Widespread Agreement on Fundamental Principles of Democratic Governance

The public is relatively less likely to emphasize the importance of respecting the views of those who are not in the majority, a respectful tone in political discourse, shared acceptance of fundamental facts, and government policies that reflect the views of most Americans. Still, about 90% call these principles at least somewhat important, including about six out of ten who say that everyone is very important. Overall, Republicans and Democrats largely agree on the importance of many Democratic values. A majority within each party coalition says that each of the 16 points included in the poll is very important for the country. Just as people want their individual rights to be respected within the justice system, they want their fundamental rights to be respected in the arena of public debate. In our 2018 international survey, people mainly said they had freedom of expression in their country. However, those who said they had not done so were much more unhappy with the way their democracy worked. Needless to say, democracy is an overloaded concept. It is derived from two Greek words "demos", which means "people", and "kratein", which means "to rule". Although Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of the United States (1861-1865), popularized democracy as "government of the people, by the people, and for the people," the concept has developed different meanings for different people throughout history. It has been applied to many different formations and, interacting with different socio-cultural traditions and practices, it has produced different forms of government – some more representative, participatory, accountable, transparent and stable than others. Even in today`s "old" democracies – particularly in the United States, Britain, France, Australia, New Zealand and the countries that followed in these countries` footsteps after World War II – there is no consensus on what exactly the concept means and how best to express it as an ideal.

There is not even broad agreement among theorists and practitioners on whether democracy is a form of government, a method of electing a government, a reflection of legitimacy in the exercise of political power, a political culture, or a term applied to an entire society, as suggested in Alexis de Tocqueville`s study of democracy in America. which mainly concerns American society. Although the Roman Republic contributed significantly to many aspects of democracy, only a minority of Romans were citizens with votes in the elections of deputies. The votes of the powerful were given more weight by a system of gerrymandering, so that most of the senior officials, including members of the Senate, came from wealthy and noble families. [51] Moreover, the overthrow of the Roman kingdom was the first case in the Western world in which a community was established with the express purpose of being a republic, although it did not have much democracy. The Roman model of government has inspired many political thinkers over the centuries,[52] and today`s modern representative democracies mimic the Roman model more than the Greek model, as it was a state in which the people and their elected representatives held the highest power and had an elected or appointed leader. [53] Other cultures, such as the Iroquois nation in America between about 1450 and 1600 AD, also developed a form of democratic society before coming into contact with Europeans. This suggests that forms of democracy may have been invented in other societies around the world. The choice of area appeared in Sparta as early as 700 BC. The Apella was a meeting of the people held once a month in which any male citizen of at least 30 years of age could participate. In the Apella, the Spartans elected the leaders and voted by voting remotely and shouting (the vote is then decided on the sound of the crowd`s cries). Aristotle called this "childish" compared to the stone bulletins used by the Athenians.

Sparta adopted it because of its simplicity and to prevent any bias in voting, buying or fraud that prevailed in the early democratic elections. [46] [47] Vaishali, capital of the Vajjian Confederacy (Vrijji mahajanapada), India, was also considered one of the earliest examples of a republic around the 6th century BC.[48][49][50] Italian thinkers of the 20th century BC. Vilfredo Pareto and Gaetano Mosca (independents) argued that democracy was illusory and only served to obscure the reality of the elitist regime. In fact, they argued that the elite oligarchy is the indomitable law of human nature, largely due to the apathy and division of the masses (as opposed to the drive, initiative, and unity of the elites), and that democratic institutions would only shift the exercise of power from oppression to manipulation. [199] As Louis Brandeis once explained, "We can have democracy, or we can have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can`t have both. [Clarification required]. [200] In the Name of the People: Pseudo-Democracy and the Spoiling of Our World, British writer Ivo Mosley, grandson of the black shirt Oswald Mosley, describes how and why current forms of electoral government are destined to break their promises. [201] A study of 1,779 U.S. government decisions led by Princeton professor Martin Gilens concluded that "elites and organized groups representing commercial interests have important independent implications for the United States. Government policies, while average citizens and mass interest groups have little or no independent influence.

[202] In Why Nations Fail, Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson that democracies are more economically successful because undemocratic political systems tend to restrict markets and favor monopolies at the expense of the creative destruction necessary for sustainable economic growth. .