The Unhappy Democracy Essay

976 words - 4 pages

The Unhappy Democracy


Plato/Socrates defined democracy as "the government of the people." He modeled his democratic society after Athens at the time, a small city-state where every adult male had a vote. The transition to democracy occurred after a revolution in which the rich oligarchic rulers were overthrown and disposed of and the poor gained control. Then, they provided everyone with equal rights. Democracy was characterized as a “bazaar of constitutions" where every citizen chose his own path in life. There was no obligatory military service, no privileged classes, and those that claim to love society were able to acquire the most power. Individuals may have desired honor in the morning and wealth in the evening. There was no consistent goal that individuals pursued and their desires changed constantly. However, democracy, unlike other imperfect societies, did not forbid the practice of philosophy; it had been indifferent to it. Eventually, "Things everywhere are just bursting with the spirit of liberty." Soon children disobey parents, students disobey teachers, and a disregard towards authority develops. Citizens become divided into three classes: the ruling class of spendthrift politicians, the middle businessman/merchant class, and the large mass of poor people who own little property and mostly stay out of politics. The politicians begin to pass laws that tax the capitalists in order to meet their spending promises. Next, a reactionary political party was formed by the wealthy in order to resist the taxes. After a while, the poor became frustrated with all of the disorder and selected a “champion of the people” who eventually acquired absolute power and corrupted by it to become a tyrant who would disregard all aspects of freedom in order to fulfill his individual desires.

Plato/Socrates made a valid point as to why democracy is clearly not the best form of state, but only fourth out five, behind only despotism. Defenders of democracy may feel that this was an unfair criticism since democracy is the form of government that allows for the most individualistic freedom, which makes it the best form of government. This school of thoughts assumes that freedom brings the most happiness to people, which is the goal every state ought to strive for. However, Plato/Socrates was correct in his assessment of democracy not only because it was the second worst form of government, but also because in the end, happiness for individuals was not achieved. Democratic states do not produce happiness since individuals’ freedoms interfere with one another, stability is absent in this society, and that the pursuit of freedom is misguided.

First of all, individuals in a democracy trample on each others freedoms. For instance, a merchant may achieve a monopoly in a certain area and use his freedom to charge citizens excessive prices for a good or a builder may build houses on territory needed for grazing livestock. Their lives are guided...

Find Another Essay On The Unhappy Democracy

Plato's Criticism of Democracy Essay

1695 words - 7 pages Plato's Criticism of Democracy Do not be angry with me for speaking the truth; no man will survive who genuinely opposes you or any other crowd and prevents the occurrence of many unjust and illegal happenings in the city. A man who really fights for justice must lead a private, not a public, life if he is to survive for even a short time. (Apology 31e-32a) These are the words of Socrates, who spoke before the Athenian jury in the trial

Government In Iraq Essay

1462 words - 6 pages minister. A democratic leader is chosen by majority vote. According to, ninety-five percent of the population of Iraq is Muslim. Muslim minds believe majority rule to be an unfair principle as stated by Therefore, the majority of Iraq's population would be unhappy with a democratic government. A democracy, according to past president Abraham Lincoln is a "Government of the people, by the people, and for the people

The Effects of Globalization, Democracy and Change on Somalia

2123 words - 8 pages United States (Eitzen&Maxine 2009). The assumptions that the spread of democracy and capitalism through globalization benefits most countries are inherently misguided. Rather, the nature and performance of globalization are contradictory. For a state to be truly democratic it needs to maintain its sovereignty. However, globalization fuelled by neo liberalism has diminished the sovereignty of the nation state (Eitzen&Maxine 2009). Although

The Fall of The Berlin Wall

1781 words - 8 pages Democracy was built up as the wall was torn down. The Berlin Wall was built overnight and stood at twelve feet tall and ninety-six miles long. The massive structure is what separated East and West Germany. The wall separated friends and family as well as being a barrier between freedom and oppression. West Germany was a democracy and was essentially a free world, while on the other side of the wall East Germany was a strict, miserable, and

