United States Singled a Shining Democratic Governance;, Essay

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United States singled a shining democratic governance;, U.S. system governance immune criticism. Scholar One of the critiques of democracy discussed within the articles for this assignment is greatly associated with the role that private property and wealth plays in democratic societies. Specifically, within Santas' "Plato's criticism of democracies in The Republic," the author alludes to the fact that the influence of these two external aspects of government -- the private property and wealth of the individual chosen to govern in a democracy -- has the innate potential to corrupt and to subject the needs of the masses who are governed to those of the individuals who are governing.

There is a great possibility that the author is correct regarding this point of criticism. One of the points of validity for this notion is the fact that it is found in literature and is one of the chief points of disparagement that Plato makes about democracies in The Republic. Additionally, an examination of human nature -- particularly as it is applied to contemporary Western society -- demonstrates that power is corruptive, especially in regards to an individual's prioritization of his or her needs before those of others. One may argue that it is an intrinsic aspect of human nature to attempt to take care of one's own needs before one takes care of the needs of others. As such, the desire for rulers to allow their own personal...
...History attests to the fact that there have been rulers (again, in both democracies and in other forms of government) who have not ruled at the expense of their subjects, and who have endured personal sacrifice for the sake of those governments. Abraham Lincoln, for example, likely had little personal interest in preserving the Union.

The best way to refute the critique that Santas made regarding the fact that democracies are limited in their effectiveness when those in positions of government have private property, the concerns of which factor more importantly for them than those for their subjects, would be to utilize historical and contemporary examples that prove otherwise. Generally speaking one can cite those politicians and members of democracies that are overtly concerned for their subjects. For instance, one can successfully argue that despite his own private property and wealth, there is little personal interest that the current president has in extending the Affordable Care Act, which provides affordable health care to those who are monetarily disadvantaged.

Another critique of democracy is advanced in Beard's "Framing the Constitution" and pertains to the liberty that democracies afford people. This criticism is based on the notion that there is too much leeway and freedom for people in true democracies, both at the personal level…

Sources Used in Documents:


Beard, C.A. (1993). "Framing the Constitution." American Government: Readings and Cases. New York: Harper Collins.

Gilley, B. (2009). "Is democracy possible?." Journal of Democracy. 20 (1), 113-125.

Ranney, A., Kendall, W. (1951). "Democracy: confusion and agreement."

Santas, G. (2007). "Plato's criticisms of democracy in The Republic." Social Policy & Political Foundation. 70-89. 4, 430-439.

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