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To understand democracy’s significance is to look at the good it served in the past and the potential benefits it presents for the future. Is this political framework a value to be cherished and protected? It should be, and it must be.
Since time immemorial, democracy has been that sought-after belief that unitedly formed nations or even pushed citizens to strive to go above and beyond to attain this ideal society status. For some societies, democracy seemed to be an elusive ideal, a slippery archetypal that posed near within one’s grasp but could not be attained for some exterior out-of-control reasons.
Countries should achieve a democratic system, its principle compact and unyielding. But why is it so? What makes this type of governance so desirable that, at one point, it can drive people mad to seek ways and means just to be recognized as a democratic society?
Dr. Samuel Enajite Enajero’s Collective Institutions in Industrialized Nations, an African Association book on modern economic development, touches on capitalist democracy under a neoclassical economic theory.
A democratic society is critical to a nation’s social and economic growth. Its significance is that a country’s success and longevity depend on its effectiveness.
“…that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Abraham Lincoln
The very words that planted in immortality the true meaning of democracy. When the 16th president of the United States uttered these words, it was in Gettysburg and in remembrance of the soldiers who died for the cause of the American Civil War in a fight to be equal and represented.
Democracy originally comes from the Greek word “Demos,” referring to people, and “Kratos,” meaning power. And the late US president said it accurately. A democratic government is a government of the people, by and for the people. Democracy is about the voice and the will of the people, and those put in power to represent the citizens should reflect the people’s thoughts and desires.
Democracy thrives from two principles: equality and individual autonomy.
Equality is the idea that everyone should possess the same opportunity to create an impact, play a role, and influence a society’s decision-making process. Individual autonomy comes from a belief that no one is subjected to rules imposed by others and that everyone is in control of their own lives (so long as they do not inhibit or infringe on other’s freedom).
Benefits of a Democratic Society
One readily understands that democracy is an ideal political framework that allows people to communicate their political perspectives openly. Democracy is practiced by a majority of governments around the world. To those nations that still have yet to exploit its advantages, such as North Korea and China, a democratic government remains an ultimate dream goal of their citizens.
To understand better what makes these frameworks so appealing, below are some benefits of well-formed democratic governance.
Citizens’ Participation in Government
One of the top benefits of a democracy-ruled government is that citizens have a voice in policy-making. The citizens would vote for their choice of government leader-representative that best represents their principles and morals. The act of casting a vote in and of itself is a concise example of how individuals have the power to direct the way their nation’s future outlook.
Faster Economic Growth
The primary consideration for democracy to boost a society’s economic growth comes from equality. Equality gives rise to the following conditions: industrialization, urbanization, education, and literacy. A strong economic nation needs educated individuals with the capacity and ability to be trusted with nation-building roles.
Democracy brings greater economic freedom, higher human capital accumulation, and lower risk for inflation. Since there is freedom, people invest in their nation’s growth, boosting capital in infrastructure and other economic reforms.
Simply put, a democratic government enhances the government’s image of leadership that people can trust. If a government is trustworthy enough, they earn the citizens’ trust. And with that trust comes participation and contribution, all geared toward the overall benefit of society.
Gave Rise to Human Rights
Democracy without respect for human rights will always be incomplete. What do human rights encompass in a democracy? Human rights are the most basic and universal rights accorded to a human being. This includes freedom of thought, conscience, religion, expression, and peaceful assembly.
This is when the two fundamental principles of democracy come in, individual autonomy and equality. It is thorough and ongoing respect for each individual’s rights, recognizing that everyone has the free will to practice their principle openly.
Democracy and a Free Society
Democracy is essential if a society wants to be free and a nation seeks to be free. In South Africa, when former president Nelson Mandela pursued freedom from the apartheid system in 1994, the country known an unprecedented democratic regime that tore down an oppressive system against race and equality.
Free will is indispensable, and so is democracy. What a country’s ancestors have fought and achieved should not be so willingly set aside and disregarded. Democracy should not be easily relinquished and should remain an unyielding principle.
One thought on “Democracy: The Unyielding Principle”
Democracy is the ideal but there will always be individuals or groups of individuals who, due to something programmed in their genes probably, will seek to and often succeed in exploiting the freedoms that would naturally come with a true democracy. The definition of a born leader.