How is Democracy Right and Problematic?

Essay by FobManXCollege, UndergraduateA, March 2007

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Throughout history, many different forms of government and authoritative institutions have been formed. From despotisms to oligarchies, from monarchies to republics, and everything else in between, the events that have occurred via the actions of these systems of government lead us to believe that democracy, or rule by the people, is the absolute best form of government. Or is it? While many nations in the present day world have adopted a democratic form of government, there are aspects of a democracy that are both positive and negative. While the good does outweigh the bad, democracy is an imperfect form of government that will only work under certain conditions.

Just about everyone is aware of the most prominent feature of a democracy: it allows the people to rule and/or elect their rulers. But just because the people rule does not mean the people always make the right choices or are best fit to govern.

"Suppose elections are free and fair and those elected are racists, fascists, and separatists."(Zakaria 17) It may seem unlikely that an entire group of people elected to government are intolerant and oppressive, but many nations throughout the world have actually suffered more because of a shift to democracy. "Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany via free elections…In some places, such as Central Asia, elections have paved the way for dictatorships… Both Yugoslavia and Indonesia, for example, were far more tolerant when they were ruled by strongmen than they are now as democracies." (Zakaria 17-18) While this certainly is not the case everywhere, it is definitely a systematic flaw in democracy.

Democratic doubts occur not just in foreign countries, but in the United States as well. Simply put, what if the people no longer trust the people? "American democracy is losing legitimacy among its citizens…The presidency suffers from...