The Conditions of Democracy A word closely associated with democracy is equality. For a government to be a true democracy, there must be certain kinds of equality in society. The four most prominent are equality of rights, suffrage, schooling, and justice. There should also be participation by all citizens in the responsibilities of government, but this cannot be a matter of equality. Rights.
The American Declaration of Independence states that "all men are created equal." This does not mean that all people are equal in every respect. It only asserts that all individuals are equally human. This being true, all people have the same natural rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Suffrage is the most basic civil right because it is the main safeguard of democracy. All citizens (except for children, the mentally incompetent, and convicted criminals) should have the right to vote. There can be no exclusions on the basis of race or ethnicity, sex, religion, or economic status. Education. The 19th-century English philosopher John Stuart Mill, in his 'Considerations on Representative Government', insisted that "the State should require and compel the education, up to a certain standard, of every human being who is born its citizen." Regardless of inequalities of abilities, the state should promote schooling up to the best ability of each citizen. This means the same mandatory schooling for all, not different kinds of schooling for different economic classes. Democracies need citizens who are well enough informed to make proper political judgments after analyzing complex issues. The 19th-century American educator Horace Mann agreed with Mill: "it is a very laborious thing to make republicans; and woe to the republic that rests upon no better foundations than ignorance, selfishness, and passion!" Justice.
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