Principles of World Federalism: Democracy

Democracy means government by and for the people
In a society, citizens have a voice in the affairs of their government through a variety of means, such as free and fair elections. Laws and other decisions are made by majority vote. The citizenry holds supreme power.

Democracy has evolved through history.

From Greek city-states, to Swiss cantons, to New England town meetings in the 17th Century, and to modern times we see the growth of democratic standards and methods. Who can vote, the formation of political parties, direct and indirect decision-making, Internet communications — all have impacted the evolution of democratic government.

The Greeks spoke out in public assemblies

Democracy began in the Greek city-states, especially Athens, where the principles of personal liberty, equality among citizens, and freedom to speak out at public events developed. The site was the Agora, or market place, where people met not only to buy and sell goods but also assembled to discuss many subjects, including politics. The “Assembly” might be considered an initial institution of democracy.

Voting Rights


Free Speech

Civilian Justice

Democracy grows over the centuries

By the 13th century, citizens of some Swiss villages were voting and making their own laws. By the 17th century in America, citizens in some British colonies were passing laws in New England town meetings.

The Populist era of the 1890s in the United States saw democracy grow even further, bringing the referendum, popular initiative, and recall to the legislative process. Over the last century voting rights in some countries have been expanded to include women and people of different races.

The “Democratic Spring”

Unfortunately, the United Nations has not kept pace with this growth in democracy. The people of the world lack a voice in global affairs and the most important decisions are reserved for a few. Establishment of a democratic world federation will, for the first time, correct this fundamental problem.
“Although the UN officially came into being at San Francisco in 1945…is actually a highly complex international organization which has been built upon a foundation that has been long in the making, a foundation constructed of the long-ancient hopes, and dreams, the slowly accumulated human group knowledge, and the ever-developing conscious reasoning of thousands of ages of man.” Eleanor Roosevelt

First-Lady 1933-1945, United States of America

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