argument top image

What are the pros and cons of democracy? Show more Show less
Back to question

Democracy is the backbone of many developed countries, but is it really the ideal form of government that it's made out to be? In these trying times, and with the 2020 American presidential election just around the corner, the debate rages perhaps now more than ever: What are the pros and cons of democracy?

The pros of democracy Show more Show less

Democracy is the most humanitarian form of government, designed to promote equality and justice for all. These are the pros of democracy and why we should embrace it.
(1 of 2) Next position >

Democracy takes a humanitarian approach

Human rights are at the heart of democracy. In a democracy, whenever there is a problem in society that people face, the people who are most affected by it are the ones who get to decide what to do about it. This is how democracy fights for and protects human rights.
Democracy Humanitarianism

Context

Democracy was first imagineered in ancient Greece by the leader of Athens, Cleisthenes, as a way in which the people could rule instead of being ruled. Equality was at the heart of the philosophy of democracy, and a new form of government took shape which would forever change the world.[1] It was seen as the fairest and most ethical way to govern a nation and its people. For many centuries, democracy has become widespread among developed nations, being both promoted peacefully and by force.[2] But today the debate rages as to whether or not democracy is really the golden form of government that it has long been made out to be. Does democracy really work? Do the pros outweigh the cons, or is democracy an inefficient and fallible system? With the tumultuous 2020 U.S. presidential election nearing the boiling point, this question is being asked now more than ever: What are the pros and cons of democracy?

The Argument

Democracy exists to protect and fight for human rights. In a democratic society, it is the people who are the most important decision-makers. The issues and challenges that the average person faces in their day-to-day life are the issues that their government needs to address the most. Voters get the chance to bring these issues to light, and decide collectively on a representative who will work to solve their most urgent problems. When these elected officials fail to deliver on their promises, or fail to address the needs of the people, they are rightfully voted out and replaced with someone who can get the job done right.[3] If not for democracy, the people's voice would never be heard and their rights would be ignored, if not stepped on by the ruling elite, who strive only to assure their own power and wealth stays intact.[4] Democracy advocates for human rights, which is a major pro of this form of government.

Counter arguments

While democracies do tend to be more proactive in protecting human rights, this is not always the case. In an effort to "protect human rights," developed nations will sometimes intervene in underdeveloped nations' affairs, completely disregarding the will of their peoples. And yet, when it comes to addressing issues such as famine and disease in these underdeveloped nations, developed nations conveniently turn a blind eye.[5]

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Democracy takes a humanitarian approach and prioritizes human rights. [P2] The people who are affected the most by an issue are the ones who decide what to do about it. [P3] Democracy ensures that the government doesn't abuse its power.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Democracy fails to protect human rights. [Rejecting P2] Elected officials decide what issues get addressed, and they may only be out to serve their own best interests. [Rejecting P3] Democracy doesn't prevent the government from abusing its power.

References

  1. https://www.history.com/topics/ancient-greece/ancient-greece-democracy
  2. https://www.cfr.org/expert-brief/whys-and-hows-promoting-democracy
  3. https://greengarageblog.org/12-vital-pros-and-cons-of-democracy
  4. https://environmental-conscience.com/democracy-pros-cons/
  5. https://www.brookings.edu/articles/promoting-democracy-and-human-rights-lessons-of-the-1990s/
This page was last edited on Wednesday, 11 Nov 2020 at 16:05 UTC

Explore related arguments