Weaknesses of modern democracy essay

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Weaknesses of modern democracy essay

Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of Weaknesses of modern democracy essay vs direct democracy Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of representative vs direct democracy 8 August Democracy Essay Title — Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of representative vs direct democracy Democracy is a word known to most persons today, in the Western world atleast, and almost always has positive connotations associated with it.

Indeed from far left to far right, democracy has been proclaimed and embraced by political parties, indeed for a party to profess democracy is seen as necessary to its claim of legitimacy.

The nuance in translation has particular significance, and is not due to ambiguity in translation. It is the purpose of this essay to first set out an account of what we mean by legitimacy, for our discussion of democracy as the most important form of legitimacy hinges upon such an account.

We shall then take representative and direct democracy in turn, discussing their strengths and weaknesses.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Democracy?

And conclude with this authors opinion on the equal credibility of both forms, depending on the context within which they are put to practical use. Foundational to the existence of any democratic government is the concept of legitimacy, that is; right over might; legitimacy over power, and — out of which grows — duty over obedience.

Should a government fail to evolve so, its rule is no more than despotic subjugation, and its demise is most likely only a matter of time as the subjugated will inevitably revolt and take back power. Rousseau has been seen as a highly influential figure in, if not indeed the father of, modern liberal political thought, with the school having its foundations in enlightenment thinking Garrard in Kurian et al, This is an important starting point when considering the strengths and weaknesses of either form of democracy.

The first form of democracy, that of direct or pure democracy, has its roots in the classical idea forged it ancient Athens. The men of Athens were expected to have continuous and direct participation in the decision making and running of their city, and any public offices held were allotted by way of rota or the casting of lots Scrunton, Although in practice the electorate was discriminatory and therefore not truly representative of all citizens, those who did participate were not politicians.

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The vocations of participants would be quite diverse, and therefore we encounter the first important point relating to direct democracy, education. If the decisions of the community are dependent on every individuals understanding of the decision being made, then education is key.

To take the modern day example of the upcoming referendum on Scottish independence, this can be seen as a form of direct participation, the decision being made is a profound one and a decision either way will have significant and long term implications for each Scottish citizen.

Therefore in the interest of the greater good of the community, we have each of us a duty to educate ourselves on these implications. In this way we can see the idea of legitimacy being championed, after all as we all become less aware of our own opinions, usually ill informed, and educate ourselves on the matter, the social institution known as the state, within which Rousseau saw corruption lying, would begin to take on a literal life of its own and individual interests within this sphere would dissipate allowing for the purity of the states greater good Wokler, The idea of the state taking on a life of its own is important, the general will is not to be seen as the sum total of individual wills, but the will of the state alone.

As obedience becomes duty, the decision made in the best interest of the state could in theory, be contrary to any one individuals best interest. It goes without saying that education then is a great benefit of direct democracy, on an individual level an educated populace leads to greater awareness of oneself, other citizens and the state within which one lives.

This in turn reduces crime and social issues such as poor parenting, domestic abuse etc and would then in theory reduce the need for public spending on public sector spending.

The level of education required however, especially in light of the complexities of modern living, would require a significant amount of an individuals time, this would affect the number of hours a citizen could contribute to their employment, and break the continuity of that work.

This would then affect the productivity of the state, the domestic economy would shrink and given the importance of the economy in the modern world this would have dire consequences, most likely resulting in economic collapse.


One would rather have the chef cook ones meal than a person who has merely studied the subject of cooking. For a population base to undergo such a level of practical and intellectual education in secular society is impossible.

A second point to note about direct democracy is the sense it gives the individual of having control of his own destiny, taking Scottish independence again, if the decision was made for us by the Hollyrood parliament whether the results of independence were successful or otherwise, we would feel that we were in effect subjugated and in such cases one always tends to focus on the negative.Misc thoughts, memories, proto-essays, musings, etc.

And on that dread day, the Ineffable One will summon the artificers and makers of graven images, and He will command them to give life to their creations, and failing, they and their creations will be dedicated to the flames.

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Weaknesses of modern democracy essay

The table below presents an abbreviated geologic time scale, with times and events germane to this essay. Please refer to a complete geologic time scale when this one seems inadequate. From Dictatorship to Democracy was a pamphlet, printed and distributed by Dr Gene Sharp and based on his study, over a period of forty years, on non-violent methods of demonstration.

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