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Old Thursday, July 06, 2006
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Arrow Democracy/Monarchy/Dictatorship/Republic

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Enjoy the Democracy!

Democracy




Democracy is, literally, rule by the people (from the Greek demos, "people," and kratos, "rule"). The methods by which this rule is exercised, and indeed the composition of "the people" are central to various definitions of democracy, but useful contrasts can be made with oligarchies and autocracies, where political authority is highly concentrated and not subject to meaningful control by the people. While the term democracy is often used in the context of a political state, the principles are also applicable to other areas of governance.
The word "democracy" has acquired a highly positive connotation in much of the world over the second half of the 20th century, to such an extent that even many dictatorships claim to be democratic and often hold illiberal elections to garner legitimacy, both internally and internationally. Most contemporary political ideologies include at least some form of democracy at some levels of society.
Contents
Kinds of democracy

Direct democracy, classically termed pure democracy[1], is a political system where the people vote on government decisions, such as questions of whether to approve or reject various laws. It is called direct because the power of making decisions is exercised by the people directly, without intermediaries or representatives. Historically, this form of government has been rare, due to the difficulties of getting all the people of a certain territory in one place for the purpose of voting. All direct democracies to date have been relatively small communities; usually city-states. The most notable was the ancient Athenian democracy.
Representative democracy is so named because the people do not vote on most government decisions directly, but select representatives to a governing body or assembly. Representatives may be chosen by the electorate as a whole (as in many proportional systems) or represent a particular subset (usually a geographic district or constituency), with some systems using a combination of the two. Many representative democracies incorporate some elements of direct democracy, such as referenda.
The one partyCommunist states describe or described themselves as democratic, like the German Democratic Republic. They explicitly gave the political power to the members, or to some of the members, of the ruling Communist Party, following the principles of democratic centralism and vanguard party.
Liberal democracy

Today, democracy is often assumed to be liberal democracy, a form of representative democracy where the ability of elected representatives and the will of the majority to exercise decision-makingpower is subject to the rule of law, and usually moderated by a constitution which emphasizes the protection of liberties, freedoms, and rights of individuals and minorities. This form of government has become increasingly common in recent times, so that almost half of the world's population now lives under liberal democratic regimes.[1]
Conversely, an illiberal democracy is one where the protections that form a liberal democracy are either nonexistant, or not enforced. The experience in some post-Soviet states drew attention to the phenomenon, although it is not of recent origin.
History of democracy

Main article: History of democracy
The history of democracy is made complex by the varied concepts and definitions used in different contexts and discussions. Democracy can range from the very broadly based institutions in which adult universal suffrage is used to elect representative, to very informal assemblies in which the people voice their opinions, and leader act upon those feelings, to elected representatives who have limited power under an unelected monarch.
Since World War II, democracy has gained widespread acceptance. This map shows the official claims made by world governments with regard to democracy, as of June 2006. Governments that claim to be democratic and allow the existence of opposition groups, at least in theory. Governments that claim to be democratic but do not allow the existence of opposition groups. Governments that do not claim to be democratic.
Athenian democracy is the earliest well-documented democratic system, and the word democracy was coined in Ancient Greece in the 5th century BC. Records are intermittent from the time before this era, although there is contemporary documentation from Chios, probably from 575- 550 BC, of a council and assembly. It appears that voting rights were gradually expanded from a small group of landed aristocracy to eventually all eligible males who had completed mandatory military training, usually at the age of 20. Women, slaves, and metics were excluded from this citizenship, which leads to estimates that around one tenth or less of the population of Athens was eligible to vote. All Athenian citizens were free to vote on creation of laws, a segment could vote on when to go to war, and anyone could speak in the Assembly. This type of government is known as a form of direct democracy. Athens also had representative leaders, most selected by allotment rather than elected. Athenian democracy was effectively ended by the city's defeat by the Macedonians who abolished it in 323 BC.
The seeds of representative democracy were arguably started in the Roman Republic. During the middle ages, there were various shades of democracies varying from very inclusive oligarchies to attempts at full democracy. Such are the Althing, in Iceland, the Italian city-states of medieval Italy, the tuatha system in early medieval Ireland, the Veche in Slavic countries, and Scandinavian assemblies. And, democratic principles or elements have also been claimed for societies ranging from the early Indian republics (c. 500 BCE) to the Iroquois Confederacy in North America (second millennium CE to the present).
The Parliament of England was the first major step towards a fully democratic system during the Middle Ages. It had its roots in the restrictions on the power of kings written into Magna Carta. The first elected parliament was De Montfort's Parliament in England in 1265. Parliament was initially elected by only a few percent of the population and the system had problematic features such as rotten boroughs. The power to call parliament was at the pleasure of the monarch (usually when he or she needed funds). After the Glorious Revolution of 1688, England became a constitutional monarchy with regular sittings of parliament, although still subject to the monarch. During this time the two party system of the Whigs and Tories also developed. Parliament then gradually gained more decision-making and legislative powers until the reign of Queen Victoria at which time the monarch essentially became a figurehead.
The United States can be seen as the first liberal democracy, [2] with a relatively wide franchise (although initially limited by property and gender restrictions, and the existence of slavery) and the United States Constitution protected rights and liberties.
A few years later, Revolutionary France adopted the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen and, although short-lived, the National Convention was elected by all males.
Liberal democracies were few and often short-lived before the late nineteenth century. Various nations and territories have claimed to be the first with universal suffrage.
20th century waves of democracy

