Many different forms of government have existed throughout civilization. Theocracy, dictatorships, democracy, and many others have all had periods of time where they reigned as the government of choice. Arguments could be made in favor of each form of government. The key to finding the most viable form of government is to consider this: which form of government provides the most stability for the state?
The stability of the state is based upon the foundation of the government. Shaky foundations lead to short-lived or miserable nations. Governments based upon religion, birthrights, or one man generally do not have solid foundations. The greatest foundation a government can have is the support of its citizens. Governments which cater to their citizen’s will and needs receive their support. This is the basis of the social contract. When a population feels that their needs are being met, they feel they must honor their social contract. Honoring this contract may be paying taxes, supporting the military, voting, performing community service, or anything the government requires of its citizen. The opposite is true for when the government fails to meet these needs. Historically, in the absence of a stable government, citizens initially begin to stop supporting the government, start calling for a new government, and eventually revolt. A current example of this is the ongoing situation in Libya. Because the current government there, headed by Muammar Gaddafi, has placed the welfare and will of its citizens below that of the politicians that run the country, unrest amongst the citizens has paved the way to calls for democracy, a type of government in which the people are given a voice. Since these calls have gone unanswered, the situation has further deteriorated to a revolution.
In the modern world, there are two dominant forms of government and two equally important socio-economic policies. The two dominant forms of government are democracy and authoritarianism. The two socio-economic policies are capitalism and communism.
Democracy is a form of government which dominates the western world. In democracy, every person is given equal input into matters of the state, although this does happen to varying degrees. There exist many different types of democracy. Absolute or direct democracy occurs when each citizen personally participates in all decision-making processes. This system is difficult to maintain due to the vast number of people and the necessity for all people to be informed, logical, and educated when making many decisions. This form of democracy has not existed in significant sized populations. Representative democracy is a type of government in which the people elect government officials to make decisions concerning the state. The two most prevalent types of representative democracy are democratic republics and parliamentary democracies. In a democratic republic, such as the United States or Canada, the people elect both their...