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Government – Chapter 1.3 Lecture. Basic Concepts of Democracy “No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” Winston Churchill .

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government chapter 1 3 lecture
Government – Chapter 1.3 Lecture
  • Basic Concepts of Democracy
  • “No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”
                  • Winston Churchill
slide2

American concept of democracy rests on five basic notions:

    • Recognition of the fundamental worth and dignity of every person.
    • Respect for the equality of all persons.
    • Faith in majority rule and an insistence upon minority rights.
    • Acceptance of the necessity of compromise.
    • Insistence upon the widest possible degree of individual freedom.
slide3

Worth of the Individual

    • The importance of individuals is important in American democracy
    • Each individual is a separate and distinct being
    • Needs of the Individual are only denied with they come into conflict with the needs of the many.
slide4

Equality of All People

    • Jefferson – “All men (people) are created equal”
      • Not all people are born equal
      • Not all people have right to equal wealth or position
    • All people are entitled to:
      • Equality of Opportunity
      • Equality before the law
    • People should not be held back because of:
      • Race, Religion, Color, Gender
        • Made progress, still much work left
slide5

Majority Rule, Minority Rights

    • Majority Rule – A majority will be right more often than it will be wrong, and that the majority will also be right more often often then it will be wrong
      • Will of the people is important in democracy
      • No solution government creates will satisfy all people in society
    • Minority Rights – the right of any minority to become, it it can by fair and lawful means, the majority
      • Important to protect the rights and traditions of the minority
      • Majorities can destroy the minority if they go unchecked
slide6

Necessity of Compromise

    • Compromise – the process of blending and adjusting competing views and interests
    • Government cannon function without compromise
    • There are never just two sides to an issue
    • Compromise allows majority agreement to take place
slide7

Individual Freedom

    • Complete freedom cannot exist in a democracy
      • Anarchy – absence of a government
    • Democracy re quires that freedom exist as much as it can without allowing anarchy and maintaining a government
      • Libertarians
      • Order vs. Freedom debate
slide8

Responsibilities and Duties of Citizens

    • Citizen – One who holds certain rights and responsibilities within a state
    • Duties – Required of every citizen
      • Paying Taxes and Not Speeding
    • Responsibilities – Strongly encouraged every citizen do
      • Voting in Elections and Volunteering
slide9

Democracy and the Free Enterprise System

    • Free Enterprise System
      • Economic System that emphasizes
      • Private ownership of capital goods
      • Investments mad by private decisions, not government directives
      • Success or failure determined by competition in the market system
        • Four Fundamental Factors
          • Private Ownership
          • Individual Initiative
          • Profit
          • Competition
slide10

How does Free Enterprise Work

    • AKA Capitalism or Market-Based System
    • Little or no government regulation – influence in the system
      • Supply and Demand – consumer demand will set price of goods
      • US Government Does play a role in our system
        • Protect the Public
        • Preserve Private Enterprise
        • Provide Public Goods
          • Equality vs. Freedom
    • Democracy = Political System System
    • Capitalism = Economic System
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