20th century transitions to liberal democracy have come in successive "waves of democracy", variously resulting from wars, revolutions, decolonization and economic circumstances. World War I and the dissolution of the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires resulted in the creation of new nation-states in Europe, most of them nominally democratic. The rise of fascist movements, and fascist regimes in Nazi Germany, Mussolini in Italy, Francisco Franco's regime in Spain and António de Oliveira Salazar's regime in Portugal, limited the extent of democracy in the 1930s, and gave the impression of an "Age of Dictators". The status of most colonies remained unaffected.
World War II brought a definitive reversal of this trend in western Europe. The successful democratization of the occupied Germany and the occupied Japan served as a model for the later theory of regime change. However, most of Eastern Europe was forced into the non-democratic Soviet bloc. The war was followed by decolonisation, and again most of the new independent states had nominally democratic constitutions.
In the decades following World War II, most western democratic nations had a predominantly free-market economy and developed a welfare state, reflecting a general consensus among their electorates and political parties. In the 1950s and 1960s, economic growth was high in both the western and communist countries, later it declined in the state-controlled economies. By 1960, the vast majority of nation-states were nominally democracies, although the majority of the world's populations lived in nations that experienced sham elections, and other forms of subterfuge (particularly in Communist nations and the former colonies.)
A subsequent wave of democratization brought substantial gains toward true liberal democracy for many nations. Several of the military dictatorships in South America become democratic in the late 1970s and early 1980s. This was followed by nations in East and South Asia by the mid- to late 1980s. Economic malaise in the 1980s, along with resentment of communist oppression, contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union, the associated end of the Cold War, and the democratisation and liberalisation of the former Soviet bloc countries. The most successful of the new democracies were those geographically and culturally closest to western Europe, and they are now members or candidate members of the European Union. The democratic trend spread to some nations in Africa in the 1990s, most prominently in South Africa.
The number of liberal democracies currently stands at an all-time high, and has been growing without interruption for some time. As such, it has been speculated that this trend may continue in the future to the point where liberal democratic nation-states become the universal standard form of human society. This prediction forms the core of Francis Fukayama's "End of History" theory.
Major theories of democracy

Conceptions of democracy

Among political theorists, there are many contending conceptions of democracy.
On one account, called minimalism, democracy is a system of government in which citizens give teams of political leaders the right to rule in periodic elections. According to this minimalist conception, citizens cannot and should not “rule” because on most issues, most of the time, they have no clear views or their views are not very intelligent. Joseph Schumpeter articulated this view most famously in his book Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy [2]. Contemporary proponents of minimalism include William Riker, Adam Przeworksi, and Richard Posner.
A second view is called the aggregative conception of democracy. It holds that government should produce laws and policies are close to the views of the median voter — with half to his left and the other half to his right. Anthony Downs laid out this view in his 1957 book An Economic Theory of Democracy.
A third conception, deliberative democracy, is based on the notion that democracy is government by discussion. Deliberative democrats contend that laws and policies should be based upon reasons that all citizens can accept. The political arena should be one in which leaders and citizens make arguments, listen, and change their minds.
The three conceptions above assume a representative democracy. Direct democracy, a fourth conception, holds that citizens should participate directly, not through their representatives, in making laws and policies. Proponents of direct democracy offer varied reasons to support this view. Political activity can be valuable in itself, it socializes and educates citizens, and popular participation can check powerful elites. Most importantly, citizens do not really rule themselves unless they directly decide laws and policies.
Another conception of democracy is that it means political equality between all citizens. This can be used as an argument for making political participation mandatory, like compulsory voting, or for limiting the influence of the wealthy, like Campaign finance reform.
These conceptions of democracy are based on the question of what a democracy ought to be. A fifth and quite different conception of democracy is based on the assumption that a democracy performs a function for the members of a collective who create it and that individuals in a democracy play roles. This conception assumes that the actual people who occupy these roles and perform this function in a real democracy are self-interested. The conception was invented by economists and is sometimes called an economic approach to democracy. It is represented by the field of Public Choice.
Another conception of democracy is that it is majority rule and is justified under utilitarian reasoning. The advantanges of democracy seen under this conception is that the majority of the population are satisfied with the governance they live under. The disadvantage is that the minority live under the power of the majority sometimes termed the tyranny of the majority, or mob rule. This can lead to the marginalisation of large portions of a population if the will of the majority is not restrained by a strong and just constitution and legal system.
"Democracy" vs. "Republic"

