This essay will be focusing on the concept of democracy and representative government. It will be discussing whether we have a democratic government or not in this modern era and whether 'democracy' is attainable in modern developed societies. There is a debate as to whether modern democracies represent their citizens or protect individual liberties. Some theories of the state argue that democrats only serve the interests of an elite or a capitalist class.
The term democracy originated from Greece, the Greek word for it is kratos, meaning power or rule. The term generally means 'Rule by the people'. There are diverse numbers of meanings ascribed to democracy, and so can be difficult to provide a fixed definition. (Heywood, 2003:68). The word rule can be ambiguous, as it could be said that in any strict sense the many cannot rule, on the other hand, in any loose sense the many can't rule, and usually will in any political system.
There are various meaning that are attached to the phrase 'rule of the people'. One of the strongest meanings of the phrase is, 'that all should govern, in the sense that all should be involved in legislating, in deciding on general policy, in applying laws and governmental administration' (Lively, 1975:29).
An important part of democracy is the principle of political equality; political power should be spread equally and evenly as possible. The term demos was usually referred to 'the many' by the Greek writers, which are the people who have no property, and disadvantaged. Therefore democracy didn't show political equality. Political participation in Greek cites was given to only a small part of the population. Male citizens over the age of twenty could participate; this excluded women, slaves and foreigners. Voting had restrictions as well, such as property qualifications until well into...