The term “democracies” is generally used to refer to societies with wide-spread representative democracy. Democratic societies are usually characterized by widespread freedom of debate and free press, and by low levels of violent crime. As a political philosophy, democracy is the ideal form of government where the citizens have the ability to deliberate together and make decisions on behalf of their communities. For centuries, the concept of democracy has been associated with the idea of freedom, fairness, and social justice.
Historically, there are several types of governments that are considered to be democracies. In a democracy, the ruling party usually controls all branches of government. A constitutional monarchical system provides checks and balances to assure that the legislature does not become too powerful for the general welfare of its citizens. In multiparty democracy, where there are multiple parties running for elective office, the leaders of various parties vie for votes based on their party credentials rather than on their individual merits.
In contrast to democracy, there is dictatorship, also called autocratic government. A dictatorial government puts power into the hands of a single leader who can disregard the general welfare of his people. Although the leader may follow a set of rules and legislation, he or she does not have the final say in major issues, such as how to run the country. Usually, a dictatorship uses force and represses opposition groups and critics.
Apart from differences in laws and ideology, there are some striking similarities between dictatorship and democracy. Both involve leaders using force to maintain control. Both use the media to influence the masses. And both repress their opponents with harsh legal punishments, torture, and mass arrests.
The United States has been one of the world’s most democratic countries since its founding, although it was once known as a slave state. Many people today mistakenly believe that representative democracy is a world beyond the borders of America. On the contrary, representative democracy is thriving throughout the world today. In other words, America is still the greatest nation ever created in the history of mankind.
So, when discussing whether democracy or dictatorship is better, remember that America is not a democracy and neither is China. America is a democracy and so is China. We live in a republic, not a democracy. Now do yourself a favor and read a book or watch an documentary. You’ll be better informed.