Democracy: The Struggle That Is And How To Fix It

1251 words - 6 pages

For the past semester, I have been involved in a class that was focused on exploring the world of democracy. Going into this class, like many, I was convinced that democracy was a cut and clear issue. I believed that democracy was a shining beacon in the world of government, and I never really gave a second thought to it. Through the times of this course however, I have come to truly understand the make up of democracy and where it came from. The real issue that is had within democracy is the actual implementation and execution of the system.
The people are the main power force in a democracy. As far as principle is concerned, the citizens run the democracy for the purpose of the well ...view middle of the document...

Locke’s ideas would go on to influence many other philosophers.
One of my main takeaways from the likes of thinkers similar to John Locke, was that of bounds that we have upon our selves. Another philosopher, John Stuart Mill, was a large believer in that we can do whatever we want to ourselves. Until the point where let what we are doing to ourselves effect the lives of others that is. Mill referred to this as the harm principle, yet this principle has not become part of many democracies. This observation encouraged me to ponder if democracy would be more tolerable if we enlisted the likes of the harm principle.
In our society, we have many issues that stem off of us allowing people to do things to them own bodies. From drugs to abortions, many of the top topics for political discussion are matters that do not directly affect outsiders. If the United States were to enact a harm principle like amendment I think it would allow for our democracy to become more efficient. This would this eliminate many issues and allow for other discussions to take place, and in turn help a system of government that needs all the help it can get. In the end, this is only one provision to the democratic system that we could take to improve it.
After looking at the great philosophers of older times, the class shifted to looking into concepts of democracy. The first of these concepts was freedom, something that as an American I take for granted. Although freedom goes hand and hand with democracy, it does not go hand and hand with being a citizen. The main focus of freedom would have to be liberty. The concept of liberty is a bizarre one; a main point of discussion of this peculiar privilege is of negative and positive freedom. Before this class I would have never thought of freedom as having multiple manners of implementation. To briefly state it; positive freedom is the power to do something, while negative freedom is the freedom to be away from the powers of others. The argument for negative liberty ties in very closely with the harm principle. The thoughts behind negative liberty are that with every law that is made, the citizen becomes less free. On the other side of the coin positive liberty enables a person to do more than they could if the government did not exist. Positive liberty is the concept that has become embraced by most in the United States. Without laws and other restrictions there would be a great chance that some havoc or disorder might ensue. However, I believe...

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