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Is Democracy a Basic Social Good?

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It is a word with no real definition, but rather a word that can be interpreted differently to each individual who uses it. This word is democracy, and it can instill a sense of liberty, freedom, and patriotism at least for many Americans. Realistically, it is a way of life which has a sense of altruism to it; it is for the overall good of a people. In many ways it can be a good and positive thing for a society, and this can be demonstrated in examples that occur in everyday living. My personal feelings and beliefs towards democracy will be viewed next to the views of the great philosopher John Dewy, and those of Native American Chief Oren Lyons.
There are many things in life that we take for granted. It is not every day that I wake up and immediately give thanks that I live in a democratic society, but is more of a subconscious idea that we know exits in our life. I do, however, feel privileged and lucky to live in a country that stands for freedom, equal rights, and active participation by its citizens. It is so tremendous that we as citizens have the power to make decisions for ourselves and the social good. Those are the kinds of ideals of this modern democracy that our founding fathers wanted for all; basically a country for the people, by the people. Democracy is not a very complicated principle, but it is a simple thing that affects our everyday life, no matter how trivial the event. We as a democratic country try and strive for the basic social good. This means that this concept primarily looks out for the welfare and satisfaction of every individual who falls under that government. It is not out to place harsh and unwanted rules and restrictions on its people. Rather, it allows them to take part and have a say in their government, provides them with equality, and gives them a freedom to live a life with no oppressive rule. This liberty which we as Americans possess singles no one person out; it is there for the taking by all.
While the word democracy literally describes a type of political and governmental state of mind, it is not only meant to be used by those in high ranking officials. This term applies to everyone who falls under its rule, and encourages those people to benefit and to be strengthened by its principles. John Dewey describes how it does inde...

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...oing so (Lyons, 1). This would be the idealistic thing to do in our modern world, and I hope that many others besides Dewey and Lyons would agree with me.
Democracy is a very powerful and basic part of our lives. It gives us the privilege of possessing freedom, equal rights, active participation, and responsibility to help govern our nation. We are making the choices which will affect us, and if we look at politics right now, we see that we influence decisions that affect our every day lives. This is evident in Dewey’s opinion when he says that democracy is a way of life. As a democratic people, it is our responsibility to ensure the welfare and equality of others. Chief Lyons says the same when his people were generous and giving toward others. That is why I see democracy as a wonderful thing to have, as it gives us power as a people, and enables us to strive only for the social good of America.

Works Cited

Crick, Bernard. Democracy a Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press,
2002.
Dewey, John. “Creative Democracy.” (1939). April 16, 2005

Lyons, Chief Oren. “The UN Year of the Indigenous Peoples 1993.” December 10,
1992.
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