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Democratic Theory

Democratic Theory






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    Democratic Theory Democratic Theory Presentation Transcript

    • Democratic Theory Michael P. Fix
    • What is Democracy? Photo from freerepublic.com
    • What is Democracy?
    • What is Democracy? Photo from whitehouse.gov
    • What is Democracy? All pictures from www.nytimes.com
    • What is Democracy? Picture from www.freefoto.com
    • What is Democracy? Photo from supremecourtus.gov
    • What is Democracy?
      • Certain basic principles are necessary in any definition of democracy.
        • Free and fair elections
        • Majority rule
        • Freedom of expression
        • Freedom of assembly and the right to protest
    • 3 Types of Democracy
      • Direct Democracy
        • Aka Participatory Democracy
      • Representative Democracy
      • Elite Democracy
        • Aka Revisionist Democracy
    • Direct Democracy
      • δημοκρατία – demokratia
        • Rule by the people
      • Built on the Athenian model.
      • Still present in US town hall meetings.
      • Is this practical on a large scale?
    • Representative Democracy
      • Delegate representation
        • Citizens elected political actors who will represent their preferences.
      • Assumptions:
        • Voters are aware.
        • Voters are rational.
        • Voters are tolerant.
        • Voters are informed.
    • Representative Democracy
      • Problems:
      • Tyranny of the Majority
      • Complexity of Issues
      • Utility of voting
    • Elitist Democracy The Masses are Asses
    • Elitist Democracy
      • Trustee Representation
        • Voters should select those most able to run the government and trust that they will make the best decisions.
      • Only elites should have any real power over government policy.
      • Most individuals are too ignorant, unaware, or apathetic to have an informed role.
    • Critics of Democracy
      • Elite democracy serves those persons possessing a disproportionate share of money or power.
      • Marxists perceive that government is dominated by capitalists.
      • The power elite perspective holds that government is dominated by a few top leaders, most of whom are outside of government.
      • The bureaucratic view holds that the government is dominated by appointed officials.
    • More optimistic theory
      • Pluralist view is the belief that competition among all affected interests shapes public policy.
      • No single group dominates the political process. Competing interests often check each other.
    • Public Opinion
      • Is the United States a representative or elitist democracy?
      Public opinion shows that a majority of Americans believe that government serves the interests of a few elites.
    • The American Creed
      • In the abstract, nearly all Americans support certain fundamental principles.
        • Freedom
        • Political Equality
        • Liberty
        • Majority Rule
        • Procedural Fairness
    • The American Creed
      • When it comes to specific applications of the creed, support tends to fall off.
    • Paradox of Democracy The paradox of democracy balances the principle of majority rule against the principle of individual liberty. Photo from www.time.com