09 October 2009

The Problem With Democracy

Hello Bloggers! I had to read (for school) Lord of the Flies and Animal Farm. After reading these intriguing books I was ordered to write a paper with my view of what the "perfect" balance of a government would be between strict, control and absolute, boundless chaotic freedom. This is the paper I wrote. Feel free to comment, in fact I would appreciate any comments immensely!

The closest to a perfect government (or the balance of power between “control” and “freedom”) is Democracy. In theory this form of government is “fool proof”. The officials are elected “for the people, by the people”. They are given power based on their merit. This philosophy of government is flawed. It is subject to the whims of humanity; humanity as a whole is easily led astray – this is not a good thing. In short a Democracy run by reason not by feelings would be the purest balance between Chaos and Dictatorship. The problem with Democracy can be summed up as “the human problem”.
In contrast with Democracy, Anarchy presents none of these “control” problems as no man has control over another. Anarchy (by definition) is the absence of government, and hence, the abolishment of control. There are flaws in this type of non-government too! The main flaw of the philosophy of Anarchy is that (again) humanity is not perfect. As in Lord of the Flies people would run wild. In this fear driven society Maslow’s Needs would be limited to Physical Needs and Safety Needs. Social, Esteem and “spiritual” or “aesthetic” would be out. To conclude this idea, it is clear that Democracy presents the finest choice. It controls people more than they like, but it also protects them and forms a sense of “stability” in their life. Democracy is, therefore, the subject of this paper.
There are two problems with Democracy. One - the written law and spoken word are not held in high enough reverence. Two, officials who are elected – for the people, by the people – are corrupted by their hunger for power.
The first (of many) problems with Democracy (in practice) is that it does not abide by the written and spoken word (law). Using the United States as a model we will explore Democracy’s problems. The Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights were put into effect to make the “powers” that government had over the citizens of its country into writing so that it would not be subject to change, and to protect the rights of its people. The Constitution and Bill of Rights are well written and if the Untied States actually did practice what it preaches this country would be as close to a true Democracy as anyplace in the world. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are (sadly) not upheld as they should be. An example of this can be found in the incident in Ohio where protesters (using their right of free speech) were slaughtered by U.S. soldiers. Another example is the right of Americans to have and bear arms which has been restricted by the “hand gun license law”. This law prevents the carrying of a gun without the proper “permission” from the authorities. The written and spoken law is not considered “unchangeable”, but rather is subject to amendments and the passing of new laws which widens the governments control over our personal freedoms.
The second reason our country is not a true balance of power between “control” and “freedom” is that once in a position of power our officials are corrupted. This is shown throughout history. One example of this (though it is a moral and not a practical corruption) is the recently discovered fact that supposedly “Christian” men were entertaining harlots at their abode. Power, no matter how small, corrupts, and the greater the power the greater the corruption. Though we hear it said “all men are equal” yet isn’t the very fact that the government issues laws telling us that they believe that they know more than we do? This shows us they think they know best, revealing that they believe “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others” (Animal Farm).
There are many people who disagree with me, who would say, “The United States is the best place to live! Where else would you rather live? We are the richest and most blest people in the world!”
To those people I would say – the reason we are the richest people in the world is because of Capitalism, not Democracy! I agree that this is the best place – and the only place I would want - to live. This is the closest to a true Democracy we are likely to find in the world – until people start living by reason and not emotions.
In conclusion, a true Democracy is the balance between “control” and “freedom”. To bad for us this perfect government does not exist!

1 comment:

Hal Brunson said...


Thank you for this thoughtful post. How encouraging to read such probing analysis from a young person and, dare I say it, a young lady.

I think Churchill said, "Democracy is the worst for of government except for all the rest," or something to that effect.

The kingdom of God would be an exception to your conclusion. While one can argue that a kind of "deomcracy" is God's pattern for His church, a monarchy is the eventual and ultimate Christian government, virtual now in time, invisibly expressed the hearts of the godly, actual in eternity.