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Democracy is a term used to describe a political system, in which the majority determine the government and policies. As opposed to governments established for example, by inheritance (such as those run by kings and aristocrats). The word democracy is of Greek origin and consists of the words demos (often translated as “full citizens“) and Kratos (“to rule“). The history of democracy or democratic theory divided into two schools of democratic thought.

Democratic theory

  • classic (500 BCE)
  • modern (since the seventeenth century CE)

The multitude of forms of democracy

What precisely the term denotes is the subject of dispute among both scholars and politicians. In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic, we are praising it: consequently, the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using the word if it were tied down to anyone meaning“. -George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language”. The multitude of forms that existing democracies mirrored by an abundance of theoretical concepts and models of freedom in social science.

The modern form of democracy

However, the contemporary style of democracy after the fall of the Soviet Union has gone from freedom, liberty and equality towards liberal democracy the dominant regime. Especially in the US and Europe. Today, the trust of politics has vanished as citizens long disillusioned. They have risen angry, restless and frozen towards the increasing problems of trust, corruption and political actions. Voters are seeking authoritarian populist, it is increasing dramatically around the world, from the US, Europe, Australia and Asia. It is moving away from liberal democracy. The bureaucracy grows vastly, despite individual rights of freedom. The large numbers of rules and regulations issued yearly push the caretaking by civil servants. 

The value of democracy taken for granted

In Great Britain, for example, the number of national bureaucrats has gone from about 100,000 in 1930 to 400,000 in 2015 despite more effective technologies as electronic data and information transmission. As governmental agencies pass laws by the parliaments and simultaneously plays the role of regulators gaining the authority to design and decide rules. The implementation of these new regulations happens in critical areas such as environmental and financial sectors. The large shares of regulations and development to which ordinary people are subjects and further alienated.

QUANGOs and capitalism role
In the modern age of the democracy growth of independent agencies and No Governmental Organization are now responsible for the majority of regulations and laws. In 2007, for example, in the US, Congress enacted 138 public laws. US federal agencies finalized 2,926 rules, and it is clear that most voters not have any overview over the rules, by which bound. It is happening elsewhere as well. Great Britain there are more than 900 Quasi Autonomous Non-Governmental Organizations (QUANGOs), that is funded by taxpayer money. Unfortunately, capitalism has corrupted democracy in any way possible, infiltrated and overthrown the labours, politicians, governments and nations.

Democracy and duality

Despite the duality, democracy superior and has emerged in the global arena as the standard for legitimate government. So far, there has been, or real alternative, no dangerous opponent as Winston Churchill eloquently put it: ‘Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time‘ (Churchill 1947). But is true? What kind of values do we want?

Sources and useful information

  • America at the crossroads: democracy, power, and the neoconservative legacy by Francis Fukuyama. The Castle lectures in ethics, politics, and economics. Published 2006 by Yale University Press

  • The encyclopedia of political science George Thomas Kurian, editor-in-chief. Published 2011 by SAGE CQ Press.

  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Sociology Edited by George Ritzer and J. Michael Ryan. Published 2011 by Blackwell Publishing
  • The series Do we have a story crisis 1-14. The truth about the ecological and human crisis

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