What is necessary for a democracy to emerge, exist, and thrive?
As we look at Athens, we see a place which is very different from the present day US. They had "direct democracy" rather than representative democracy - you were simply chosen to be on the ruling council, and the positions rotated.
Which of the following do you think are necessary for a democracy to emerge, exist and thrive, and why?
- Artistic and cultural achievement
- Artistic and cultural freedom
- Great buildings
- Public space
- An urban setting
- Freedom of expression
- A free and vigorous press
- Strong religious/moral beliefs
- Cultural diversity
- A highly educated population
- Equality of all individuals
- Equality between significant groups
- Common language and customs
- Shared stories about the past
- Common religious beliefs
- Strong leadership
- Separation of powers (e.g., administrative, judicial, executive)
- Limited power (e.g., term limits)
- Leaders subject to the laws of the land
- Is there anything else you think is necessary?
- Did Athens have all of what you think is important for a democracy?
- Does the US today have all of it?
- Do other countries have things that the US does not have, or does not do as well?
- Are there things that the US does better than other countries?