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Theory - Term Paper Example

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Professor: Module: Democracy as an End in Itself or a Means to an End There has been a belief that majority of the western nations achieved prosperity due to their advancement in democracy. Advocates of democracy have been fighting against socialism and communism for over 200 years but since the World War II democracy started to gain root in many countries especially in the east…
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Download file to see previous pages In considering each claim it is important to look into what democracy actually means. This paper looks into democracy and its claims from both Marxism and Leninism perspectives. Practical use of democracy will form the centre stage in elaborating the meaning of democracy and whether it is an end in itself or a means to an end. Democracy literal meaning is People’s Rule meaning that it is the populace that should bear a nation’s sovereignty. This definition is quite the opposite of autocracy and oligarchy which connote forms of dictatorship perpetuated by one person or a number of people respectively. Therefore, democracy is a situation where people exercise political power through choosing leaders or participating in governance. The latter statement has little strength but its claim is indisputable as an inherent attribute of a democratic establishment. These definitions raise a number of arguments one being that some government systems are more democratic than others (Lenin 177-215). An absolute democracy will therefore demand that people’s wishes are incorporated in the governance system. Wishes of the people even in the modern democratic institutions are basically achieved through elections. In this case people’s representatives are elected to various levels of government where they are expected to represent the views and wishes of their electorates. Utilitarian theorists hold the belief that democracy offers a channel for people’s will to be done. Elections in the case are an agent of people’s will since electors choose those who are closest to their ideals. Although this is not a strong justification as to the establishment of democracy, it goes further to elaborate the representation of the will of the people in governance. This utilitarian approach to democracy and general will of the people is however not accurate. It is basic fact that a society is comprised of people who hold different views on issues. Consequently, it is hard for all to agree on one thing especially on matters pertaining to public policy. This argument of elections as a symbol of democracy does not necessarily bear people’s will (Loo and Peter 45-80). Majoritarianism is used widely in elections debate since those who end up in government are the most popular candidates and this translates into ignorance of the minority’s interests. This loophole in democracies has been overcome by establishing systems that facilitate proportional representation although their viability has proved questionable as factions are forced to join forces to acquire considerable majority. Britain is an example where tyranny of the minority is experienced. This has been the trend after the 2nd World War where only two parties have dominated the political arena. In winning elections these parties need to work hard to woo voters who are indecisive. In so doing the parties find themselves ignoring their ideologically based supporters in order to appeal to the few undecided ones. This scenario is clearer after looking into democracy as a means to an end. Democracy depicts a situation where people are ruling themselves meaning that a state is incapable of coercing an individual citizen (Lenin 277-313). Freedom is therefore a pillar expected to be upheld by a democratic system more than in others. The degree of equality among people also forms the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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