Democracy Definition and Meaning

By definition, democracy is a complex form of government with a constitution that guarantees universal personal and political rights, with fair elections and independent courts. According to Winston Churchill, democracy is the worst of all forms of government, except all others. The quote says that democracy has many shortcomings and weaknesses, but is still the best of all forms of government.

Winston Churchill (1874-1965) was twice British Prime Minister and led Britain through World War II. He is considered one of the most important politicians of the 20th century. As a politician he therefore knew democracy very well.

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Nevertheless, the question arises to what extent Churchill is right in his assertion and whether there is not a better form of government that regulates the coexistence of people. Democracy is in crisis today because many people, especially young people, are no longer interested in politics. Economic and political interests, which increasingly undermine democracy, are also threatening. So is it time for a change? Or should we restore democracy to its former glory? These are the questions my essay asks.

If you dedicate yourself to Churchill’s quote, the question of possible alternatives inevitably arises. Anarchy as a form of state without a state is therefore not a form of state and anomie as a state without rules and laws cannot function either. They could only work if all people acted according to reason, which is practically impossible. If this were the case, people would introduce laws and form a state, i. e. abolish anarchy/anomy themselves.

A possible alternative is the monarchy. In this case, the welfare of the people depends very much on the abilities, character and views of the king or queen. The risk of a cruel ruler coming to power is as real as the risk of a wise ruler ascending the throne. Since the monarchy is based on succession, it may take decades for a change of throne to take place. The succession is not just, because only princes can become kings and none of the “”ordinary”” people. The only possibility would be a revolution that would bring about either a change of form of government or a change of ruler. Both have in common that the state is plunged into great unrest and possibly war. War is inhuman per se and must therefore be avoided. The advantage, of course, is that decisions can be implemented very quickly by the ruler, which is not possible with democracy. All in all, I consider the monarchy as a form of government to be outdated, it simply does not fit into our modern, enlightened world.

Another possibility is dictatorship. No matter whether with an authoritarian or totalitarian regime, there is always a small group, formally even only one person, at the head of the state and directs the destiny at his own discretion. Disadvantages are manifold: oppression, no/ hardly any freedoms, persecution of opponents, hardly any human rights, fear, no separation of powers, etc.

But the dictatorship also offers advantages. Insofar as the dictator is a capable person, political processes can be implemented in the shortest possible time. No matter whether in economy, society or politics, the ruler decides and can correct possible wrong decisions fast again. Because he commands and this is how it is done when there should be resistance the opponents are cleared out of the way.

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