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Too much democracy is a recipe for anarchy. Discuss.

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Introduction

"Too much democracy is a recipe for anarchy." Discuss. Political theorist have often accepted the claim that a modern regime in which most or at least a large number of men have the vote is regarded as democratic. "Democracy belongs to the sphere of collective decision making for the association for all. Democracy in other words entails the twin principles of popular control over collective decision-making and equality of rights in the exercise of the control". This is a statement from 'Introducing democracy'. The word 'democracy' originates from Athens. Athens called itself a democracy because all its citizens could take part in political decision but this was not the case as 'all citizens' did not include 'all adults', women, slaves and resident aliens and people from different parts of Greek cities could not participate. Political theorist have often accepted the claim that modern regimes in which most or at least a large number of men have the vote is regarded as democratic. 'Majority' is therefore regarded as more than half and as Concordant in late eighteenth century stated the plurality rule where the largest single number of votes win even though half of them voted the opposition party are allowed to rule is still called a democracy. These statements are taken from the 'Oxford concise dictionary of politics'. In my essay I will be discussing the content of democracy and how different political theorist have conflicting opinions of what democracy means. Most writers have been nervous that too much democracy may lead to anarchism. ...read more.

Middle

There is a present danger in 'tyranny of the majority'. In anarchy community where all adult citizens are members of the legislature, it is virtually impossible to limit the power of the majority. Unchecked rule by the majority leads to the majority's abuse of political authority and the minorities loss of rights, the majorities self interests and governing in an overbearing fashion, deprives members of the minority of their legal rights, there are no institutions safeguards to moderate and restrain the exercise of movement power and prevent the majority from riding roughshod over the rights and vital interests of members of the minority. Mill and Tocqueville made clear that there were matters over which minorities should remain sovereign, which could not be decided by the majority vote. In this way people would feel secure enough what mostly concerned them...knowing that their decisions would leave their fundamental freedoms unaffected'. In this content balancing democracy would allow citizens to feel free knowing their freedoms will not be effected and thus in turn will not turn to anarchism as the state is giving freedom to the individual rights and liberty which the state has to obligate to. Theorist in the traditional 'protective theory of democracy', started from the Hobbesian assumption that government is necessary in order to avoid civil war and social breakdown and to these ends governments are needed with enough power to enforce order. (Hobbs 1651) but Hobbes paid less attention to: if governments have enough power to stop civil war and breakdown they almost have enough power to exploit their own populations. ...read more.

Conclusion

With the 'unwritten constitution' it would be easier to overthrow the government and make laws and legislation, which will only benefit a minority group, taking the freedom and liberty away from the majority, which is exercised by representative democracy. In conclusion it would be right to say 'too much democracy would lead to anarchism'. As people lack the capacity to govern society effectively. I do not hold the view of Plato who favours aristocracy and well educated of only making decisions in government. I do believe though we are not all created equal as some people in society are gifted by parental occupations and social backgrounds which help develop an individual faster than a child who is born from a poor background. That is not to say a person from a poor background cannot participate in government and are incapable of making a decision. Instead I believe citizens are capable of choosing a small group of leaders and even participating within government themselves who are to govern society. Democracy according to its underlying and supporting political theory is superior over anarchy. It safeguards liberty and ensures justice as James Madison stated. This would include holding the government accountable to the electorates through checks and balances. While being impractical to expect the people to govern society without any authority, it is quite practical to expect them to choose societies rulers from among rivals who will be in office until their term expires. I will end by quoting 'Democracy it would seem has ceased to be a matter of contention and has become a matter of convention.' (Democracy Albert Weild). ...read more.

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