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Modern Democracy - Essay Example

The term "democracy" has been claimed by both the capitalist world and the socialist world. To take for example the former East Germany that called itself German Democratic Republic and Viet Nam likewise. The first Russian marxist party that was set up by Lenin in exile, in preparation for the revolution against the czarist regime, had the name of Russian Social Democratic Workers Party. Later it changed its name to Russian Communist Party, and after the split of 1903 with Plekhanov, to Bolshevik Party.
Lenin insisted on that real democracy would come only through the great revolution, which leads to the State socialism of the "dictatorship of the proletariat, and finally to the classless communist society. He blamed "bourgeois democracies" of being false democracies, in which parliament seats were systematically bought by the richest bidder, thus perpetuating the status qua of the propertied class-a statement which, incidentally, is an unwarranted generalization.
So we can see that even the communists have employed the terms "democracy" and "republic" with an obviously different meaning as compared to their Western usage. In order to clear up the meaning of the concepts, it is necessary to have a look at their historical development ever since the origin of the terms in ancient Greece and Rome. (De Torre, 1997).
The word "democracy" is of Greek origin, "republic" is Latin word which means "the public thing": res publi. The concept, however is taken from the Greek polis, which means group of men living and working together, and politeia, which means that this group gathered into "public thing" or commonwealth or commonweal by means of laws guiding towards the common good.
Thus, through the work of logos (reason) on physis (nature), society came out from jungle to civilization, from herds to communities, from chaos or disorder to cosmos or order, as man stopped to behave like an animal, guided only by his sensitive feelings and emotions, and learns to guide himself instead by his reason and free will (De Torre, 1997).
Modern scientists such as Robert Dahl, Anthony Arblaster, Benjamin Barber, Andrew Heywood and many others have their own, new view on democracy today. There are several models of modern democracy described in works of these authors. According to Professor Robert Dahl, one of the most prominent democratic theorists of nowadays, modern democracy has four historical sources: the direct democracy in ancient Greece, the republicanism of Roman and Italian city-states in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the theory and practice of representative government, and the idea of political equality.
The democratic transformation occurred in Greece in the 5th century BC.So as Greece was not a single country, but consisted of a number independent cities-polices Athens was described as having the most innovative and sophisticated democracy (Dahl, 1989).
Political ideals and aims of the classical Athenian democracy were expressed by the outstanding Greek philosopher Aristotle in The Politics dated between 335 and 323 BC. Aristotle identifies liberty as one of the founding principles of the classical democratic constitution. The philosopher argues that liberty has two major aspects, namely:
1) ruling and being ruled in ...Show more


Is modern democracy the best form of government This question is relevant for many politicians and people interested in politics. To make the best conclusion for us we have to study what is democracy in itself and where this term comes from.
There are some meanings of the term "democracy"…
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Modern Democracy essay example
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