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Critical Analysis - Essay Example

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The author attempts to go beyond the common understanding of democracy as the rule of the majority or the contrasting version of the…
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Critical Analysis
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Critical Analysis

Download file to see previous pages... disharmonious because in a democracy individual citizens have to make difficult political choices, with no guarantees that the choice is the correct solution. It is also disharmonious because the end results of public deliberations in any community on a controversial subject will differ, because of the autonomy that each individual enjoys in a democratic society. It is the perception of the author that disharmony in a democratic society will ebb only when there is mutual respect in the political choices made by the different individuals that make up the society.
Quoting from Schumpeter 1943 p. 269, the author presents the understanding of democracy from the perspective of Schumpeter as “that institutional arrangement for arriving at political decisions in which individuals acquire the power to decide by means of a competitive struggle for peoples vote”. The author argues against this understanding of democracy. While pointing out to the strength of this understanding of democracy through its recognition of the basis of democracy in the competition for the votes of the people, the author derides its lack of projecting any value for the process of competing for the vote of the people. The author uses the example of the apartheid regime in South Africa and the rule of the Communist dictator Stalin to reinforce this argument. The author finds further support from Robert Dahl, 1989, who argues that such an understanding of democracy does not differentiate from autocracy.
The author proposes that populist democracy as an understanding of is founded on the basis of “people ruling themselves as free and equal beings rather than being ruled by an external power or by a self-elected minority among themselves.” In other words the stress in populist democracy is on the will of the people. To this end then there are built in constraints to ensure that decisions in the democratic society reflect popular will. An example of this is in the rule of law, as against the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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