Meaning of The Freedom
The meaning of democracy
Democracy was coined from a Greek word known as “demos” to mean people. Democracy refers to a government which as vested its supreme power on its people. This simply means that it is the people who have control of the day-to-day activities of their government. They normally exercise their democratic power through elections. Democracy was defined by Abraham Lincoln as” a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” In short democracy refers to a set of opinions, principles and ideas that strive to achieve freedom. This is the reason as to why freedom and democracy go hand in hand with each other and are normally interchangeable.
Evolution of democracy
From the definition of the word democracy, we realized that it was coined from a Greek word known as “demos”. This suggests that democracy originated from Athens. There were several political, social and economical problems in Athens due to the aristocratic form of rule that it practiced during the 7th century BC. Democracy was conceived as a solution to these problems because they could only be solved when people were given the power to dictate their leaders.
Democracy then disseminated into different regions across the world with several subjects rising against their leaders demanding to be given freedom and democracy.
In the year 1215, king john of England was compelled by his fellow English noblemen to sign a document that would bind him to the law and therefore granting the English subjects the legal power to determine on how they were to be ruled by their king. The document known as Magna Carta marked a key step towards obtaining a constitutional democracy in England.
Since then several steps have been put in place towards the realization of democracy. I am interested in the evolution of democracy ranging from the early modern era to the current era. During the early modern era, the British government in 1628 through their parliament enacted the petition of right which in turn illegalized taxation and arbitrary imprisonment of without necessarily consulting the parliament. During the same era again a bill of rights was enacted in the year 1689 which then paved way for free and fair elections for the parliamentary seats.
The nineteenth and eighteenth century was marked with several democratic progresses in the United States of America by declaration of rights in Virginia by the year 1776. The ratification of the constitution of United States in the year 1788 is a very important when it comes to the evolution of democracy. This allowed for the creation of a legislation which is bicameral in nature whereby the state legislatures elected the members of the senate while the civilians elected members of the House of Representatives. This was again followed by the ratification of the bill of rights in the year 1791. That progress was immediately followed by the formation of a political system that allowed for the formation of parties. In the year 1799 several political parties were formed in the United States with several developing unique techniques, loyalty to party and even platform for the party. The last evolution to be experienced of democracy to be experienced in the United States was the transition that peacefully took place between the parties.
In the 20th century democracy made also a commendable milestone with the indigenous peoples of America being granted full citizen by the United States government. The amendment mostly referred to as the Indian act enable all the persons that were living within the borders of united states to be granted full citizenship was signed in the year 1924.
The proposal of democracy
Since the time democracy was conceived in Athens in the 7th century, the main problems that made people to demand for democracy has always remained symmetrical throughout the evolution of democracy.
Democracy has been usually proposed through protest, assembly and speech. The mostly used method remains protests. The protest normally takes place in two different forms namely; peaceful and violent protests. The people normally use protests to express their displeasure with the government opinions. These have been practiced with the formation of several movements such as the male and female suffrages that help the people of certain groups to champion for their democratic rights. Any democracy is normally tested by use of protests all over the world.
Democracy is normally referred to as a noisy habit of people. Speech has always been used to propose for democratic rights with different voices championing for opinions and ideas that are completely contrary to each other. Speech is used to criticize the policies and opinions of oppressive leaders.
Argument for democracy
There are two major arguments that have been cited in the fight for democracy since it was conceived in those early periods in the city of Athens. The people of Athens argued that the political system of aristocracy that was in place during that time was only entitling power to a few individuals who could do anything, make any decision on their behalf without consulting them. They then decided to take the power for themselves so that they could elect leaders to consult them whenever a decision was required.
It has therefore been argued that the majority are usually right. E.B White, an American essayist once said that” democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half the people are right more than half the time.” The notion that it is very difficult to find more than a half of a given group of people agreeing to a wrong thing justifies why most systems of democracy are based on the majority rule. The citizens are allowed to freely and fairly vote for or against any opinion that affects them directly through a majority rule whereby the answer that is voted by the most number of citizens is the exact answer to be adopted for the constitution. In the United States since attainment of the independence in the year 1775, majority rule has been exercised towards making constitutional amendments as a form of democracy.
Argument against democracy
It is not automatic that majority rule is usually democratic in nature. For instance in case whereby the majority oppresses the minority due to tyranny of numbers then democracy is never here. The majority can normally be wrong when it comes to some opinions but due to the fact they have numbers they would always vote for the wrong opinion. In a case whereby the majority of the citizens are illiterate and ignorant while it is only the minority that are literate then achieving democracy seems to be impossible in such a situation. This perhaps explains why democracy never exists in the third world countries since they have the highest illiteracy levels.
Articulation of democracy
Democracy has always been articulated in two different methods in the United States and across the world. The two methods are namely the representative democracy and the direct democracy. In the direct form of democracy the citizens have the power and capacity to participate in the resolution of public opinions without necessarily going through their elected leaders. This system has been practiced in the United States and other parts of the world but only amongst groups that involves a small number of people. It is applicable in the tribal councils or community organization whereby a number of people in a room are required to discuss issues and then reach a consensus through majority rule. Some parts of United States still practice the direct form of democracy in their local jurisdiction. In Switzerland most issues are voted for directly by the citizens. Representative form of democracy is whereby the citizens champions for their opinions through their elected leaders.
Gain of democracy in United States
Democracy was gained in the United States through establishment of party system and providing indigenous citizens with full citizenship.
The loss of democracy in the United States
United States is no longer a democratic nation but an oligarchy whereby a given class of people control almost each and every town of the government. This can be experienced on the issues that affect the economy of the country whereby the opinions of the economic elites are usually adopted even if the majority of the citizens are against it.
Being an American as a free person simply means one has to fall within the class of economic elites or among the rich. The majority who are poor have no control on any government policies and opinions.