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DEMOCRACY

Democracy recognizes the rights of the individual and strives to maintain and protect those rights, for instance freedom of speech and religion. The word democracy comes from the Greek "demokration', from "demos", the people, and "kratos", rule. The concept of rule by the people for the people undoubtedly goes back to prehistoric times but, in western political tradition, we associate it with the city-states of ancient Greece. There it was a form of government known as direct democracy. Decision was made by all the citizens, acting under the procedure of majority rule. However, we must remember that not everyone was a citizen. Women were not allowed to vote and there were many slaves who had no rights at all. It is easy to see how difficult this system would be to organize in a large-country and indeed there was a gap of about 2,000 years before the idea of representative democracy arose. This is a form of government where the citizens exercise the same rights as in direct democracy, but through representatives chosen by and responsible to them. Nowadays, most countries in the world are democracies, in name at least. That is, they claim a form of government, elected by the people, whose powers are limited by a constitution. Theoretically this means that although the majorities are in power, they are bound by law to guarantee individual and collective rights to those who are in the minority. But in many countries theory does not always conform to practice. We also use the word democratic to describe any political or social system which is attempting to bring about equality among the people.

In a democracy. to keep asking d. That means that all citizens should have the right to inform others of what they know and express their opinions. In order to make intelligent choices. a concert b. news reporting organizations 2. ask c. a strong forward movement c. they must be able to work together. a. 1. Freedom of the press is a very important part of any democracy. Newspapers and other news organizations must be able to report all the news. choose 4. In order for people to be able to exercise their rights. a. They must be able to form groups to give strength to their causes. control. It means being able to get your thoughts out to as many people as possible. They must be able to get news that is not controlled by the government. joining together . a. push again c. That right is known as freedom of assembly. speaking c. a. vote b. listening d. people can practice their religious beliefs without fear. say again 3. the people need to know what those who are running the government are doing. find d.Use the context of the selections to help you choose the correct meaning of each boldfaced word. Beware of politicians who want to repress that right. or hold down b. In a free society. to push b. Freedom of religion is safest in democratic nations. fight to protect d. They may also elect to belong to no religion at all. Freedom of speech is just as important as freedom of the press. That doesn’t mean being able to lock yourself in a closet and whisper. the people choose their government.