On this, the International Day of Democracy, I thought it might be interesting to take a brief look at the term and some thoughts on it. The term comes from the Greek words “demos” (the people) and “kratia” (power or authority).
By various definitions, we can see this spelled out:
- “Democracy is a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.”
- “Democracy is a society in which the citizens are sovereign and control the government.”
- “Democracy is a system of government in which people choose their rulers by voting for them in elections.”
By various “thinkers” over the centuries, we can see how democracy is considered:
“Republics decline into democracies, and democracies degenerate into despotisms.”
— Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC)
“Democracy is the road to socialism.”
— Karl Marx (1818 – 1883)
German sociologist and political theorist
“As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.”
— Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865)
16th President of the United States
“The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.”
— John F. Kennedy (1917 – 1963)
35th President of the United States
Whether one believes our nation to be on an incline or decline, most agree that we are in deep trouble. We replace unity with divisiveness, work ethic with entitlement-thinking, and public servants with lifetime politicians.
We need to be better than this. We are better than this. Plenty of world history offers to guide us away from making poor choices that let a government control us. When freedom wanes, life includes unimaginable challenges that are often incomprehensible. Once freedom is lost, it is rarely regained.
(Photo by D. William)