Democracy

I have been thinking about democracy. As far as I can tell, the concept originated in Athens at the time of the great Greek philosophers; namely Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. For them it meant the rule of the people.

Since that time, the concept has been broken into two categories, “pure democracy” and “representative democracy.” In pure democracy, every constituent member of the body politic would have an equal voice in decision making. As should be evident, such a political organization can only occur in small groups. I have arbitrarily imagined such democracies to be possible in groups of 100 or fewer constituents.

The benefit of representative democracy is that the voice of the people, which would be equal in the pure democracy, can be expressed through their representatives. This appears to be a necessary adjustment to the Athenian mode based simply on numbers.

The several governments of the United States of America are all based on the proposition that the voice of the people is heard though the words and actions of their representatives. Whether the representative is elected to a school board, a city council, a county commission, a state legislature, or the Congress of the United States, the same proposition is assumed to hold.

As to the relevant accuracy of the proposition I ask the question “What percentage of the people feel that they have the ear of their representative on the school board, or the city council, or the county legislature, or the Congress of the United States.

The issue is, for me, the question of how democratic our system of representation is. I am busily engaged in ferreting out a more democratic system of representation. I may have to take a cattle prod to some of our sacred cows that really have little to do with underlying democratic principles. If you read the material I present, please mull it over and let the possibilities germinate in your thinking.

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