What's in a Word | All Blogs


People power or mob rule?

By Debra Dobbins

Democracy has two Greek word parts: demos, meaning the people, and kratein, meaning rule. So, democracy means rule of the people.

Democracy is an emotionally laden word for most Americans. We cherish our democratic rights so much so that we actively encourage other countries to hold free and fair elections, as evidenced in our nation-building of Iraq and Afghanistan. We’re moved by pictures of Iraqis holding up purple index fingers to show they’ve voted.

Though arguably a better alternative to, say, autocracy (a rule by one) or plutocracy (government by the wealthy), pure democracy also has its shortcomings. In a pure democracy, everyone has a say in running the government, and the majority rules. While that may sound good on the surface, historians tell us that our Founding Fathers had their reservations.

Some were concerned about majority rule running rampant over the needs of the minority. So, they established our form of government as a republic, a system that allowed representatives to enact the wishes of their constituents and created laws to limit the power of government. The Founding Fathers did, of course, retain the democratic procedure of voting.

Ironically, then, Arab leaders may justifiably be concerned about democracy, at least in its purest form. Given the volatility of the region, pure democracy could descend into mob rule.

Egypt’s uprising against Hosni Mubarek, an autocrat who held power for nearly 30 years, has been a fascinating look into the determination of common people to rule themselves. Now we see a wave of other protests in the Middle East and North Africa.

As we watch Egypt’s ripple effect, let’s hope that both courage and wisdom guide our fellow citizens of the world in their quest for democracy.


 

COMMENTS

Please Login or Register to leave a comment.




Recent Posts
More purple, please
By Penny Stine
Friday, September 19, 2014

Stunt Albums Prove There’s Dying Interest in New Music
By David Goe
Friday, September 19, 2014

How soon can you retire?
By Julie Norman
Thursday, September 18, 2014

Bordeaux and Provence
By Nic.Korte
Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Peppers a’plenty
By Penny Stine
Wednesday, September 17, 2014


TOP JOBS
  • Petroleum Driver

    Must be 25 years old,2 years experience Hazmat,tanker double/...

  • Customer Service Rep

    Part-time opening inour CirculationDepartmet forresentative.

  • Production

    Alsco Inc. is acceptingapplications for general : Flat Laborers, ...

  • Systems Administrator

    The is responsible for the maintenance, management, support, administration and...

  • Caregiver

    needed immediately in assisted living. Two 24 hour shifts.$1200/m...





THE DAILY SENTINEL
734 S. Seventh St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-242-5050
Editions
Subscribe to print edition
E-edition
Advertisers
Sign in to your account
Information

© 2014 Grand Junction Media, Inc.
By using this site you agree to the Visitor Agreement and the Privacy Policy