Examining Democracy and Its Types Argumentative Essay

This is FREE sample
This text is free, available online and used for guidance and inspiration. Need a 100% unique paper? Order a custom essay.
  • Any subject
  • Within the deadline
  • Without paying in advance
Get custom essay

Democracy, with various perceptions, lacks of a single universal opinion. Thus, critics and philosophers, such as John Stuart Mill, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Jason Brennan decided to share their critiques and views on democracy. Although I agree with most of their views, it is debatable whether one completely agrees with them, for each of them have their flaws.

John Stuart Mill was a 19th century British philosopher, who argued that there are two “great evils” to democracy; the danger of having ill-informed voters, and the danger of having the numerical majority being able to cast their vote. This is true, because a lack of knowledge can change one’s preference for candidates. The numerical majority refers to the poor, and having them as the majority is a disadvantage to those who are educated. This misrepresents the elite and can impact the final casting vote. Although the definition of democracy, is “the government of the whole people by the whole people, equally represented”, this isn’t the case in the US. Here we have a “government of privilege”, because a group of educated individuals, Congress, decides and makes laws for the entirety of our people.

Our people do not have a voice, and instead the Senate and House of Representatives do. Mill believes that a solution to this would be to have an representative democracy. Mill argues that a representative democracy is the best form of government, because it affects the political participation of citizens. We can participate in public elections, and choose a representative who would give expression to our ideals and preferences. I agree with this as long as there is a need to protect the political minorities from being systematically disadvantaged by political majorities.

Mill was also known for his articulation of utilitarianism and liberalism. Utilitarianism is a theory that says one must act in a way that results in the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest amount of people, to the best of their ability. It also focuses on the consequences of our actions, and treats our intentions as irrelevant. For example, if there were as the choice of killing one person to save five people, a utilitarian would choose to kill the one person, because this will produce the greatest happiness for most people. The influence of utilitarianism launched Mill on a lifelong pursuit of social reform. He started working on protecting the rights of individuals, which soon sparked his interest in liberalism.

Friedrich Nietzsche was a 19th century German philosopher, known for what he called, selbstüberwindung (self-overcoming), which was the process by which an übermensch, or a “superman” rises above their circumstances and difficulties to embrace whatever life throws at them (video, see sources). He argues that democracy prevents the Überman to rise to power, because power concentrated on one or a few individuals is so hated. In fact, democracy’s “entire psychology seems directed towards belittling and defaming” the will to power.

Rather than having the elite in power, as Nietzsche wants it, democracy has the majority in power instead, making everyone equal to each other. I disagree with the way Nietzsche wants democracy to be, because this assures that rank is determined by the amount of power one has, and nothing else. He wants people to use envy as a guide to what we really want or aspire to become. For Nietzsche, democracy is not only a bad form of government, but also a form of man’s diminishment of value and worth. He believes that “the most fearful and fundamental desire in man [is] his drive for power”, which he says is freedom.

Furthermore, he was a big believer in “Amor Fati”, which means to live life in the present moment, without concerning about the past. This is interesting, because the idea of having Überman in power, is more of a futuristic ideal rather than a present one. Lastly, he is also one of the few philosophers associated with nihilism, for he detested Christianity and believed that “God is dead”. He states, “When lesser men begin to doubt whether higher men exist, then the danger is great!”

Jason Brennan is a 21st century American philosopher, known for his suggestion of epistocracy as a form of government instead of democracy. Epistocracy, meaning “government by the knowledgeable”, is a form of government in which some people get more power than others. He recommends epistocracy, because it retains most of the normal features of republican representative government. He believes that most voters are not informed enough to cast a sensible vote. This is where he shares similar critiques to John Stuart Mill. He also believes that there are three kinds of voters; hobbits, vulcans, and hooligans.

Hobbits are low-informed citizens, with little interest in participating in politics. According to Brennan, they are considered the average non-voter in the US. On the other hand, hooligans, are higher-informed citizens with strong commitments to politics, but are biased towards their view, and are referred as the average voter in the US. Lastly, vulcans are the ideal types of voters, who are also high-informed citizens, who are perfectly rational but not excessively loyal to their beliefs. Later in the preface of his book Against Democracy, he states that a more “advantaged group” would be the rich, white, employed men. In other terms, he means that this group is more valued and educated than the poor unemployed women and will have a stronger voice in an epistocracy.

Finally, as Winston Churchill once said, democracy is “the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time”. This may be the case for these philosophers, for each of them have alternatives for democracy. Mill suggests a representative democracy, Nietzsche suggests Überman to rise to power, and Brennan suggests an epistocracy. Finally, although everyone might not agree with their views, all three of these philosophers have exerted a great influence on philosophy and history today.

Cite this paper

Examining Democracy and Its Types Argumentative Essay. (2021, Apr 22). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/examining-democracy-and-its-types/



How many types are there of democracy?
There are several types of democracy, including direct democracy, representative democracy, parliamentary democracy, presidential democracy, and constitutional democracy. The specific type of democracy used in a country depends on its political system and the preferences of its citizens.
What are democracy and its types?
There are two main types of democracies: direct and representative
What are the 4 types of democracy?
There are four types of democracies: direct, representative, presidential, and constitutional.
We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Peter is on the line!

Don't settle for a cookie-cutter essay. Receive a tailored piece that meets your specific needs and requirements.

Check it out