I am currently writing a paper for a political philosophy course on my ideal state (we are reading Plato’s Republic). I have made it a democratic one, despite some serious misgivings.
I realize that the people can be easily fooled by sophists and schemers, but in the end, I think that democracy represents very well the dignity of the common man. In fact, I am tempted to think that democracy is the best form of government, despite Churchill’s lament.
How democracy is structured is probably more important than if it is the best form of government. Our federal republic is pretty good as it stands (unless you are Ruth Bader Ginsberg, of course; according to her, South Africa has a much better constitution than our own), but there have been some serious flaws discovered over the centuries.
Can you name a few? The compromise on slavery and the inability of the Supreme Court to enact the 14th Amendment to protect black Americans from Jim Crow laws both stand out prominently in my view. Furthermore, can any of you come up with a better way to utilize the democratic process that is so integral to the dignity of the individual?