French Revolution

571 words - 2 pages court system. People were very unhappy with the court. One man in particular, Marquis D'Argenson said that the court ruined France, it corrupts the morals of the nation. He also stated that in the word "court" lies all the nations misfortune (Doc. 3). What the people really wanted was stated in Article 7 of the Declaration of the Rights of Man. Article 7, is basically the modern day court system, your innocent until proven guilty, you have

Modern European History and Politics - University - Modern History Essay

1437 words - 6 pages building a capitalist democracy .The relationships between the Soviet Union and the other Allies had collapsed rapidly. The atmosphere between the Allies converted from cooperative to destructive. [1: (May 1998)] [2: (McAdams 1994)] Communism refutes individuals their rights as human beings. In Kennedy’s speech, he specifies that action must be undergone in order to cure the parting of the Berliners and the division of the globe in general, among

The Significance of the French Revolution

1121 words - 4 pages government's incompetence, what sets it apart from other revolutions in Europe is that it marked the birth of democracy. This concept, though idealistic in theory and leading to a large number of deaths, misuse of power, and complete terror, gave rise to equality of conditions, power in the people, and largely, the foundation beneath the democracy the world has come to accept today.One of the greatest examples of the French Revolution's significance

Essay on the events of the Russian revolution

936 words - 4 pages dangerously low moral, but all initial successes were lost after the German counter attack, where 400,000 Russian Casualties are taken. Protests against the war begun again with new fervor, and the pro-peace Bolsheviks gained much support,In the beginning of July, Leon Trotsky, unhappy in the direction that his Mensheviks are going, switches his party allegiance to the Bolsheviks. The day after he switched teams, the July Days occurred, a large

What were the conditions that led to the growth of fascism between 1918-1939? - History - Essay

1036 words - 5 pages Italy and Hitler’s in Germany. In the aftermath of WW1 the old system of imperial power was in decline, and this left a power vacuum to be filled. In some countries, such as Britain and France this prompted a renewed faith in democracy while in other countries the chaos and instability of the age pushed the populous towards ruthless fascist leaders. Although individual circumstances differed, in general dissatisfaction with the treaty of

Politics and Defining Power

1471 words - 6 pages mentions authority or government. For example, "the art and science of government". To understand politics we will need to understand government's role. Government is the authority in society. It is the system by which a society is governed. This suggests that without government, society would be chaos? A society can be ran in many different ways, for example, democracy, theocracy or autocracy. These are types of

No Constitutions In Private Institutions

869 words - 3 pages they are efficient. If members of an organization are unhappy with a policy, they can freely leave and join a group where they feel their constitutional rights are not violated. Allowing private institutions to freely write policies will make their organization more efficient while preserving individual rights.Private institutions can hamper democracy if they are left to decide rules. Twenty years ago, when companies did have the right to make

Similar Essays

Good Government Essay

1798 words - 8 pages side the Athenian used direct democracy ( A type of Democracy that people vote or discussed directly). so, out base or starter was Athens. Athenian looked their selves like precious and valuable. That means they had their own system in governing and military.for instance, in the text it says “ The Greek of ionia, unhappy with Persian rule and wanting independence, rebelled in 499 B.C faced with a much larger Persians army, they asked

Position Paper On Why Democracy Kicks Ass

873 words - 3 pages , some nations claim to be democratic, but in reality they are run by the men in power, and that is why the people are so unhappy. The idea of a democracy is everyone has a voice. It is not only those who are qualified or intelligent enough who has a voice, which would be limiting your population. When everyone has an equal say, all ideas, suggestions, solutions and thoughts can be heard. The rule of the people includes everyone; it is the will of

Defining Politics And Democracy Essay

2261 words - 9 pages Defining Politics and Democracy The word "Politics" is derived from the Greek word for city-state, "Polis". Corporate, religious, academic and every other polity, especially those constrained by limited resources, contain dominance hierarchy and therefore politics. Politics is most often studied in relation to the administration of governments. Politics is the process and method of gaining or maintaining support

The Republic Of Plato Essay

1613 words - 7 pages unhappy that Barrack Obama is president and the other half are content. This is where the cravings of personal beliefs and chaos come. Democracy is equal until the government steps in and guides elections and and laws into a specific form. Another thought about democracy is the term anarchy, "a state of disorder due to absence or nonrecognition of authority." Plato points out that with freedom comes responsibility. People in the present day have come