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Democracy - Mother of Peace - Meaning and Claims of Democracy

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         DEMOCRACY MOTHER OF PEACE?

INTRODUCTION

So did democracy gave birth to Peace? Does Democracy really pledges for a society without violence, racism, xenophobia, political intolerance, oppression of expression and speech? All the factors we believe guarantee order and harmony in the world. These questions are like an undone puzzle in my head, I wonder will the human kind finally live a life where historical books are written without stories of war. In the following 2000 words I will try to figure out if the true political religion vowing “peace” is Democracy?

MEANING AND CLAIMS OF DEMOCRACY

Let’s begin with the birth place of democracy its meaning and promises. Looking through History Democracy started in Athens during Fifth century BC. Democracy is a Greek word meaning “RULE OF PEOPLE”, thus giving every individual the authority to make decision for their future, which sounds pretty ironic looking at the current democratic implications, which will be explained “why” later on in the essay. Now what are the distinct claims of democracy that no other political regime offers especially in terms of a harmonious society? First and foremost Citizen Participation. The right given to every individual to have a say on the sate governance, elimination of any sort of discrimination “equality”. Accountability without segregation, Transparency, regular free and fair elections. Leverage given to the people and opposing political parties (thus preferring a multiparty political system) to control abuse of power by the administrator. Implementation of free trade. And the most crucial idea of no two democratic states ever going into war. Kirsten Haworth (2014) writes that,

”it is widely expected that the signing of a peace accords and subsequent liberal peace intervention will lead to ‘improved living standards, institutional restructuring, the transformation of political culture, the reshaping of social relationships and increased economic growth” (Howarth, 2014; 262)

This sounds like a perfect system of political rule introducing the value of each individual thus reducing the risk of unlawful break out within a society and on an international level. But why famous political philosophers like “Socrates, Plato and Aristotle”, greatly criticized democracy?  Is democracy really just a façade used to justify actions of the hegemons or those in majority?

DEMOCRACYS CLAIMS AND IMPLICATIONS

 Digging deep it seems like Democracy favor’s only the majority suppressing the minorities. Wouldn’t that lead to distress within a society where smaller group of people are bound to live according to the wishes of those in power? For them would there be a distinction between a democracy, monarchy or dictatorship? Equality does not end in terms of political input. Gender equality and ethnic equality are also eminent factors leading towards a less distressful society. United States is considered as one of the biggest democratic states in the world which up till today is not capable to bridge the gap between the wages of men and women. A  Women in the US earns 79.6 cents for every dollar men made in 2015, according to data from the Census Bureau released last year. To explain racial or ethnic inequality and to explain, as I mentioned above why it is ironic to believe in distinct importance of people, let’s for instance take the recent national polls held in America. They indicated that African Americans only voted 1% in favor of Trump which seems pretty astounding. That means a community which comprises 14% of United States population is not in favor of Trump a so called democratic elected leader. The point is how come Democracy promises a peaceful stabilized world when the whole regime blind eyes the voices of the minorities. This means that there are chances and risks of a civil war. Therefore putting a question mark on the promise of peace through equality.

Democracy gives value to the view point of each citizen especially when it comes to political decisions which makes one to think does every individual has the competency and wisdom to make such important political decisions? To explain this, in book 6 of “THE REPUBLICS” Plato sets up a scene where Socrates is having a conversation with Adeimantus (a role) and compared a society to a sinking ship. He gave an option if one would prefer just anyone or a group of people educated in seafaring, to be in charge? Give this a thought it makes sense! The power of voting is immense, it is responsible for deciding the fate of a country, its people and the foreign policy which if done wrong could lead to riots and eventually WAR! From Socrates point of view election is a skill, not a random intuition. One cannot just vote without giving rational judgments about the consequences. As a matter of fact not every individual in a democratic society has the ultimate aim and participates to vote for a candidate suitable for the nation. There are people voting a certain X party just because their elders have been voting in favor of them, and an increasing phenomenon arising among the societies, is Audience Democracy, where people either are so fed-up of undergoing corrupt rules that they prefer not to participate at all or they are simply not interested the rest are fooled by the candidates because of the wonderful “SOUND BITES” Politicians are great at. Let’s for instance take the example of George H.W Bush in 1988, he became president by shouting, “Read my Lips! NO NEW TAXES! But less than two years into his presidency he was forced to eat his sound bite and agree to raise taxes. This is not the only incident where the citizens of a society have been deluded to dream about a just and amicable society. And when promises are not kept frustration and resentment against the government arises in forms of revolutions and riots. Looking at the recent history of 5 years, democratic countries like Bulgaria, Thailand, Poland, Macedonia, Brazil, Hungry and Greenland have faced public resentment against the democratically elected governments. These so called peaceful protests can result into violent ones like in case of Macedonia where according to authorities 77 people were injured. And let’s not overlook the current situation in The United States Of America. During 58th Presidential Inauguration of Donald Trump, there was an Anti-Trump rally being held. The Protestants were being handled brutally by the DC police and one arrested independent photojournalist “Shay Horse” described the conduct of the police officers as follows,

 "I felt like they were using molestation and rape as punishment," Horse said. "They used those tactics to inflict pain and misery on people who are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty." He added: "It felt like they were trying to break me and the others - break us so that even if the charges didn't stick, that night would be our punishment."

Knowing about such miseries experienced by citizens of a so called Democratic state and especially a First world Hegemon country, increases doubts about the regime and the fact of democracy claiming the ultimate solution of unrest in the world. Where did the core ideology of being liberal and giving the authority to people to be able to express their thoughts disappear? John Locke have argued that a social contrast between the ruler and ruled can be received if the government take away their property, in such cases “People have the right to remove it by force”. Don’t these Democratic liberal states claim that liberty and freedom is the formula to amity? The more one studies about the good that democracy is doing nowadays, it’s getting harder to really find the polarity between democracy and other political regimes. It may not be as savage and barbarous as the world history has seen, especially during the Nazi holocaust but is definitely not the eminent solution of prosperity in the world.  

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