The definition of the word "democracy" from the time of ancient Greece up to now has not been constant. In contemporary usage, the term "democracy" refers to a government chosen by the people, whether it is direct or representative.
In constitutional theory and in historical usages and especially when considering the works of the Founding Fathers of the United States, the word "democracy" refers solely to direct democracy, whilst a representative democracy where representatives of the people govern in accordance with a constitution is referred to as a republic. Using the term "democracy" to refer solely to direct democracy retains some popularity in United States conservative and libertarian circles.
The original framers of the United States Constitution were notably cognizant of what they perceived as a danger of majority rule in oppressing freedom of the individual. For example, James Madison, in Federalist Paper No. 10 advocates a constitutional republic over a democracy precisely to protect the individual from the majority. [4] However, at the same time, the framers carefully created democratic institutions and major open society reforms within the United States Constitution and the United States Bill of Rights. They kept what they believed were the best elements of democracy, but mitigated by a constitution with protections for individual liberty, a balance of power, and a layered federal structure.
Modern definitions of the term "republic", however, refer to any state with an elective head of state serving for a limited term, in contrast to most contemporary hereditary monarchies which are representative democracies and constitutional monarchies adhering to parliamentarism. Older elective monarchies are also not considered to be republics.


The democratic state

Though there remains some philosophical debate as to the applicability and legitimacy of criteria in defining democracy (see philosopher Charles Blattberg, From Pluralist to Patriotic Politics: Putting Practice First, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2000, ch. 5. ISBN 0-19-829688-6) what follows may be a minimum of requirements for a state to be considered democratic (note that for example anarchists may support a form of democracy but not a state):
  • That there is a demos, a group which makes political decisions by some form of collective procedure. Non-members of the demos do not participate. In modern democracies the demos is the adult portion of the nation, and adult citizenship is usually equivalent to membership.
  • That there is a territory where the decisions apply, and where the demos is resident. In modern democracies, the territory is the nation-state, and since this corresponds (in theory) with the homeland of the nation, the demos and the reach of the democratic process neatly coincide. Colonies of democracies are not considered democratic by themselves, if they are governed from the colonial motherland: demos and territory do not coincide.
  • That there is a decision-making procedure, which is either direct, in instances such as a referendum, or indirect, of which instances include the election of a parliament.
  • That the procedure is regarded as legitimate by the demos, implying that its outcome will be accepted. Political legitimacy is the willingness of the population to accept decisions of the state, its government and courts, which go against personal choices or interests.
  • That the procedure is effective in the minimal sense that it can be used to change the government, assuming there is sufficient support for that change. Showcase elections, pre-arranged to re-elect the existing regime, are not democratic.
  • That, in the case of nation-states, the state must be sovereign: democratic elections are pointless if an outside authority can overrule the result.
Dissent

