The Unhappy Democracy

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The Unhappy Democracy

Abstract

Plato/Socrates defined democracy as "the government of the people." He modeled his democratic society after Athens at the time, a small city-state where every adult male had a vote. The transition to democracy occurred after a revolution in which the rich oligarchic rulers were overthrown and disposed of and the poor gained control. Then, they provided everyone with equal rights. Democracy was characterized as a “bazaar of constitutions" where every citizen chose his own path in life. There was no obligatory military service, no privileged classes, and those that claim to love society were able to acquire the most power. Individuals may have desired honor in the morning and wealth in the evening. There was no consistent goal that individuals pursued and their desires changed constantly. However, democracy, unlike other imperfect societies, did not forbid the practice of philosophy; it had been indifferent to it. Eventually, "Things everywhere are just bursting with the spirit of liberty." Soon children disobey parents, students disobey teachers, and a disregard towards authority develops. Citizens become divided into three classes: the ruling class of spendthrift politicians, the middle businessman/merchant class, and the large mass of poor people who own little property and mostly stay out of politics. The politicians begin to pass laws that tax the capitalists in order to meet their spending promises. Next, a reactionary political party was formed by the wealthy in order to resist the taxes. After a while, the poor became frustrated with all of the disorder and selected a “champion of the people” who eventually acquired absolute power and corrupted by it to become a tyrant who would disregar...

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...vide The reason being that individuals constantly focus on fulfilling desires rather than applying reason to guide their will. Consequently, their soul is always in a state of flux rather than being in harmony. Therefore, only the ideal state, not democracy, is capable of creating the conditions necessary for its citizens to attain happiness because it is founded on justice instead of liberty, which produces the harmony of the soul.

In conclusion, democratic citizens shall never find true happiness in their political system because liberty is practiced at the expense of the liberties of others, the inherent lack of stability will eventually lead to situation in which individual liberty is rigorously suppressed, and because the pursuit of liberty is futile because it does not lead to true happiness. Democracy truly is the worst kind of government, after despotism.
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