What is Democracy?

What is Democracy?

What is Democracy? & what is basic concepts and principals

Throughout our lives are members of different groups or associations, from families, neighborhood, clubs and work-units to nations and states. In all such associations, from the smallest to the largest, decision have to be taken for the association as a whole: about the goals to be pursued, about the rules to be followed, about the distribution of responsibilities and benefits between members. These can be called collective decision, in contrast to individual’s decision taken by people behalf of themselves alone.

Democracy belongs to this sphere of collective decision making. It embodies the ideal that such decision, affecting as an association as a whole, should be taken by all its members, and that they should each have equal rights to take part in such decisions.

Democracy, in other words, entails the twin principals of popular control over collective decision-making and equality of rights in the exercise of that control. To the extent that these principals are realized in the decision-making of any association, we can call it democratic.

Democracy in Society and State

Defining democracy in this way makes two things clear at the outset. The first is that democracy does not just belong to the sphere of the state or of government, as we usually tend to think of it. Democratic principles are relevant to collective decision-making in any kind of association.

Indeed, there is an important relation between democracy at the level of the state and democracy in the other institutions of society. However , because the state is the most inclusive association, with the right to regulate the affairs of society as a whole, the ability to raise compulsory taxation and the power of life and death over its members, democracy at the level of the state is of crucial importance it is with democratic government , therefore, that we shall be mostly concerned.

A relative concept

The school point about our definition is that democracy is not an all-or-nothing affair, which an association possesses either in full or not at all. It is rather a matter of degree; of the extent to which the principles of the popular control and political equability are realized; of greater or lesser approximations towards the ideal of equal participation in collective decision-making. Conventionally we have come to all a state democratic-making.

Conventionally we have come to call a state democratic’ if it government is accountable to the people through competitive election to public office, where all adults have an equal right to vote and stand for election, and where civil and political rights are legally guaranteed. However, no such state in practice realizes the two principles of popular control and political equality as fully as might. To that extent the work of democratization struggles to consolidate and extend the realization of democratic principles, whatever regime or political system they happen to live under.

3 thoughts on “What is Democracy?

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  3. Pingback: Political Equality

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