Should Democracy Be Adopted by All Nations? Essay

October 14, 2020 by Essay Writer

Introduction

Democracy refers to a system of government in which citizens participate in decision-making and decide how they want to be governed (Cheibu & Dahl 2003). It gives citizens an opportunity to contribute in maters that determine the course of their lives. Democracy allows citizens to participate in the process of making laws either directly or indirectly through elected representatives (Burns et al 2001).

Political self-determination is one of the most vital aspects of democracy. This is because democracy encompasses economic, social, and cultural aspects of people’s lives. Other forms of government include monarchy, aristocracy, or oligarchy.

In a monarchy, power is held by one individual while in an oligarchy, power is in the hands of a few people who make all decisions (Burns et al 2001). Democracy should be adopted in all nations because it promotes equality, freedom, and peace.

Freedom

Aristotle described democracy as a form of freedom that allows citizens to live, as they resolve because the will of the majority prevails (Cheibu & Dahl 2003). In a democracy, there is a government and a constitution that guides citizens in order to promote peace and tranquility. However, they should not pose as obstacles to liberty and freedom. Even though democracy exists, its execution in some nations applies partially (Burns et al 2001).

As such, there is widespread violation of human rights and denial of freedom. Freedom is one of the main objectives of adopting democracy in a nation (Cheibu & Dahl 2003).

A nation should adopt democracy because it promotes freedom, as well as giving citizens power and authority to make laws that govern them (Christiano, 2004). During the process of making laws, the needs and preferences of citizens are considered and incorporated in to the laws. This is in contrast to other forms of government in which a few individuals make laws on behalf of citizens.

Equality

All nations should adopt democracy because it builds on the principle of equality (Christiano, 2004). All citizens are equal and are supposed to enjoy similar social, economic, and political rights. This implies that the government should not discriminate against any citizen or group of citizens because of their religion, ethnicity, or gender (Geer & Schiller 2011).

Democracy promotes equality because every citizen is equal before the law. One of the main components of a democracy is a constitution. A constitution ensures that every citizen enjoys similar rights as everyone else, as well as equal treatment despite their race, religion, gender, or socio-economic class (Lijphart 2012).

Historians have argued whether true attainment of democracy is possible. In many countries, several aspects that include level of education, gender, ethnical affiliation, and economic status hinder democracy. Greed for money by the elite, who oppress the poor despite existence of democracy, has greatly hindered its adoption (Lijphart 2012).

Freedom to make laws and participate in governance gives citizens a sense of belonging (Geer & Schiller 2011). It bestows upon them the feeling that they are responsible for their own welfare and should therefore participate in creating laws. In other government forms, the leader possesses power to make laws according to his/her wishes.

This has led to grave misuse of power as witnessed in countries such as Iraq, Egypt, and Cuba where democracy is not recognized (Mill, 2009). By participating in elections, citizens get an opportunity to elect leaders that they feel possess the best qualities for leadership. In a democracy, people chose their own leaders, unlike in other forms of government.

Democracy creates a feeling of obligation and responsibility in citizens (Ross 2006). They have a responsibility to elect good leaders to lead their nation, and an obligation to participate in elections. This gives them a feeling of belonging because they decide the government that governs their nation.

This applies through elections and referendums. Democracy gives all citizens the opportunity assume leadership positions (Mill, 2009). Any citizen can vie for an elective post and represent other citizens in the government. This encourages fair competition and responsibility, which are necessary for promotion of democracy.

Responsible and stable administration

One of the main benefits of democracy is that its statutes promote and advocate for a stable and responsible government (Ross 2006). A study of major democracies in the world revels that stability, efficiency, growth, and firmness are the main characteristics of democracy. Democracy forms a firm and responsible government because it is based on the wishes of citizens.

In addition, leaders are accountable to citizens who elect them into office. In representative democracy, elected leaders make informed decisions based on ideas and opinions of the people (Ross 2006). Elected representatives are responsible because if they fail to fulfill the wishes of their electorate, they remove them from power when they participate in elections after a certain period.

