Essay about Democracy, By John L Anderson

Essay about Democracy, By John L Anderson

Length: 1190 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


Democracy has been a topic discussed for hundreds of years and a general idea of the topic would be the “governing of people by the people”. Many people have attempted “to sketch characteristics, or outcomes or preconditions, because democracy itself” (4) has been seen to be a difficult concept to define. In John L Anderson’s ‘What is Democracy?’ (2004) he takes an alternative approach to understanding democracy. Anderson explains that there is no “tidy set of ideas”, but rather “an indirect approach to defining democracy” (4) in order to understand and teach the concept of democracy. He states that there are four notion to achieve this: seeking the public interest helps us develop a morality based upon concern for others; governing others is never simple because of the plurality of differences among people; democracy works well when people govern themselves in reliable, trustworthy ways; education is necessary because citizens do not easily learn how to govern themselves and others in ways that are democratic. This paper will illustrate my understanding of Anderson’s article, as well as show that Anderson’s notions lean towards a definition of democracy centred on utilitarianism ideals.
Anderson arranges his discussion in four sections – one section for each notion. The first section is ‘Public Interest’. He looks at Aristotle’s era for a “basic analysis of democracy” (5). Democracy, in Greek, meant rule by the masses (kratein demos). The word Demos was not a positive outlook at the people, but meant their worst form and depicted them as selfish and only interested in achieving their own goals. Aristotle believed that “governments are problematic when people rule with their self-interest in mind” (5). However, we are ...


... middle of paper ...


...hemselves” (6).
I think all four notions are very important in understanding democracy, because in our day democracy is something we all strive for in our lives and in government. Democracy enables us to have our own opinions and interests, but as we are all different, we must try and see other people’s interest and opinions and take it into considerations on matters that affect everyone including ourselves. If we are able to take these opinions and accept each other as being different then we will have a social understanding of trust in our world and make it more liveable for the majority of people. In the end, Anderson explains that democracy is not only in our political aspects of our lives, but in our private, and public. We must make decisions that not only govern our lives but govern others life for the greater good of our society and humanity as a whole.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and John Kennedy and the Vietnam War Essay

- The leadership styles, experience, personality, and temperament of Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and John Kennedy played a role in deepening the U.S. involvement and commitment to Vietnam. Both presidents vowed to stop the spread of communism, which was viewed as a direct assault to democracy, human rights, and capitalism. (Tucker, 1999) Both presidents also subscribed to the domino theory, or the belief that if one key country should fall to communism, then it would have a cascading effect on other countries turning to communism....   [tags: Vietnam War Essays]

Better Essays
857 words (2.4 pages)

The Political Theory Of Democracy And Freedom Essay

- Sipan Dehjet Prof. Queen Political Theory 6 June 2015 Question #2 Democracy and Freedom “Give me liberty or give me death!” These were the words uttered by Patrick Henry from a speech he made to Virginia Convention. He wanted the Americans to come together and fight the British for their freedom. Throughout history, many political theorists fought to end social inequality. Karl Marx believed in communism, in which that class war was inevitable and all property must publicly owned where workers are paid according to their abilities and needs....   [tags: Political philosophy, John Locke, Democracy]

Better Essays
1155 words (3.3 pages)

The ' The Dream ' By John Anderson Essay

- ... After that it is time to hit the books which takes another four to five hours. In this part, John is doing more background reading and reviewing similar experiments. In between all of this John works as a baker at a bagel shop on the weekends at around four o’clock in the morning where he doesn’t burn the bagels but has burned himself more than a few times. After he leaves the bagel shop it is time to head home. John states for some much needed R & R which includes supper chili cheese fries being the easiest fastest and cheapest thing to make....   [tags: Chemistry, Chemical reaction, Full-time]

Better Essays
1011 words (2.9 pages)

Democracy : A Democracy And A Republic Essay

- A democracy is a form of government where the people rule directly on everything that has an effect on their everyday lives. In a democracy the government’s power is from the people and it relies on them to use that power. Citizen’s rights to the decisions made by the government can be handled directly by entering their positions personally or by representatives. Since government decisions are not made by the majority vote except for in a small amount of all lawmaking, the United States is not a direct democracy....   [tags: Democracy, Representative democracy, Elections]

Better Essays
1726 words (4.9 pages)

Inside The League by Scott Anderson, and Jon Lee Anderson Essay

- Inside The League by Scott Anderson, and Jon Lee Anderson     For over ten years progressive researchers in this country and in Europe have been uncovering evidence linking certain American conservatives and rightists to racist and fascist movements around the globe through a shadowy organization called the World Anti-Communist League. Now the book "Inside the League" exposes the hidden nature of the League and documents in devastating detail a parade of League-affiliated authoritarian ideologues marching from the death camps of Nazi Germany into the parlors of Reagan's White House....   [tags: Inside The League Scott Anderson]

Free Essays
1012 words (2.9 pages)

Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson Essay

- Despite the fact that there are people who simply do not want to communicate with others, there are those who do not think or know that there are institutions that they can reach out to for help. In the novel Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson, each character sees the world with a different perception of what life should be like, often a distorted perception, and their neurosis is caused by the isolation of the small town. Neurosis is the term for the distress of the mind causing a person to behave socially different from others; it is also seen as abnormal nature....   [tags: Anderson Winesburg Ohio]

Free Essays
1628 words (4.7 pages)

Essay on Language and Mores in Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio

- Language and Mores in winesburg, ohio Language and literature lead parallel lives. What changes most often and most dramatically is the language we use to describe events and feelings that are common to all times. Language shifts, stretches, adopts, and absorbs -- it drops antiquated terms and picks up a few new ones, and you don't have to look far to find novels and short stories grown stale from shaky, outdated prose, from too many neo-tropisms, catch-phrases, and slang with a short shelf-life....   [tags: Anderson Winesburg Ohio Essays]

Better Essays
1165 words (3.3 pages)

Analysis of Anderson's Trailblazing Essays

- After reading Trailblazing by Eric Anderson I was blown away by the story told in the book. It is a story of self-realization, persecution, and perseverance. At first it was hard to believe that this was the same person I see in lecture twice a week. It shows the fears and terrors that closeted homosexuals go through to keep their secret, then the oppression they face after coming out. It has truly opened my eyes to the hardships gay people face when wanting to do no more than be themselves but can't for fear of being abandoned by loved ones and ridiculed by others....   [tags: Eric Anderson]

Free Essays
1066 words (3 pages)

Essay about Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

- Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, is a story written in the first person about a young girl named Melinda Sordino. The title of the book, Speak, is ironically based on the fact that Melinda chooses not to speak. The book is written in the form of a monologue in the mind of Melinda, a teenage introvert. This story depicts the story of a very miserable freshman year of high school. Although there are several people in her high school, Melinda secludes herself from them all....   [tags: Anderson Speak Teenage Depression]

Better Essays
1740 words (5 pages)

Barbara Anderson's First Fieldwork Essay example

- Barbara Anderson's First Fieldwork Précis: “First Fieldwork” 1. Where did Barbara Anderson’s fieldwork take place and what was the goal of her research. Barbara Anderson’s fieldwork took place in the fishing village of Taarnby, Denmark on the island of Amager in the Oresund in the 50’s. The goal of her research was to publish the unseen side of fieldwork. She wanted to share the personal and professional sides of fieldwork with the reader. She went to the island to help her husband study culture change....   [tags: Barbara Anderson Anthropology Essays]

Better Essays
663 words (1.9 pages)