Democracy: Is it a way of life?

If you live in a country which claims to be a democratic country, you probably know it is a country where capitalism in rife and the success of the democracy will depend on the rich as well as on the poor.

Yes, in a democracy, there are chances you find more of the poor, average and middle class than the rich. But this is what democracy is about. That is inequality.

According to R.S. Peters, a distinguished professor at the University of London, ”Democracy is a way of life in which high value is placed on the development of reason and principles such as freedom, truth-telling, impartiality, and respect for persons, which the use of reason in social life presupposes.”

And this brings to mind what Ernest L. Boyer, president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching says.

‘The clash is between ‘the complexity of the public agenda and the increased ignorance of the electorate.”

Thus, to be a democratic country, we must have an electorate. The electorate has rich, middle class and poor backgrounds.

This is the case in America, the UK, Europe where the society depend on democracy.

Many will tell you it is the same in Africa, Asia or Arabia. But after six decades living on this beautiful planet, I beg to differ!

This article is dealing with the Malaysian example in Asia because there is a lot happening in this country with such rich cultures and a continued political instability.


Voting is one of the many ‘rituals’ that accompany the democratic system. Its secrecy promotes the mystery of the act of voting but it does not hide who cast the vote for which proponent

The society in a democratic country should live by the mechanics (civics) and the philosophical underpinnings of democracy. If it does not believe in the democratic process, in civics and in the moral of it all, the society and the country is then heading towards a dangerous situation.

The mechanics of democracy starts with the Parliament. This is where the MPs represent the people. They are to respect the decision of the people to elect the parties represented in the institution.

But when the MPs chose to divert from the people’s choice, it clearly means the system of democracy is sick and is being manipulated.

And when there is manipulation of the democratic system and of its mechanism, there is failure. The failure will deepen when there is no attempt to resolve the rot but instead to acerbate it with betrayal and with a total rejection of the choices made by the voters in the first place.

This is why democracy has become a way of life in many countries, replacing the religious way of life and imposing itself as the moral standards in a capitalistic system.

This is the first part of the discourse on democracy as a way of life.

About the author

Leave a Reply