Anarchists oppose the concept of the state, including democratic ones, as inherently corrupt and coercive. For example, Alexander Berkman [5] refused to recognize the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania enough to defend himself at his trial. Many social anarchists tend to support a non-hierarchical and non-coercive system of direct democracy within free associations. However there is some disagreement between anarchists. Many expect society to operate by consensus, as in News from Nowhere or The Dispossessed.
Some Individualist anarchists are vocal opponents of all or some forms of democracy. Benjamin Tucker said, "Rule is evil, and it is none the better for being majority rule....What is the ballot? It is neither more nor less than a paper representative of the bayonet, the billy, and the bullet. It is a labor saving device for ascertaining on which side force lies and bowing to the inevitable. The voice of the majority saves bloodshed, but it is no less the arbitrament of force than is the decree of the most absolute of despots backed by the most powerful of armies."[6] Pierre-Joseph Proudhon says, "Democracy is nothing but the Tyranny of Majorities (see tyranny of the majority), the most abominable tyranny of all, for it is not based on the authority of a religion, not upon the nobility of a race, not on the merits of talents and of riches. It merely rests upon numbers and hides behind the name of the people."[7] According to Robert Graham, "in General Idea of the Revolution Proudhon ostensibly rejects both unanimous and majoritarian direct democracy. Read more closely, however, his criticisms can be confined to national forms of direct democracy designed to replace representative government but which will effectively perform the same political functions." He says, that for Proudhon a "person is only obligated to do that which he has freely undertaken to do" and therefore, the "only form of direct democracy compatible with this conception of obligation is one in which it is recognized that a minority which has refused to consent to a majority decision has assumed no obligation to abide by it. Majority decisions are not binding on the minority. Any agreement to the contrary would itself be invalid because it would require the minority to forfeit its autonomy and substantive freedom."[8] Central to Proudhon’s notion of contract is the idea of self-assumed obligation. Hence, Proudhon's opposition to Rousseau's social contract. He says, "What really is the Social Contract? An agreement of the citizen with the government? No, that would mean but the continuation of [Rousseau’s] idea...The social contract is an agreement of man with man...by which man and man declare themselves essentially producers, and abdicate all pretension to govern each other."
Some far right and monarchist groups also oppose various forms of democracy.
Democracy beyond the state level

While this article deals mainly with democracy as a system to rule countries, voting and representation have been used to govern many other kinds of communities and organisations.CritiqueAlternatives and improvements - see also Wikocracy, e-democracy, Internet democracy, and Futarchy
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Smile Monarchy

Hi every one,




MONARCHY


Undivided sovereignty or rule by a single person, who is the permanent head of state.

The term is now used to refer to countries with hereditary sovereigns. The monarch was the ideal head of the new nation-states of the 16th and 17th centuries; his powers were nearly unlimited (see
absolutism), though in Britain Parliament was able to restrict the sovereign's freedom of action, particularly through the Magna Carta (1215) and the Bill of Rights (1689). The old idea that the monarch represented (within the limits of his dominions) the rule of God over all things culminated in the 17th century in the doctrine of the divine right of kings (see divine kingship), exemplified by Louis XIV. Monarchical absolutism adapted to the Enlightenment by evolving into "benevolent despotism," as typified by the rule of Catherine II of Russia. The French Revolution dealt absolute monarchy a crushing blow, and World War I effectively destroyed what remained of it, the rulers of Russia, Germany, and Austria-Hungary being held responsible for the war and postwar misery. The institution developed into the constitutional monarchy in western Europe, though absolute (or near-absolute) monarchies continue to exist in the Middle East.

Constitutional Monarchy

System of government in which a monarch (see monarchy) shares power with a constitutionally organized government.

The monarch may be the de facto head of state or a purely ceremonial leader. The constitution allocates the rest of the government's power to the legislature and judiciary. Britain became a constitutional monarchy under the Whigs; other constitutional monarchies include Belgium, Cambodia, Jordan, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and Thailand.

1: undivided rule or absolute sovereignty by a single person

2: a nation or state having a monarchical government

3: a government having a hereditary chief of state with life tenure and powers varying from nominal to absolute

The undivided sovereignty or rule of a single person. The term is applied to states in which the supreme authority is vested in a single person, the monarch, who is the permanent head of the state. The word has, however, outlived this original meaning and is now used, when used at all, somewhat loosely of states ruled by hereditary sovereigns...


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Angry Dictatorship



Hi guys,




Dictatorship

Form of government in which one person or an oligarchy possesses absolute power without effective constitutional checks.

With constitutional democracy, it is one of the two chief forms of government in use today. Modern dictators usually use force or fraud to gain power and then keep it through intimidation, terror, suppression of civil liberties, and control of the mass media. In 20th-century Latin America, nationalist leaders often achieved power through the military and attempted either to maintain the privileged elite or to institute far-reaching social reform, depending on their class sympathies. In Europe's communist and fascist dictatorships, a charismatic leader of a mass party used an official ideology to maintain his regime, and terror and propaganda to suppress opposition. In postcolonial Africa and Asia, dictators have often retained power by establishing one-party rule after a military takeover.

