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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.

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Presentation on theme: "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."— Presentation transcript:

1 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

2 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.

3 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.

4 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

5 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

6 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

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

8 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

9 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

10 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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