Democracy Then Is Democracy Now Essay

1468 words - 6 pages

In Plato’s Republic, Socrates describes five different constitutions, all of which have some similarity but are fundamentally different. There is one of these constitutions that is most like the system that is in place in the United States: Socrates’ description of the democratic constitution. It is the most similar to the American way of life, whereas the others all have something that is not quite like the United States. Many of the founding fathers had read the Republic. This influenced many of the choices they made in forming the United States’ system of government. Even so, they had to sacrifice perfection for freedom, shunning Plato’s notion of a kallipolis. The founding fathers created a system that was most like democracy with slight oligarchic influence.
Similarities to American democracy and the democracy which Socrates describes are evident when he says:
The people––those who work with their own hands––are the third class. They take no part in politics and have few possessions, but, when they are assembled, they are the largest and most powerful class in a democracy.
(235, 565 a).
Shay’s Rebellion, which occurred in Massachusetts in 1786, is essentially what Socrates is describing here inThe Republic. Debt collectors were coming down heavily upon rural farmers, “those who work with their hands”. They could not meet the demands of the debt collectors as specie was hard to come by and many lost their property because the courts ruled in favor of the creditors. The farmers joined together and successfully rebelled, shutting down the banks. This proved “when they are assembled, they are the largest most powerful class” as they exhibited such a great amount of power. The rebellion also demonstrates how alike Platonic and American democracy are as this was a group that would have participated much less in politics as they were so far removed from the metropole. The quotation is also relevant when considering US voter turnouts. Approximately 57.5% of eligible citizens voted in the 2012 election according to the Bipartisan Policy Center. This attests to the “no part in politics” that accounts for nearly half of the American population in this instance. Many people do not vote because they feel that there is no point. This is because of the electoral college system that is in place which keeps the two party system in place which discourages many from voting as they know it will be one of the two major parties and a third party is highly unlikely to win. This can be considered somewhat oligarchic as only certain people, those in one of the major parties, can become rulers.
The system of government in the United States and that of the democratic city in the Republic are nearly same. When Socrates describes the “dominant” ruling class, he says, “Its fiercest members do all the talking and acting, while the rest settle near the speaker’s platform and buzz and refuse to tolerate the opposition of another speaker” (235, 564 d-e). What he describes...

Find Another Essay On Democracy Then is Democracy Now

Do we Aspire to Democracy, or is Democracy Something Achieved?

1825 words - 7 pages to enter, (Blaug & Schwarzmantel, 38). When the representative is one man, then the common-wealth is a monarchy; when an assembly of all that will come together, then it is a democracy, when an assembly of a part only, then it is called an aristocracy, (Blaug & Schwarzmantel, 38). With Democratic sovereignty the people make legislative decisions and rules that will govern them. The concept of sovereignty is that a state should have the ability

Is Democracy Sustainable in Latin America?

1697 words - 7 pages Is Democracy Sustainable in Latin America? In order to determine if democracy is sustainable in Latin America, it is important to understand or at least have an idea of what democracy is. There are several types of democracy and each is different. According to the English dictionary, democracy is “ a government by the people; especially: rule of the majority by a government in which the

Is Democracy a Basic Social Good?

1505 words - 6 pages persons many years from now, Chief Lyons shows how democracy helped his leaders to “be men of vision and to make every decision on behalf of the seventh generation to come” (Lyons, 1). Not only does this social good of democracy affect the present, but it is meant to continue on and affect the future as well. I now feel reassured that my beliefs are very similar to two influential thinkers regarding this subject.     &nbsp

Democracy is the Vilest Form of Government

1322 words - 5 pages solve Pakistan problem and created many more. If these plans would have been implemented Pakistan would have been a way better country then it is now. Hence in reality people can only elect people and they do not have any say in how their country should be run. Works Cited Baker, Raymond.. Capitalism's Achilles Heel: Dirty Money and How to Renew the Free-Market System, Wiley; 1 edition, Ausgust 5, 2005. Gupta,Tusha. “What are the advantages and

The Tea Party Movement is Destroying Democracy

1371 words - 5 pages this horribly low efficiency of Congress and a dismal 28% approval rating for the Republican Party, the Tea Party Legislators and movement faces little to no repercussions for their roles. The advent of the political juggernaut known as the Tea Party is the result of decades of broken promises and fear-mongering by the political right, a lapse in campaign financing restrictions, and the growing power of the angry vote. Politicians are famous and

Why Democracy is the Best Form of Government

1191 words - 5 pages Introduction Throughout history different types of instrumental regimes have been in tact so civilizations remained structured and cohesive. As humanity advanced, governments obligingly followed. Although there have been hiccups from the ancient times to modern day, one type of government, democracy, has proven to be the most effective and adaptive. As quoted by Winston Churchill, democracy is the best form of government that has existed. This

Globalization and democracy: is it really that bad?

