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Direct Democracy Vs Representitive Democracy. Contains The Ideas Of Rousseau

942 words - 4 pages

The term Democracy is derived from two Greek words, demos, meaning people, and kratos, meaning rule. These two words form the word democracy which means rule by the people. Aristotle, and other ancient Greek political philosophers, used the phrase, `the governors are to be the governed', or as we have come to know it, `rule and be ruled in turn'.The two major types of democracy are Representative Democracy and Direct Democracy. Clearly the arguments for and against each form of democracy are plentiful. However, it is my belief that theoretically, Direct Democracy is the superior form of political rule. Due to problems with in the direct democratic system, its use as a practical form of government is not even thinkable. Therefore, in order for any form of democracy to function, Representative Democracy is the superior form of political rule.Jean Jacques Rousseau is considered by many to be the `Grandfather' of direct the democracy theory. Rousseau's ideal society would be where the citizens were directly involved in the creation of the laws which are to govern their lives. He maintained that, 'all citizens should meet together and decide what is best for the community and enact the appropriate laws. Any law which was not directly created by the citizens is not valid, and if those laws are imposed on people, that is equivalent to the people being enslaved.The citizens of a society must both develop and obey `the supreme decision of the general will', which is the society's determination of the common good. It is not even thinkable that all citizens will agree on what good is. Rousseau recognized this and accepted a term of majority rule. Those who voted against a policy which is found to be the best for the general, must have been thinking of personal gains, rather than the gains of the entire society.The feature which distinguishes direct democracy from other forms of government is the idea of agreement and the key to agreement is discussion. It is impossible to reach an agreement without discussion, because it is not right to think that everybody will have the same opinion on all matters. But, it is very possible, that through discussion an agreement could be reached by all members. Representation, on the other hand allows a select few to make decisions in their own best interest, which is not necessarily the best interest of the society.However, direct democracy is not the perfect method to produce a union of the community. For a direct democracy to work, face to face communication between all members of the community is needed. The only way this is possible is to meet in large groups. Due to the fear of high tension, many citizens 'will not participate in these large group meeting. So in order for these fearful people to voice their opinions they must get together in...

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