Introduction to Democracy and its broad variations
democracy comes from Greek from rule by the individuals. Demo from demos, which is referring to individuals, and cracy coming from kratia, which is referring to rule. So, rule by the individuals. Now broadly talking, we are able to consider three basic flavors of democracy, the primary we are able to take into account to be participatory. Participatory democracy. The second we are able to name pluralist democracy, and I am going to outline these in a second. After which the third, let’s name that elite democracy. Elite democracy.
Now, what do you suppose participatory democracy means, based mostly on the phrase participatory? Sure, as you may need guessed it implies broad participation of the inhabitants. Broad participation. What are examples of a participatory democracy? Effectively, think about a small city that has perhaps just a few hundred or just a few thousand individuals and if there’s a problem of whether or not to construct a cease mild at an intersection or a change in a number of the zoning legal guidelines, you’ll be able to think about a big chunk of the city exhibiting as much as weigh in on that call.
Now, what are a number of the advantages of a participatory democracy and what are a number of the negatives? Effectively, the advantages are, and I am going to do these as pluses, a profit is, nicely, it sort of appears closest to the unique spirit of a democracy. It is popping out of historic Greece, historic Athens, the birthplace of democracy the place you probably did have residents go collectively and debate the foremost points. Though even in historic Athens you need to take participation with a grain of salt as a result of it wasn’t everybody who was collaborating.
It was, for probably the most half, rich males who had the time to really sit and debate these points. However, if we need to give a participatory democracy its credit score say in a small city, is that you simply actually are representing the views of the individuals. Representing the individuals nicely. The individuals are instantly concerned. Now, what are perhaps a number of the negatives?
Effectively, it may get logistically tough. We talked a couple of small city, however what if the city will get slightly bit greater? Or what we’re coping with a state? Or we’re coping with a rustic the place we’re speaking about tens of 1000’s or a whole bunch of 1000’s or hundreds of thousands or tens of hundreds of thousands of individuals? How do you get all of these individuals to weigh in on a problem, even logistically? How do they get knowledgeable about it, and are they even ready to weigh in on these points?
Positive, should you’re in a city you’ll be able to take into consideration whether or not an intersection needs to be there or whether or not they need to put a cease mild there, but when we’re speaking about issues of nationwide or worldwide significance influencing a whole bunch of hundreds of thousands of individuals, are you able to rely on individuals to learn concerning the intricacies of the banking system or the army or international coverage? And so that is actually a query of, does this scale? And there actually are no good examples in historical past of direct democracy scaling in important methods past pretty small teams of individuals.
In the US the most important scale the place you may see this are in issues like poll measures on the metropolis or the state degree the place individuals are instantly voting on sure measures or sure legal guidelines. However even there, it is a restricted scope for what the individuals will really weigh in on.
Now, the subsequent class that we speak about is a pluralist democracy. Pluralism is referring to the concept of many alternative events. Identical root because the phrase plural, you will have many issues. So you will have many alternative events and many alternative competing pursuits which might be going to have a vigorous debate with one another on deciding what are the perfect concepts.
And what are examples of pluralist democracies? If you concentrate on the US, there are lots of completely different curiosity teams. You possibly can take into consideration all the completely different lobbyists, all the completely different teams that signify several types of individuals attempting to persuade members of Congress, both on the nationwide degree, and even on the state degree that their curiosity is correct.
Even inside Congress, regardless that you will have two main events you’ll be able to have completely different factions which might be actually attempting to argue it out. Now, what are the advantages of a pluralist democracy? Effectively, you’ll be able to think about that as a result of there’s this vigorous debate, perhaps the great concepts floor. Good concepts floor.
You do not have domination by only one celebration. Nobody group or a small group of individuals domination. However then, on the opposite aspect of it, perhaps they’re some negatives, what may these be? Effectively, perhaps all of this debate and argument may be very inefficient, perhaps it is gradual choice making. Sluggish choices, or at an excessive, no choices. Some issues like gridlock as a result of individuals cannot comply with issues, that to ensure that something to get accomplished, you need to make too many individuals pleased and so they all have their pursuits. Perhaps the alternative of fine concepts floor.
Perhaps good concepts die as a result of it’s totally laborious to make everybody pleased. Now, the final class that we’re gonna speak about is the concept of an elite democracy, and that is the place you will have extra restricted participation. So in some methods it is virtually the alternative of a participatory democracy.
So that is restricted, restricted participation. And regardless that I gave historic Athens for example of a participatory democracy, it actually was extra of an elite democracy the place the individuals had the time and the affect and the cash, these have been those who have been actually weighing in on the problems of historic Athens. And should you have been to go to the Roman republic, the Roman senators, these have been, as soon as once more, elite males. So what would you suppose are advantages of an elite democracy?
Effectively, one may be that these elites, so to talk, perhaps they’re extra educated than most of the people and so that permits them to make extra knowledgeable choices, particularly on issues which might be fairly advanced that will be laborious for everybody to weigh in on. If you are going to change a brand new accounting normal, or take into consideration how do you regulate the telecommunications trade or some very subtle commerce negotiation or international coverage negotiation, that training may assist.
And perhaps it is also extra decisive than both one of many pluralist or the participatory. The participatory they may be capable of attraction to perhaps baser instincts, simply, you understand, individuals’s passions whereas the pluralists, since you will have all of those teams competing even when one thing is sensible they may not be capable of make that call, however you probably have a smaller, extra restricted group, restricted participation, perhaps they’ll make these choices slightly bit clearer, however what are the negatives right here?
Effectively, the clearest detrimental is, nicely, perhaps this goes in opposition to the entire concept of a democracy. If it is all concerning the elites, perhaps they do a great job at really representing the pursuits of the individuals, however perhaps they’re good at representing the pursuits of the elite. So do they actually signify the individuals? Is that this a democracy the place the individuals are sovereign, the place the individuals rule, or is that this an oligarchy the place only some individuals rule and so they rule in their very own pursuits? And so after watching this video, have a look at the world round you.
Take into consideration, in the US, or no matter nation you are watching from, what parts of a participatory democracy do you see? What parts of a pluralist democracy, and what parts of an elite democracy do you see? And as we’ll see in different movies, these dimensions of democracy have been vigorously debated by the Founding Fathers after they considered whether or not to ratify the Structure.
We’ll see this debate after we have a look at the Anti-Federalist Papers, particularly we’ll look carefully at Brutus primary. We’ll see this debate after we have a look at the Federalist Papers, particularly Federalist quantity 10, written by James Madison and I am going to allow you to resolve, after we have a look at that, who was proper and what flavors of democracy are most dominant in the US at completely different ranges.