Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Democracy is defined as a: government by the people; especially : rule of the majority b: a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.

As an American I feel like sometimes I take it for granted that I live in a country governed by the principles of democracy, but the second I begin to consider what life is like where a portion of the population is left out of government or where predatory governments reign I realize that democracy should never be taken for granted.

This morning I read this article in the current of Foreign Affairs Magazine discussing the shaky states that many democracies around the world are in. It explains that the world should momentarily stop focusing on cultivating more democracies around the world and instead ensure that the troubled democracies in places such as Russia, Venezuela and Nigeria are given the support needed to survive and thrive.

Reading the article lead me to think about how easily my ability to be represented in my government could be taken away given the proper circumstances and how frightening it would be to live in a country that is governed by opportunistic leaders who favor themselves and their friends and neglect the people who they supposedly represent.

Typically when I see an injustice or want to understand a situation better I become a proactive researcher and activist to find out what I can do to change a situation. But I now feel helpless. How do I spread an idea around the world and help to extol the virtues of democracies to ensure that others around the world can enjoy the same ability to live under a government that works for its citizens?

Hopefully an idea comes to me soon.

1 comment:

Rex345 said...

As important as it is to appreciate our government, I'd say it is hardly a faultless democracy. I mean I don't think the majority of our country supports or has been given the opportunity to vote on our participation in our current war on terrorism. And our attempt to set up democratic governments in other countries has not been too successful in the past. I think it comes down to how democratic a government is and not if it is democratic.