As history has shown, there is no such thing as a perfectly functioning government. Every form has its shortcomings, whether it is the authoritarian rule of one individual, an oligarchic rule by a select few, or democratically allowing everyone an equal chance to partake in government. However, there is also no possible way to manage a country without government, so I will defend the democratic system as I feel it is the form that works toward the common good.
In theory, democracy guarantees the rights of every citizen to do as they please, but Aristotle stated that this principle was the very reason there was no such thing as a prefect democracy. Aristotle based his view of democracy on the assumption that there would be complete equality and everyone would voluntarily use his or her rights to participate in government. But any functioning society is going to have the need to impose certain limitations on the citizens’ freedoms in order to benefit the group as a whole.
Using the government to take care of the people is an example of democracy as envisioned by Aristotle. The extremes of rich and poor are disconnected and only the interests of one are ultimately satisfied in the democratic system of the United States. Now, people of wealth and privilege run the United States’ government and only look to make sure their own personal interests are taken care of. Good examples of the best (albeit not perfectly) functioning democratic systems in today’s world include, but are not limited to those of Canada, Sweden, and England.
The democracy practiced in these countries is not as corrupt in functionality as the democracy of the United States and therefore keeps the core idea of democracy, taking care of citizens, as their main goal. Abraham Lincoln had the concept when he said that a democratic government was a “government of the people, by the people, for the people. ” One might say that these governments are somewhat socialistic because everyone is looked after, but I believe that they are a more “modern” form democracy.
They work towards looking after the common good of the country, which is essential to the formation of a democracy as realistically close as possible to the model illustrated by Aristotle. Inhibiting the complete freedom of every citizen is necessary because what is best for the common good of the entire group is kept in mind. Both equality of opportunity and equality of outcome are looked after in these governments.
They follow the statement made by Thomas Hobbes, in which he claimed that the nature of man is not always equal but every man has his chance to become better than his competitor. When measured as an average, no man is significantly better than another and the strength of a society can be measured on this average. Citizens of these countries are quite content with the way their government runs thing because through using the resources of every man, they make sure the basic needs of everyone are met.
This allows for a degree of equality not found in the United States, where the equality ends after the right to vote. There is no assurance of equality of opportunity, outcome, or circumstance; every man must fight to the top to gain privilege. The perfect government is a hybrid of democracy and socialism, guaranteeing individual liberty whilst looking after others as a way to strengthen the functionality of the society? for the common good.