Texas Liberal

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Central Questions—Why Should We Support Democracy?

This is part of an ongoing Texas Liberal series called Central Questions.   

We take support of democracy as a given in the United States. Yet how often do we ask ourselves why we really believe in democracy?

Here are some possible reasons we might support and believe in democracy—

1. To use the overworked Winston Churchill thought on the matter, democracy is the worst system until we consider all the others.

2. Democracy can be supported based on a belief that citizens must have a say in how they are governed. This right could be seen as even more important than specific policies a democracy produces. People must be free.

3. Democracy could be supported as an act of nihilism or even vindictiveness once a personal determination has been made that people in charge of their fates will ruin their lives and ruin society. 

4. A reason to support democracy is that it could be seen as the best way to give the people the illusion of control, while in fact society is run by a relative few. Democracy could be seen as form of social control.

5. Democracy could be seen as the best way to give lucky, well-connected, talented or highly-motivated people a meaningful life—in number beyond the few who may actually be running society as referenced above— even if the majority of citizens never really can get ahead.

6. Democracy could be seen as inevitable at this point given the fall of the Soviet block, the decentralization of life with the internet and mobile technology and the erosion, in some respects, of borders. Since it is inevitable, you might as well get on board and make the best of it.      

September 30, 2007 Posted by | Best Posts July-Dec. 2007, Central Questions, History | 2 Comments