The Real World of Democracy Essay

1118 Words5 Pages
We are told that democracy thrives all around us and that it does everything for us. It keeps us fed, protected, clothed, sheltered, and (supposedly) safer than any other form of government around. We are told a great many things about democracy; how it keeps us free, how it allows us the best possible life, and how we would be worse off any other way. However, C. B. Macpherson describes a totally different view of democracy chronologically in his book The Real World of Democracy. The realm of democracy has become so indefinite that even we do not know what it stands for. The questions on democracy are numerous and powerful and each of them take a bite out of what democracy represents. Queries such as democracy’s definition, what governmental choice a country has made, and the relationship between individuals and the state create uncertainty as to how democracy became bastardized. I will examine these three questions in how Macpherson saw it, how I saw it, and how I look upon it now. Macpherson’s views on democracy are very different from what the average person in the 1960’s thought of democracy. His first lecture on democracy was specifically to tell the history of democracy from its birth in 5th century BCE Athens to the modern day. Macpherson points out that democracy’s definition has changed multiple times since its humble beginnings in Aristotelian Athens. This vagueness concerning democracy creates a haze which allows multiple forms of democracy thrive in today’s world. His intentions for undertaking the series of lectures on the CBC were to help clear up this ‘haze’ in people’s minds: “There is a good deal of muddle about democracy…that our thinking about democracy is muddled.” (Macpherson 1) Macpherson categorizes the three different types of democracy today as the liberal, communist, and underdeveloped variants. The problem that is created by this muddle
Open Document