Name: Caroline Ji
School: Stuyvesant High School
Education Level: High School
Democracy: Transcending Time and Space
The need for a systematic rule over a general population inevitably presents itself as an omnipotent force in all aspects of life, with the unique feature of time transcendence. This pattern of systematic order has manifested itself throughout time, in hunter-gatherer societies, Greek city-states, European constitutional monarchies, absolute monarchies, and lastly, democracies. While these systems of order are often labeled as forms of government with ties to the political scene, other aspects of society, such as economics and social interactions are also impacted, adding numerous layers of complexity to these forms of government. Throughout the course of history, flaws within each form of government led to the collapse of societies, eventually allowing the most advanced societies, usually the ones with the most efficient form of government, to prevail in the long run. Such has been the case for democracy, which is not only a system of government, but a lifestyle that affects people every day. All decisions made by people are made with consideration to the world around them and the current life situation they live in. Democracies even have the power to change mindsets and build the fundamental thought process of a people, laying the foundation of equality and representative voting processes. Democracies have shown to be for the most part, beneficial and effective, producing viable results in economics, politics, and social global interactions.
Democracies have a positive social impact on society by protecting the rights of people and making opportunities accessible for a wide array of diverse people. Given the fact that discrimination and systematic oppression will always show itself present in any society of any time period, the important element of having protected rights in a democracy is the ability to speak out against violation of rights. The law becomes the fundamental dictator and acts as the protector of fundamental rights. This allows people, especially those from minority backgrounds who face discrimination and rights violation as a norm, the ability to defend their identities without feeling judgement or inferiority, improving the social interactions amongst people. Consequently, this allows a diversity of people to feel urged to partake in activities and get involved in their communities. This has also been aided by the wide access of public institutions, another feature of most democracies. Public institutions, such as education, healthcare, and religious tolerance, are made common within democracies, urging the inclusion of citizens to have the ability to obtain helpful resources. As a result, more people can be educated and healthy, given the fundamental rights to schooling, health, and living. In turn, the vast opportunities and right guaranteeing the ability to utilize these opportunities creates a participatory, inclusive society, immensely improving social interactions amongst people and their communities, and contributing to the fight against systemic oppression.
Democracies additionally serve as catalysts in improving economies, both domestically with internal economies and internationally regarding foreign affairs. Democracies have allowed for the funding of the public institutions and social programs aforementioned, through accountable taxing and organized government budget allocation. Throughout history, there have been numerous incidents of taxation without representation, such as the American colonies and the Third Estate of the 18th century French aristocracy. Democracies have helped to eliminate this issue of unfair taxation by giving those who find injustices in the tax system the space to oppose it, as well implementing a system that holds the wealthy elite aiming to take tax shortcuts, accountable through methods like payroll. Furthermore, democratic societies tend to have more job opportunities for the public due to a fundamental value of civilian inclusion, as well as aiming to help those unemployed financially through affordable healthcare and housing reforms. Consequently, the job market improves and allows people who can support themselves with employment to contribute back to the economy through buying items or participating in the stock market. As a result, the economy flourishes, allowing the government to contribute even more to the public, creating a mutually beneficial system.
As democracies are often associated with government systems, the last component of society improved by democracies is politics. The fundamental basis of a democracy is inclusion with representation, in which diversity becomes an inevitable byproduct. One of the most important features of democracies is the unique checks and balances system, where a separation of powers stops one authoritative force from gaining too much control. The most intuitive manifestation of this system can be found in the United States’ three branches of government, where the judicial, executive, and legislative branches are politically held accountable in maintaining their separate spheres of influence. An equal power distribution allows multiple opinions to be represented, eliminating the chance of a major force shutting down minority views. This creates an accurate awareness of needs amongst a wide array of people, allowing proper reforms to be enacted to respond to the needs of all people. A key element in democratic politics is the democratic voting system, which is made convenient for citizens through ease of accessibility and understanding of the voting process. Voting allows all voices to be heard and encourages citizens to engage in civic duty and take part in shaping the nation. As a result, democracies instill political stability, encouraging citizens to take part in a government where their diverse opinions can be effectively represented through peaceful measures, suppressing the need to use violence to voice opinions.
The democracy is the product of many centuries worth of trial and error of government systems. While it is not completely infallible, democracies have shown to improve society socially, economically, and politically, creating nations that prosper both domestically and internationally. The key to a better a future for the world is to continually expand upon the current realm of democracies, which starts with understanding the impact democracies have on everyday lives, as well as the complexity with which democracies function and operate. With these goals in mind, democracies can be strengthened to help improve lives even further, creating healthier, happier, and more diverse societies.