Questions tagged [democracy]

Questions related to government systems where people exercise power directly or through elected officials.

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15 votes
11 answers
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Are protests in a democracy ethical?

Usually in common media, protests are seen in a good light and for causes we may agree with. However, if one really thinks about it, in reality what is happening is a small group of people showing ...
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14 votes
9 answers
2k views

Should I vote for what is best for me or what is best for others?

I live and vote in a constituency where the policies of Party A are better for the long-term success of my business, which determines the material conditions of my well-being and that of my family. ...
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13 votes
3 answers
3k views

Was the Republic a meritocracy?

One direct way of stating the heart of the question might be: is there sufficient textual evidence and support for the assertion that Plato's Republic contains meritocratic elements? A second and ...
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10 votes
7 answers
1k views

Are there contemporary arguments against democracy as inherently flawed?

Consider the following idea: In the modern democratic form of government where the person or group in power are chosen through elections, and in a situation where the current elected government is ...
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10 votes
6 answers
9k views

Is there any difference between Populism and Democracy ?

I'm from India, the world's largest functional democracy. We often hear of political opponents criticizing each other for being 'populist' and for 'forgoing good governance'. And we also hear the term ...
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9 votes
9 answers
493 views

What reason does an individual have to vote?

Given that the outcome of an election will be the same whether one individual votes or not, what reason does that individual have to vote? Obviously there is an extremely unlikely case where one vote ...
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  • 199
9 votes
1 answer
459 views

What are reasonable basic obligations of citizens in democratic societies?

Theorists (Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel) have often discussed the state's obligations to its citizens, but nowadays it seems we need a definitive-but-succinctly articulated account of citizens'...
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8 votes
6 answers
1k views

Is "Don't blame me; I voted for ___" a bad argument?

Is there a fallacy in the argument, "Don't blame me; I voted for ..."? Or is a voter's entire responsibility for their contribution to whatever current state of political affairs they experience ...
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8 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is Nietzsche suggesting that the "free spirit" is a democrat in On the Genealogy of Morals?

It is no secret that Nietzsche had contempt for democracy. In Beyond Good and Evil, he compared democrats, those people of democracy who think that humans are all equal and free, to a herd of farm ...
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6 votes
2 answers
34k views

What kind of government did Aristotle consider the best?

If Aristotle was opposed to democracy as an ideal form of government, what kind of government did he consider the best?
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  • 173
6 votes
5 answers
203 views

Paradox of compromise illustrated by neighbours painting houses

If I remember correctly, there was a problem illustrating the paradox of compromise (and to some extent democracy?) where there are two neighbours that want to paint their houses. They both want ...
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6 votes
1 answer
198 views

What forms of democracy allocate variable numbers of votes to their citizens?

Some are pointing out that democracy with equal vote is not optimal and they propose that people should have variable numbers of votes based on their education, usefulness or other social factors. ...
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6 votes
5 answers
999 views

Do people have the right to split off part of a sovereign state?

On one hand we have sovereign nation states with stable, recognised borders. On the other hand there can be groups of people inside them that want to split off to become independent, or join a ...
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6 votes
1 answer
198 views

Is "group X is responsible for the action (or inaction) of politician Y because they are the majority of voters" a fallacious argument?

I have read this very useful answer which suggests that the moral responsibility of an individual voter for the actions of a politician they voted for, is limited. However, the comments on that ...
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  • 163
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is Autocracy superior to Democracy?

Dr. Stockmann in An Enemy of the People said: "...the strongest man in the world is the man who stands most alone." He also said: "A minority may be right; a majority is always wrong.&...
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  • 389
5 votes
1 answer
611 views

Democracy of Education by John Dewey

What does it mean when he states, “Education is the laboratory in which philosophic distinctions become concrete and are tested.” This is in John Dewey's Democracy and Education, Chapter 24: ...
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  • 63
5 votes
1 answer
668 views

Would Foucault advocate democracy?

It seems like democracy is a form of government where there is a balance of power between citizens and the government. Would Foucault be in support of this type of government?
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5 votes
9 answers
1k views

Is it ever morally ethical to override the majority in a democracy?

Is it ever morally ethical to override the majority in a democracy if you feel morally obliged to do so? For example, a recent 'yougov' poll stated that a majority (I think somewhere in the mid-...
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5 votes
1 answer
463 views

Kant's "Perpetual Peace" and separation of powers

Kant's "Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch" states that democracy is a despotic form of government, because the laws are made and executed by the same power. This was published in 1795, after ...
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  • 153
5 votes
1 answer
91 views

Legitimacy of peer review

Many matters in academia, such as who gets funding, what gets published and who gets employed are settled by a relatively small group of people. This applies quite broadly, from the arts to the ...
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  • 1,751
4 votes
2 answers
2k views

What does Nozick exactly say in his Demoktesis argument?

I know Wikipedia is not an excellent reference, but I quote from Wikipedia: Demoktesis is a thought-experiment designed to show the incompatibility of democracy with libertarianism in general and ...
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  • 41
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why did Socrates not believe in democracy?

According to Plato's writings, Socrates went on trial and was executed because he didn't believe in democracy while people practiced it in Athens. What was the core arguments or reasons that he didn'...
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  • 131
3 votes
3 answers
289 views

Why Equal Rights?

