We’ve seen a lot of it in the news recently: the Trump administration, what’s going in Catalonia, and a lot of tragedies have occurred in the Philippines since the beginning of the year. Just these few examples alone are enough to worry us. It would seem that attempts at democracy fail a lot in the modern world, but has it always been like that? Politics is a confusing spectrum, and there’s a lot of grey areas people really need to dig into to make sure they’re agreeing to the right things. Yet, should it really be like that?
Democracy came from Athens in the 5th century BC, where an experiment took place to see how well a direct approach would work. And it did. The idea that all people could hold a part of the power of the government, instead of a monarchy or a dictatorship, was so well received it was immediately picked up and not put back down again. But it was so slow to become popular anywhere else.
Why This is Still a Problem
The fact that democracy didn’t already have a million followers when it was first tried makes sense; you can’t expect people to pick up a brand new institution immediately. Yet, it still isn’t universally agreed upon today. A lot of people have issues with everybody having the right to make a decision, despite it being fair and just. Being able to contact congress people when an upcoming bill you don’t agree with is on the voting line is just another congressional right you have as a citizen in places like the United States. However, often it can feel like a round of high school all over again.
When you have special organisations like that of the National Endowment For Democracy cropping up, it’s apparent there needs to be a change in the air. Working tirelessly on their own to ensure a brand of agreed upon democracy in institutions across nations can have a backhander to it though, as promoting a particular brand of democracy in one part of the west may not fit into the rest of the world. Governments are meant to be able to shoulder their people’s burdens, and yet we see a lot of them going unnoticed. It’s no wonder a lot of people believe we’re living in a dystopia.
That’s not to say we should give up on democracy. Of course, it’s the best governmental model that human society came up with. Even in an oligarchy, only a select few are involved, and totalitarianism is right out. So there needs to be more distributed information, and there needs to be accessible information out there. After all, you shouldn’t have to have a degree in something to make sure you can understand its basics in your own life.
In short, democracy shouldn’t be done away with, and a narrower state isn’t necessary. But anything that constitutes a trickle down system isn’t something we need in the modern world.