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The concept of democracy was first conceived in Athens Greece around 400bc Democracy was the characteristic form of government in Athens home to Socrates and Plato We acknowledge that Plato had no high opinions regarding the much valued Athens democratic systems the political systems that Socrates was put to death under however Socrates and Plato accept its unrivaled attractiveness and its acceptance of human rights and freedom Well in the first place the members of the community are autonomousself-governed arent they The community is informed by independence and freedom of speech and everyone has the right to do as he chooses doesnt heAnd given this right then clearly every individual can make for himself the kind of life which suits him Plato Republic Page 296 para 557a These are Socrates assumptions of the foundations of democratic states The democratic system was seldom used anywhere after Athens until the late 18th century around the time of John Locke Before looking at John Lockes contributions to liberal democracy we will clarify the meaning of the word democracy Democracy derives from the Greek words demos meaning the people and kratos meaning authority Democracy can be divided into two separate categories direct democracy and representative democracy In a direct democracy all people in society have the power to make decisions and create laws Direct democracy gives all people the right to participate regardless of social group ie religion gender etc It is fine in theory however if we take a country the size of America which has an approximate population of 200 million then how could American citizens who wanted to participate in politics possibly meet together How many people have the time to commit themselves fully to participating in political meetings How many people fully understand the issues being discussed whether local or national Due to the realities of direct democracy few nations enforce this type of government Therefore a new form of democracy has arisen representative democracy
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