It seems like the concept im describing is called Utilitarianism it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong Update Clarification Rights(examples): ...
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  • 415
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Who Are the Most Prominent Modern Socialist Thinkers?

Who Are The Ten Most Prominent Modern Socialist Thinkers? (Big Tent: Social Democrats, Socialists, Communists, etc. are all acceptable).
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3 votes
2 answers
992 views

Is freedom of speech meaningful if there is no freedom from consequences?

How is freedom of speech meaningful if you have to always bear consequences of it like it would be in a society without freedom of speech? In a democratic and free country you'll be punished if you ...
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  • 213
3 votes
2 answers
57 views

Can public funding panels properly represent the interests of the public?

The public funds a large number of projects in the arts, humanities and sciences. How this funding is distributed is decided by a small group of people who given the power to make a decision on behalf ...
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  • 1,751
2 votes
4 answers
275 views

Can it be said that the tenets of democracy are philosophical in nature? Why/ why not?

Philosophy is defined as the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline. Different philosophies examine how we should ...
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2 votes
3 answers
90 views

Instrumental right to vote and socialism, are they in conflict?

From an instrumental point of view, in democracy, when we exercise the right to vote, we are “selling” our votes to the highest bidder in a “free market” where we choose to vote by the candidate or ...
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  • 443
2 votes
2 answers
432 views

Are state secrets compatible with Democracy?

In some western countries some government agencies and intelligence services withdraw information from the general public on the pretext of "national security" or "public safety". eg. 1: The American ...
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2 votes
3 answers
155 views

Education of civil servants

I was wondering what would happen, if we required the people who serve in top positions in a democracy (president...) to go through a dedicated school, that would be free for anyone who wants to ...
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  • 360
2 votes
0 answers
36 views

Mill's On Liberty: Democracy and Diversity

I was wondering why J.S Mill believed that democracy hinders diversity (and societal improvement through that)? Or perhaps I've misunderstood him and he was really against populism? A more powerful ...
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1 vote
1 answer
295 views

John Dewey Interest and Discipline

In Chapter 10 of the book Democracy and Education by John Dewey, what does Dewey mean when he writes the following: The school cannot immediately escape from the ideals set by prior social ...
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  • 63
1 vote
1 answer
146 views

Are there any fascist thinkers who oppose militarism?

Are there any fascist thinkers who oppose militarism? What happens in a fascist state that can't declare war on other states?
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1 vote
3 answers
115 views

Is it hypocritical to support democracy [as an idea] while being religious?

Define religiousness to be the believe in a supreme God such as the one from the Abrahamic religions. Inherently, this is an anti-democratic state of affairs. God is the leader, God is the voice of ...
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1 vote
3 answers
129 views

Is "democracy" a preferential system, even when everyone has "just one vote"?

Is "democracy" a preferential system, even when everyone has "just one vote"? That is, does it prefer something? Is it more beneficial towards someone? I've speculated that: democracy and "one vote"...
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  • 2,686
1 vote
2 answers
209 views

How is agency involved in parliamentary democracy?

How is agency involved in parliamentary democracy? So it seems quite trivial that my vote won't, or never will, make a difference to the result. Does that mean that my agency has no role in the ...
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1 vote
0 answers
32 views

Current, eminent philosophers addressing political/democratic theory?

Are there any well received philosophers still writing today about politics and democracy in 2017 and/or what may be some ways forward for the international community?
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0 votes
7 answers
4k views

Dictatorship, communism or democracy

Could anyone highlight the main difference between these 3? Also, i remember reading about the concept of communism which is very beautiful, however i do not really understand why there has been no ...
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0 votes
1 answer
76 views

Is illiteracy something you could claim as freedom in the Libertarian world view?

Libertarians seek to maximize political freedom and autonomy, emphasizing freedom of choice. (Wiki) Is it consequent or illogical to argument that a Libertarian world view allows for illiteracy as ...
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  • 213
0 votes
1 answer
109 views

Authors on leaders, leadership, and the crave for power

Where does the need to become a leader come from? Is it an animal instinct and humans as social animals need an alpha male figure to lead the mob? Are individuals who eager for power dangerous for ...
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0 votes
1 answer
55 views

Is a government elected by proportional representation more legitimate than one elected by first past the post?

This is regarding the political philosophy theme of political legitimacy: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/legitimacy/ Obviously there are multiple views about this. According to Plato, the real ...
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0 votes
0 answers
55 views

is it possible for anarchist to hold contracts?

I have been listening to a popular podcast where one of the guest promotes anarchy. I know little about anarchy and I am curious. My question is how could two anarchists ever come to an agreement &...
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  • 498
0 votes
0 answers
56 views

Arguments for Denying Prisoners the Right to Vote

I am writing an article on Massachusetts Proposition 3, which will give prisoners the right to vote. This is hard news, not a persuasive essay. The goal is to present the facts and competing arguments ...
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  • 745
0 votes
0 answers
79 views

Has anyone discussed the computerisation of democracy?

Has anyone discussed the computerisation of democracy? I read that a lot of middle class jobs are going to go missing soon, due to technological progress. Does that include government roles, such ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
527 views

What are some arguments against democracy that were espoused by philosophers?

I am interested in reading controversial opinions about democracy, especially coming from well-educated philosophers. I am not sure if I ever heard of philosophers being fervently against democracy, ...
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