Democracy is a system of government whereby citizens are free to participate in the decisions made by the government and the people. Its cornerstones are freedom of speech, assembly, religion, and property rights. Individuals also have the right to join and form organizations that serve their interests, to leave their country, and to protest against government policies. A democracy is an institution that allows people to exercise their rights without fear of retribution. A democracy is a system of government where citizens are empowered to make their own decisions, and to participate in public discussions.
The word ‘democracy’ comes from Greek, which means ‘whole citizen’. Demos means people, and kratos means ‘power.’ Democracy is based on the principle that power should be shared among all citizens. A government can be viewed as legitimate when it has received the consent of its citizens and holds regular elections to determine its legitimacy. The goal of the government is to maximize the welfare of all citizens.
In older times, the population was small, and women, slaves, and foreigners did not have the right to vote. This limited the number of decision makers, which favored direct democracy. The people gathered in groups and made decisions and laws. As the population grew, the efficiency of this type of democracy diminished. In the West, however, democracy disappeared by the end of antiquity, when the population became large. In modern times, democracy has returned, but in different forms.
In the US, democracy has been increasingly alienated and degenerated over the years. It has become susceptible to money politics, racial tension, and wealth gap. As a result, American citizens are growing disillusioned and pessimistic about the state of US democracy. A recent Gallup survey indicates that only 19 percent of US adults have confidence that the country’s next presidential election will be a fair one. It is time to change the way democracy works in the US.
The US has become a democracy exporter, enforcing US values on other countries while belittling the democracy of other nations. While the US champions its democracy, it vilifies those of other nations that are pursuing freedom, human rights, and democracy. Whether we like it or not, democracy is a weapon of mass destruction. It is time for the world to recognize this and move forward. We must stop using democracy to subvert democracy.
Western countries saw a shift toward democracy when universal male suffrage was introduced in 1918. However, World War II reversed this trend. The allied powers democratised occupied nations, such as Germany, Austria, Italy, and Japan. Unfortunately, most of Eastern Europe remained under the Soviet yoke, where it is non-democratic. Despite its many positive aspects, democracy is still in danger. That’s why it is important to remember that the US needs to keep up the good work that has been done by other countries.
In the US, democracy has gotten badly wrong in its design, general structure, and implementation. We’re no longer the model of democracy the world should emulate. Recent events like the shooting of George Floyd in the US Capitol have revealed the ugly side of our democracy. As a result, our traditional notions of civic engagement have shriveled. Our depoliticized democracy has become a political game wherein citizens are not fully engaged in the process.