Fundamental Human Rights

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August 1, 2021

The word “democracy” means “rule by the people. Democracy, which derives from the Greek word demos, or people, is defined, basically, as a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people. In some forms, democracy can be exercised directly by the people; in large societies, it is by the people through their elected agents.

Or, in the memorable phrase of President Abraham Lincoln, democracy is “government of the people, by the people, and for the people”.

Freedom and democracy are often used interchangeably, but the two are not synonymous. Democracy is indeed a set of ideas and principles about freedom, but it also consists of practices and procedures that have been molded through a long, often tortuous history. Democracy is the institutionalization of freedom.

Democracy rests upon the principles of majority rule and individual rights.

Democracies rest upon the principle that government exists to serve the people. In other words, the people are citizens of the democratic state, not its subjects. Because the state protects the rights of its citizens, they, in turn, give the state their loyalty.