Democracy: The Positive And Negative Aspects Of Democracy

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The term ‘democracy’ derives from the Greek word ‘Demokratia’, which is a compound word made by the Greek historian Herodotus when he combined the lexicons “demos” (common people) and ‘krátos’ (rule of strength). The term ‘Demokratia’ connotes two meanings: first, the people possess the authority. Second, the people exert the power. Etymologically considered, the democracy embraces both the political principle and form; it can be defined as the concept of the power of the people and of the public government. Lastly, the monarchy, aristocracy, and oligarchy reckon the concept confrontations with the democracy. The political liberty for the whole population gives both the positive and negative aspects of the democracy. With the development of…show more content…
This statement needs to be deliberated because people may make decisions against national interests when they pursue private interests rather than public interests. From this point of view, the democracy has a limit. Under the democratic system, no system is prepared to prevent people from making an erroneous decision. Since the democracy is so called “government of the people, by the people, and for the people”, the government will not be able to stop people even if they become imbeciles. The Greek philosopher Plato suggested ‘the principle of specialization’: he believed people should do what their natures best suit for them. He asserted that the philosophers must rule because they possess wisdom, which he defined as an outstanding counsel. The example of this belief can be seen on page 45, where Plato (1992: 45) says “The result, then, is that more plentiful and better-quality goods are more easily produced if each person does one thing for which he is naturally suited, does it at the right time, and is released from having to do any of the others.” to justify his statement: normal citizens are ignorant to rule. Thus, the philosophers must be in charge of a…show more content…
Then, he introduced not only the concept of ‘general will’: the will of people as a whole but also his idea of education. The example of his view on ‘general will’ can be found on pages 315~316, where Kain (1990: 315~316) states “The ‘general will’ is simply defined as that which tends to right or common good. When it does not, it simply is not called general will. It follows from this, for many, that there is not independent and reliable way of actually telling what ‘general will’ is or whether it has been realized. This view also involves a fundamental misunderstanding of general will. I shall argue that Rousseau gives us a clear mechanism – a set of institutions and procedures—which if carried out (and we can tell whether or not they have been carried out) will actually produce general will which will be right and tend to common good.” to advocate the Rousseau’s opinion on the sovereignty of the people. The idea of the ‘popular sovereignty’ gets along with the democracy since all citizens are expected and obligated to participate in politics. The example of his perspective on education can be seen on page 32, where Priest puts “One of the central convictions which Rousseau reveals in the Emile is that the function of education is the freeing of man from prejudice by making him reasonable.” to account for the suspicion that common people lead the state
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