The History Of Democracy Essay

2152 words - 9 pages

Democracy is a large component within governmental politics in the modern world we live in; some would argue that it is the only true form of “practiced politics” because democracy keeps in mind the interests of other individuals. The realm of democracy is where ideas are shared because not one being will ever possess the notion of an absolute truth. Democracy sanctioned for multiple ideas to be presented which diversified perspectives on a single issue. With democracy’s origins having been recorded to exist in Ancient Greece, this form of “rule” by “the people” as its corresponding roots of “kratos” and “demos” would define it. The Athenians were practitioners of the form of democracy known as developmental democracy. In this form, democracy exists as a system to further the endeavors of individual citizens within a progressive society with the good of the society taken into account. Participants are chosen by lot and divided by tribal territory to join the ecclesia where policies are created. Laws are made with the intention that they will encompass every individual citizen without giving any artificial advantages to one citizen over another. Power in Athens was divided among the people, otherwise known as the polis. The Greeks partook in direct democracy which allowed the participating citizens to conduct the flow of policy-making endeavors.
The endowment of self-governing granted the Greek citizen their sense of freedom, or eleutheria, which is due to the ability and responsibility that decision-making grants through participatory government for a self-ruling city-state. The right to take part in social affairs with respect to the state also added to the freedom that property owning citizens held. Personal contribution, although paid, allowed the Athenians to contribute to one’s governmental outcomes yet live as one pleases in their private lives. This sense of freedom even permitted entertainers to be critical of Greek culture without risk of imprisonment for treason. This political obligation, also known as isegoria, was what separated the Athenians’ governing methods from the other local competing city-states. Although writing from the Peloponnesian War era would boast for the freedoms that Greek democracy offered its people, not everybody was fond of democracy as a permanent form of government. Philosophers at the time would often critique democracy as “mob rule” while contrasting it against aristocracy where the knowledgeable and skilled were given authority. Without proper guidance from the experienced aristocrats, people would eventually rule themselves into disarray. The assembly members were constantly in a state of rotation which posed a problem with democracy existing as a stable and consistent form of government.
The participatory characteristic of democracy is what allows for the people to maintain their autonomy what's more branded as self-rule. Trusting the undereducated public to rule a society is a risky venture for the...

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