the country is affected. Another evident characteristic of these various kinds of democracies is the issue of accountability. Who should be held accountable for any shortcomings and mismanagement is always questionable.
Democracy, be it a representative or direct there is always that obscurity as to whom be held accountable in events where demands are not met and mismanagement takes place. Democracy can sometimes be puzzling might one make an example illustrating the issue of accountability, in a representative democracy one finds that in the event where the voters inquires about something to a particular department, all structures of that department would shift the blame on other organs and those organs would shift it back to the original organ. Thereby, the voters end up being pushed from pillar to post.
Having looked at these various kinds of democracies, it remains compelling to point that there is no absolute democracy and no absolute kind of democracy and so by all that has been stated democracy is the worst form of government. In conclusion this essay has carried out its objective by breaking democracy from what it is to what makes it a not so good democracy. As democracy deals with, as defined in the United States government of the people by the people for the people, it tends to bring about problems in society and as the famous line says Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Whoever holds the power will use it for their own interests sometimes the majority may neglect and reject the needs and the interests of the small groups. Democracy can lead to conflicts as different groups would inevitably try to take control of the government. Democracy remains good at some extent but at some extent it is the worst form of government. References Beetham, D. 2005. Democracy: A beginner’s guide. Oneword Publications. 1-16. Dahl, R. 1998. On Democracy. New Haven and London.