Democracy vs Dictatorship: Case studies.

Essay by BigtimerHigh School, 10th gradeA, November 2003

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"Freedom is to society what health is to the individual." [Lord Bolingbroke]. A society without freedom ultimately jeopardizes the well being of its citizens and social prosperity. When deciding to what extent governments should be involved in society, the following questions must be addressed: What methods are in place to keep the government accountable? Is open dissent against the government permissible? Are minorities treated fairly, or are they suppressed? Asking these questions spawned two different ideologies: democracy and dictatorship. In a more dictatorial society, the government has far more control over people's lives. Since power is centralized, the government is able to do what they want with little opposition and are not obligated to obtain the permission of the people. Individuals tend to have less rights and freedoms, change is slow to take place, there is more corruption, elitism is often prominent, and violence is a more common solution to problems.

On the positive end, military tends to stronger, unity is greater, and government tends to be more effective in decision-making. An avid supporter of this form of government was Thomas Carlyle. Carlyle believed that a great leader was needed to run a country. He also believed that a community that assured stability was more enhanced than a community that supported individualism. Democracies place the power within the hands of the people. Consequently, the people are given the right to elect officials to represent and govern them, and through the use of free speech and the right to dissent, are able to greatly influence the choices the government make. When all else fails, through accountability mechanisms, citizens are able to force unwanted authority out of office. By doing this, there tends to be a greater amount of accountability, provision for changes, egalitarianism, rights, and freedoms. However, there are always negatives...