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The Trouble with Democracy

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 09:07 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 19.1 
  • Words: 3684
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“The Trouble with American Democracy”



      Don’t get me wrong! I thoroughly love American democracy and the abundant freedoms that it allows me to enjoy. I can be creative, individualistic, entrepreneurial, and I can unequivocally believe in my interpretation and practice of American free enterprise. American democracy allows me to be expressive and critical of politicians’ positions on various issues and simultaneously pretend being intellectual without any palpable fear of government reprisal. I can publish fiction and non-fiction books and expound on my diverse opinions with impunity. I truly appreciate and value what my guaranteed liberties personally mean to me. But outside of myself’ and outside my interests and needs I am genuinely suspect of the functioning of democracy in a contemporary mass society. Let me explain and elaborate.

      I know from history that the concept of modern democracy did have its origin in ancient Greece. The more celebrated Greek philosophers in the midst of their great polemics heaped ample criticism on democracy as an honorable system of government (let alone even contemplating the notion of verbally attacking democracy as a viable form of education as we now practice in the USA). In the Athens of Socrates and Pericles, the Golden Age citadel of pure democracy, the esteemed philosopher Plato described democracy as “in every way weak and unable to do either great good or great evil for civilization.”

      According to venerable Plato, “The will of the people is the worst of all lawful governments and the best of all lawless ones!” In other words democracy represents a median fluctuating in a twilight zone somewhere between great and poor. Plato believed that a Republic was indeed the best form of government as stated in his work The Republic. A democracy would be doomed to eventually gravitating towards mediocrity, and after examining what democracy has been doing to our bureaucrats in Washington...

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