impulses) to emerge and control their lives. Thus, law acts as a guardian against the inevitable anarchy that would engulf humanity.
On the other hand, we have those who believe that mankind is naturally good, and it is the external forces that surround us that are completely responsible for any wrong doing that takes place – for instance, the government.
Augustine’s assertion that law was a natural necessity to curb man’s sinful nature held the field for many centuries. But the belief that man’s nature might be corrupt and sinful has been at times weighed against the belief that man posses a natural virtue which is capable of development. Leaning heavily upon Aristotle’s conception of the natural development of the state from man’s social impulses, Aquinas held that the state was not necessary evil but was a natural foundation in the development of human welfare.
It is fact, that even in the simplest of societies, some form of legal rule and guidance is without doubt needed to control the anarchist like environment – which ironically counteracts the entire purpose of a lawless society.
WHAT IS DEMOCRACY? (II)
Democracy consists of four basic elements:
- A political system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections.
- The active participation of the people, as citizens, in politics and civic life.
- Protection of the human rights of all citizens.
- A rule of law, in which the laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens.
Democracy is a means for the people to choose their leaders and to hold their leaders accountable for their policies and their conduct in office.
The people decide who will represent them in parliament, and who will head the government at the national and local levels. They do so by choosing between competing parties in regular, free and fair elections.
Government is based on the consent of the governed.
In a democracy, the people are sovereign—they are the highest form of political authority.
Power flows from the people to the leaders of government, who hold power only temporarily.
Laws and policies require majority support in parliament, but the rights of minorities are protected in various ways.
The people are free to criticize their elected leaders and representatives, and to observe how they conduct the business of government.