1: the office of dictator
2: autocratic rule, control, or leadership
3
a: a form of government in which absolute power is concentrated in a dictator or a small clique
b: a government organization or group in which absolute power is so concentrated
c: a despotic state





Dictatorship

Form of government in which one person or a small group possesses absolute power without effective constitutional limitations. The term dictatorship comes from the Latin title dictator, which in the Roman Republic designated a temporary magistrate who was granted extraordinary powers in order to deal with state crises.
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Unhappy Republic

Hi dear pals,







REPUBLIC

Form of government in which a state is ruled by representatives elected by its populace.

The term was originally applied to a form of government in which the leader is periodically appointed under a constitution; it was contrasted with governments in which leadership is hereditary. A republic may also be distinguished from direct
democracy, though modern representative democracies are by and large republics.

Expressions Used:

Republic of Albania
Peoples Democratic Republic of Algeria
Republic of Angola
Argentine Republic
Republic of Armenia
Republic of Austria
Republic of Azerbaijan
People's Republic of Bangladesh
Republic of Benin
Republic of Bolivia
Republic of Botswana
Federative Republic of Brazil
Republic of Bulgaria
Republic of Burundi
Republic of Cameroon
Republic of Chile
People's Republic of China
Republic of Colombia
Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros
Republic of Croatia
Republic of Cuba
Republic of Cyprus
Republic of Ecuador
United Arab Republic
Arab Republic of Egypt
Republic of Estonia
Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Republic of Fiji
Republic of Finland
French Republic
Gabonese Republic
Republic of Georgia
Federal Republic of Germany
Republic of Ghana
Hellenic Republic
Republic of Guatemala
Republic of Guinea
Co operative Republic of Guyana
Republic of Haiti
Republic of Honduras
Republic of Hungary
Republic of Iceland
Republic of India
Republic of Indonesia
Islamic Republic of Iran
Republic of Iraq
Italian Republic
Republic of Kazakhstan
Republic of Kenya
Republic of Kiribati
Kyrgyz Republic
Lao People's Democratic Republic
Republic of Latvia
Republic of Lebanon
Republic of Liberia
Republic of Lithuania
Republic of Macedonia
Republic of Madagascar
Republic of Malawi
Republic of Maldives
Republic of Mali
Islamic Republic of Mauritania
Republic of Mauritius
Republic of Moldova
Republic of Mozambique
Republic of Namibia
Republic of Nauru
Republic of Nicaragua
Republic of Niger
Federal Republic of Nigeria
Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Republic of Palau
Republic of Panama
Republic of Paraguay
Republic of Peru
Republic of the Philippines
Republic of Poland
Portuguese Republic
Republic of Rwanda
Republic of Senegal
Republic of Seychelles
Republic of Singapore
Slovak Republic
Republic of Slovenia
Republic of Suriname
Syrian Arab Republic
Republic of Tajikistan
United Republic of Tanzania
Republic of Togo
South African Republic
Republic of Tunisia
Republic of Turkey
Republic of Uganda
Oriental Republic of Uruguay
Republic of Uzbekistan
Republic of Vanuatu
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Republic of Yemen
Republic of Zambia
Republic of Zimbabwe
Batavian Republic
Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Republic of Cape Verde
Cisalpine Republic
Congo Republic of the
Republic of Costa Rica
Republic of Côte d'Ivoire
Czech Republic
Dominican Republic
Dutch Republic
Republic of the United Netherlands
Democratic Republic of East Timor
Republic of El Salvador
Fifth Republic
Fourth Republic
Republic of the Gambia
German Democratic Republic
Republic of Guinea Bissau
Helvetic Republic
Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Republic of Korea
Republic of the Marshall Islands
New Republic The
Rally for the Republic
Roman Republic and Empire
Saharan Arab Democratic Republic
Republic of San Marino
Second Republic
Republic of Sierra Leone
South Africa Republic of
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Republic of the Sudan
Third Republic
Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
Weimar Republic
Central African Republic
Congo Democratic Republic of the
Republic of Zaire
Republic of Djibouti
Republic of Equatorial Guinea
Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

1 a (1) : a government having a chief of state who is not a monarch and who in modern times is usually a president (2) : a political unit (as a nation) having such a form of government b (1) : a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law (2) : a political unit (as a nation) having such a form of government c : a usually specified republican government of a political unit <the French Fourth Republic>

2 : a body of persons freely engaged in a specified activity <the republic of letters>

3 : a constituent political and territorial unit of the former nations of Czechoslovakia, the U.S.S.R., or Yugoslavia



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Last edited by Argus; Thursday, July 06, 2006 at 03:42 PM.
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