Democracy != Elections, Modern Democracies are…

It bugs me when I hear simplistic statements suggesting that the simple act of a society voting designates it as a democracy (even more so then the republic vs. democracy faux argument).

Once and for all, Democracy Does Not Equal Voting! It is so much more then that.

Presenting The Modern Democratic Nation-State

Why Promote it

  • Democracies don’t fight each other (Democratic Peace concept)
  • Democracies don’t mass enslave/murder their citizens (Death by Government concept)
  • Democracy gives individuals their best chance at achieving their personal goal, whether those are economic, entrepreneurial, familiar, artistic, etc. (maximizing human potential and return on human capital)
  • Democracy enables prosperity
  • Democracies are future focused and constantly getting better at the above.

Characteristics

  • Secular, Republican form of government at all levels with regular elections with secret ballots for most powerful government positions
  • Governed by the majority view with protections for the rights of the minority.
  • It must support a competition of ideas, which requires critical debate, freedom of speech and the ability to criticize power without fear of retribution.
  • Civil liberties and political rights (human rights)
  • Strong civil society with power distributed into multiple points of authority (governmental and non-governmental) to enable checks and balances.
  • Market-based economies with Property Ownership
  • Equality of Opportunity
  • Large Middle-Class
  • High Literacy
  • Equality for all in a predictable, transparent legal system.
  • Elites much be based on merit, not hereditary
  • Universal (or near) Suffrage
  • Competitive political parties
  • Abraham Lincoln’s – Democracy is a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people”.
  • Equal opportunity to Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness, Property Ownership, Personal Advancement
  • Freedom of religion, privacy, etc. (Concept: Bill of Rights, Natural Rights, Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, etc).

Any questions? Did I leave anything out? Leave a comment or an email.

2 Responses

  1. [...] PurpleSlog, responding to one of the things that is also my own pet peeve, tells us Democracy != Elections, Modern Democracies are… and gives us a list. While I’d take issue with using the word “democracy”, as the principle of majority rule makes it ambiguous, it is clear that modern free nations have elements much wider than simply voting to describe their society. Telling us why we should promote the nation-state he describes as a democracy, he gives us these points: * Democracies don’t fight each other (Democratic Peace concept) * Democracies don’t mass enslave/murder their citizens (Death by Government concept) * Democracy gives individuals their best chance at achieving their personal goal, whether those are economic, entrepreneurial, familiar, artistic, etc. (maximizing human potential and return on human capital) * Democracy enables prosperity * Democracies are future focused and constantly getting better at the above. [...]

  2. [...] Democracy != Elections, Modern Democracies are… [...]

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