democracy

Article

January 20, 2022

Democracy (Greek: lδημοκρατία dēmokratía, literally "rule of the people") is a form of government in which all eligible citizens participate on an equal basis—either directly or through their elected representatives—in proposing, developing, and creating laws. It includes the social, economic and cultural conditions that enable citizens to exercise free and equal political self-determination. One of the most important foundations of democracy is commitment to responsibility, respect for order, and the preference of knowledge over force and violence. The term democracy is sometimes used in the narrow sense to describe the system of government in a democratic state, or in a broader sense to describe the culture of a society. Democracy, in this broader sense, is a distinct social system that society believes in and follows, and refers to a specific political and moral culture in which concepts related to the necessity of peaceful and periodic transfer of power are manifested. The origin and cradle of democracy goes back to ancient Greece where the Athenian democracy was the first democracy to arise in human history. Derived from the Greek δημοκρατία (Latin: dēmokratía) meaning "rule of the people" for themselves, the term was coined from δῆμος (demos) "the people" and κράτος (kratos) "power" or "rule" in the 5th century BC to denote the political systems then existing in the Greek city-states, especially Athens; The term is contrasted with ἀριστοκρατία aristocracy, meaning "elite rule". While these two definitions contradict in theory, the difference between them has historically been blurred. The political system of ancient Athens, for example, granted the right to exercise democracy to the elite class of free men and excluded slaves and women from political participation. In virtually all democratic governments throughout ancient and modern history, democratic practice was shaped by the elite until complete emancipation from slavery was granted to all adult citizens in most modern democracies through suffrage movements in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. As mentioned above, democracy originally means the rule of the people for themselves, but the term is often used to refer to liberal democracy because it is the prevailing system of democracy in Western countries, as well as in the world in the twenty-first century, and thus the use of the term “democracy” to describe liberal democracy is a common confusion in the use of the term Whether in the West or the East, democracy is a form of political rule based in general on the peaceful transfer of power and the rule of the majority, while liberalism emphasizes the protection of the rights of individuals and minorities.

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