SPOL 108 Writing Prompt for October 4th
Zachary C. Davis
Capitalism and Socialism in the Democratic State
A democracy is a system of governing in which the people’s active participation directly shapes their governing policies. In its truest form, a “democracy” would be a State whose population votes on laws and policies and the majority ruling is the final say on whether or not any law gets passed. This “true” form of democracy has not yet been seen in this world; the closest the human race has ever come to true democracy is ancient Athens, in Greece – land-owning, free, Greek men voted on policies and the majority vote dictated which laws passed or not. Even under their system not everyone (women, children, slaves, men without property, unmarried men) was given the right to vote, therefore even our best example of a true democracy fell short of the definition. To be democratic, however, is to simply have traits and/or values that mirror the traits/values of democracy; essentially, in order to be considered democratic, a system must have a way for the people to be involved in governing process. At the core of democracy is the belief that people should be responsible for their own affairs and left free to do so, therefore in order to be considered democratic a system must always at least have the possibility for its citizens to influence the creation/amending/removal of laws in place. Capitalism meshes with democracy most well as the two both have similar values – both believe that the people should be responsible for their own affairs. Capitalism, however, is less law focused and more economically focused (capitalism believes that people should not be hindered from starting, owning, or running private businesses). Under the democratic assumption that people should (collectively) be able to govern themselves politically, it makes sense that they should be free to govern themselves economically as well. However, when people govern...
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