Why democracy is good essay

Here's the biggest problem with the democratic process: people are stupid. There's really no sugarcoating it. We may be on top of the food chain, but that doesn't make us very bright, intellectually. We're naturally predisposed to supernatural thinking, irrational fears, and irrational decision-making processes (usually in the form of a heuristic). We can't seem to figure out how money works, or promote solid societal order (in the long run). The only reason we, as a species, made it to the top of the world is because we are really freaking good at killing other things, even our own kind. Now, would you want "the will of the people" running your life? True majoritarian principles stifle the minority and hinder real progress.

Robert Reich is the chancellor’s professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley , and a senior fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as secretary of labor in the Clinton administration, and Time magazine named him one of the 10 most effective Cabinet secretaries of the 20th century. He has written 14 books, including the best sellers Aftershock , The Work of Nations and Beyond Outrage and, most recently, Saving Capitalism . He is also a founding editor of The American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and cocreator of the award-winning documentary Inequality for All .

This is painting on a large canvas with broad, imprecise brush strokes. Even multi-indicator measures of the functioning of government are imprecise. More sophisticated modelling is needed to assert causality. Do good citizens make good governments, or do good governments make good citizens? To some extent, both are true; these things go together regardless of the direction of causality. Yet, while others theorise and write op-eds on the perils of citizen participation in the democratic process, the empirical evidence suggests otherwise. These exploratory data reaffirm the argument from Thomas Jefferson to Alexis de Tocqueville to Sidney Verba: Expanding the public’s voice is essential to have a democratic polity and broadly improves the quality of governance. The dilemma for democracy is to embrace a more active public, while ensuring the equality of political voice at the same time.

A third serious setback was Egypt. The collapse of Hosni Mubarak’s regime in 2011, amid giant protests, raised hopes that democracy would spread in the Middle East. But the euphoria soon turned to despair. Egypt’s ensuing elections were won not by liberal activists (who were hopelessly divided into a myriad of Pythonesque parties) but by Muhammad Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood. Mr Morsi treated democracy as a winner-takes-all system, packing the state with Brothers, granting himself almost unlimited powers and creating an upper house with a permanent Islamic majority. In July 2013 the army stepped in, arresting Egypt’s first democratically elected president, imprisoning leading members of the Brotherhood and killing hundreds of demonstrators. Along with war in Syria and anarchy in Libya, this has dashed the hope that the Arab spring would lead to a flowering of democracy across the Middle East.

Why democracy is good essay

why democracy is good essay

A third serious setback was Egypt. The collapse of Hosni Mubarak’s regime in 2011, amid giant protests, raised hopes that democracy would spread in the Middle East. But the euphoria soon turned to despair. Egypt’s ensuing elections were won not by liberal activists (who were hopelessly divided into a myriad of Pythonesque parties) but by Muhammad Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood. Mr Morsi treated democracy as a winner-takes-all system, packing the state with Brothers, granting himself almost unlimited powers and creating an upper house with a permanent Islamic majority. In July 2013 the army stepped in, arresting Egypt’s first democratically elected president, imprisoning leading members of the Brotherhood and killing hundreds of demonstrators. Along with war in Syria and anarchy in Libya, this has dashed the hope that the Arab spring would lead to a flowering of democracy across the Middle East.

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