Chapter 3: Democarcy

Pages Contents

After philosophy, I consider democracy to be the second greatest contribution to society made by the Ancient Greeks – especially the ancient Athenians. Democracy [from the Greek Äçìïêñáôßá (people-rule or people-power) a fusion of the words äÞìïò (people) and êñÜôåéí (to rule)] is defined, basically, as government in which the supreme power is vested in the people. In some forms, democracy can be exercised directly by the people; in large societies, it is by the people through their elected agents. Or, in the memorable phrase of USA's President Abraham Lincoln, "democracy is government of the people, by the people, and for the people."

In 2018, there were 195 countries in the world. This total comprises 193 countries that are member states of the United Nations and 2 countries that are non-member observer states: the Holy See and the State of Palestine.

Not included in this total count of 195 countries are:

1 Taiwan (the United Nations considers it represented by the People's Republic of China).

2 The Cook Islands as well as Niue, both states in free association with New Zealand which are members of several UN specialized agencies and have been recognized 'full treaty-making capacity', but are neither member states nor non-member observer states.

3 Dependencies (or dependent territories, dependent areas, dependencies) and Areas of Special Sovereignty (autonomous territories).

4 Other countries recognized by the United Nations as not being self-governing.

Chapter 3: Democracy    80
1 Introduction: what is democracy?82
2 Ancient Athenians85
3 Direct democracy though time91
4 Representative democracy though time  92

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