A stable administration means that there is little chance of revolution. Democracy is primarily based on the will of the people. Therefore, there is low possibility that people might revolt against the government except in cases of violation of the democratic rights of citizens.

Democracy has been shown to be the most stable and effective form of government because it functions on consensus (Shapiro & Corsdn 1999). Any critical decision undergoes the scrutiny of the public before implementation.

The benefits of democracy are evident from observation of democracies such as the United States. The US has grown tremendously over the last few decades because it upholds democratic ideals (Shapiro & Corsdn 1999). This has enabled it to become the most powerful nation in the world. A similar case applies with countries in the Europe that have embraced democracy.

Their rule was characterized by abuse of power, corruption, wars, and violation of human rights. However, this changed when they turned to democracy. Russia has been through many forms of government than any other European country. Anarchy resulted in communism, and monarchy ended in violence (Shapiro & Corsdn 1999).

The formation of a communism government had adverse effects on countries of the USSR. The economy deteriorated and many countries experienced extended periods of abject poverty. However, after they embraced democracy, they were able to rebuild Russia and regain stability and economic prosperity.

Better governance

Another reason why all nations should adopt democracy is the profundity of corruption of power (Schumpeter 2003). In essence, power is not corrupting, but when an individual assumes power, there is high possibility that they will misuse it. This observation applies in monarchies where one individual possess all the power.

In case the individual results to misuse of power, this results in adverse effects such as deterioration of the economy, wars, famine, and corruption. This affects the whole government. This is in contrast to a democratic form of government. Abuse of power by an individual does not crumble a governance system due to even distribution of duties and responsibilities (Schumpeter 2003).

Power is in the hands of many people. Therefore, it is difficult for an individual to corrupt the system with power. The advantage of democracy is that people form the government.

Therefore, it is not possible for the will of the government to conflict with the will of the people (Schumpeter 2003). In other forms of government, the will of the people always conflicts with the will of the leaders. This is because citizens do not get an opportunity to give their opinions or to voice their concerns.

Counterargument

Despite being the best form of government, democracy has flaws too. These include misappropriation of public funds, promotion of dictatorship of the majority, lowering of moral standards, disinterest by voters in elections, and capitalism (Smith 1996). Despite these flaws, democracy is the best form of government. Advantages of democracy outweigh the disadvantages.

Conclusion

Democracy has been labeled the best system of government that any nation can embrace. It has certain weaknesses but it is more stable, efficient, and stronger than other systems such as monarchies and oligarchies. All nations should adopt democracy because of several reasons.

These include stability and efficient administration, promotion of freedom, equality of all citizens, equal opportunity to power, and responsible administration. Benefits of democracy are evident for observing democracies such as the US and European countries. Through democracy, they have been able to achieve growth and prosperity that has placed them among the most prosperous and powerful nations in the world.

References

Burns, J, Pelatson, J., Cronin, T & Magleby, B 2001, Government by the People, Prentice Hall, New York.

Cheibu, A & Dahl, R 2003, The Democracy Sourcebook, MIT Press, London.

Christiano, T 2004, The Authority of Democracy, Journal of Political Philosophy, vol.12 no.3, pp. 266-290.

Geer, J & Schiller, W 2011, Gateways to Democracy: Introduction to American Government, Cengage Learning, New York.

Lijphart, A 2012, Patterns of Democracy: Government Forms and Performance in Thirty-Six Countries, Yale University Press, New York.

Mill, J 2009, Representative Government, GRIN Verlag, New York.

Ross, M 2006, Is Democracy Good for the Poor, American Journal of Political Science, vol.50 no.4, pp. 860-874.

Schumpeter, J 2003, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, Taylor & Francis, New York.

Shapiro, I & Corsdn, C 1999, Democracy’s Values, Cambridge University Press, London.

Smith, b 1996, Sustainable Local Democracy, Public Administration and Development, vol. 16 no.2, pp. 163-178.

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