1605 words - 6 pages INTRODUCTIONThe world is shrinking - or so it seems. Governments are quite possibly more interconnected and interrelated now than at any other time in history. This web of interdependency is primarily made possible by trade. And while some argue that free trade is mutually beneficial to all parties, critics of globalization say that, among other things, centralized trade organizations and non-governmental organizations threaten states

Is Democracy Diminishing at its Moment of Triumph?

2963 words - 12 pages . So when and why did citizens start drifting away from the path of political participation?The aim of this essay is to pinpoint the disturbing factors that are contributing to our diminishing democracy, and to highlight the motivation behind them. I will start by defining the subject of democracy in the intention of this paper, and then identify the fundamental factors contributing to democracy's decline in Australia. Unless otherwise stated

Corporate political Campaign Spending: Is Democracy for Sale?

1822 words - 8 pages its way to the highest of American courts then it is easy to see that there is something wrong with this process. This act of corruption, which is now seen as perfectly acceptable in American politics, is in fact undemocratic. Most Americans have an extreme fear of things such as communism and dictatorships, as evident with the Red Scare in relatively recent years. Capitalism and democracy are two concepts that the average American citizen holds

How is civil society important for democracy in Kyrgyzstan?

1577 words - 6 pages Aisalkyn AlimbaevaResearch PaperPolitics of KyrgyzstanHow is civil society important for democracy in Kyrgyzstan?In my research paper I want to analyze how civil society in reality is important for democracy. In modern way of understanding, democracy is a type of government, which cannot exist without right of the people, where individual is not a subject of the government but where "government of the people, by the people and for the people

From Communism to Democracy: This essay is about the advancment from Communism to Democracy in China and Russia.

898 words - 4 pages From Communism to DemocracyGradualism is naturally the most feasible approach to any situation. Since the fall of the iron curtain, these two Communist power houses have chose to move towards democracy. China has chosen to take the natural, more gradual approach to democracy where as Russia has chosen the fast-paced, more dangerous approach. These twonations have chosen to change their economies from a collectivized command one to a market

Similar Essays

This Is About Jacksonian Democracy Essay

747 words - 3 pages Jacksonian democracy was created during antebellum America. The Jackson democrats attempted to aggrandize the puissance of lower classes poor while decreasing the influence of the rich and potent. Economically, they benefited from governing during a time of paramount advances in transportation, which boosted commerce and helped the common man. Politically, they invested power into an overwhelmingly powerful executive branch. The Jacksonian

That Was Then, This Is Now

1214 words - 5 pages The main character in That Was Then, This Is Now is Bryon, A sixteen- year-old greaser. The writer starts off describing him with dark hair and eyes that girls love. “I'm a big guy, dark hair and eyes--the kind who looks like a Saint Bernard puppy, which I don't mind as most chicks cannot resist a Saint Bernard puppy” (pg 13). His casual attitude about hustling and fighting shows how immature Bryon is especially when he is around his best

That Was Then This Is Now!

615 words - 2 pages Title: The title of my book is That was Then, This is Now.Author: The author of my book is S. E. Hinton.Main Characters: The Main Characters in my book are Brian, Mark, Charlie, Eminem, Cathy, Angela, Chepard, and Also the Mom.Setting: The setting in my book is a lot of different places, the main place was at the Inner City. It also took place at the Bar and in Mark and Brian's house. Most of the time it took place at the house.Conflict: The

The Cure For Ills Of Democracy Is More Democracy

2850 words - 11 pages the candidate could betray the electorate's interests that are clearly opposite to the corporate interest.These problems are common in the United States, which once had been the first democracy of modern times, now is a totally fragmented society where the individual is only one against the political apparatus where there are not more than two significant parties: Democrats and Republicans. In this environment there are not enough alternatives to