The Concept of Democracy

I live in the Netherlands. The Netherlands are part of the Western world, as in world region. Through the years whenever the state forms are compared in class there was always the same conclusion: “we live in a democracy”. I live in a democracy of some sorts yes.

There is one issue with this “we live in a democracy” complex. The following questions are ordered in my personal relevance.

What is a democracy?

What is the definition of the word democracy?

What is the concept, thus framework of ideas and assumptions behind a democracy?

To ask the question is to find the answers. I am 25 years old and in the school I attend I often meet students between 18 and 25. Most of them think that going through a program of applied academics does not require any critical thinking in search of answers.

To ask the question is to find the answers. To ask the question without attempting to find the answers is nothing. For this, our environments, our society and our media are to blame.

Mom and dad say that the government knows best. The media pass on sound bites and hypes as important and sometimes as fact. Reports and articles in general have to be short to cater to decreased reading time. In education basic logic is not taught. Only until you have a serious course in mathematics, statistics or something philosophy oriented it starts to dawn how critical thinking is important. The lack of critical thinking also affects ideas of government and citizenship to the point where few know something at all.

Democracy is the governmental system where the citizens or people chose their representatives to govern the country in the interest of the people. There are many versions of democracies though. The ancient democracy in Athens was the Athenian democracy made for a city-state for example.

Regarding definitions of a democracy, there are many. Pick one and look at states in the world. There is plenty of variation.

Regarding the concept the democracy, again there are many. There are many democracies to choose from.

In closing I like the idea of citizens being able to choose their representatives who in turn represent the citizens interests in government affairs. As the European elections are coming closer though I see no democracy. I see professional politicians taking power for themselves.

P.S. I will re-visit this topic again.


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