Is democracy really a democracy

democracy

Term for a form of rule. The literal Greek translation of "rule of the people" is of little help, because dictatorships are now calling themselves "true" democracies. Therefore, characteristic features must be named which, as we understand it, characterize a democratic system of rule. You can find these characteristics in: Free democratic basic order. Different manifestations of democracy are described below.
Democracy, Greek "rule of the people", was practiced by its inventors as direct democracy: The free men - only they were then considered the people - gathered on the market square of their city-state (polis) and decided there directly about everything that the Polis concerned, that is, about all political questions.

This marketplace democracy is no longer possible in today's large states. Representative democracy has taken its place. Temporary representatives (representatives) elected by the people, this time men and women, decide as trustees for the people the current political questions. In addition, elements of direct democracy can also occur in representative democracy: if, for example, in a referendum the citizens who are entitled to vote directly vote on a draft law that comes from their midst, or in a referendum, or decide in a referendum whether or not to give their approval to a parliamentary law deny. The constitutions of all German federal states provide for referendums, Bavaria and Hesse also hold a referendum on constitutional changes. At the federal level there is neither the possibility of a referendum nor the possibility of a referendum, which many European states are familiar with.

Almost all countries in the world claim to be democracies today. The term has also been misused in German history. The GDR, which was a party dictatorship, called itself "democratic" in the state name. Hitler's head of propaganda, Goebbels, wrote about the Hitler dictatorship in 1942: "We Germans live in a true democracy". In view of such deliberate confusion of terminology, it is necessary to describe exactly by which characteristics one can recognize whether a state system is really democratic. For democracy in Germany, this was done through a definition by the Federal Constitutional Court (Freedom, Democratic Basic Order).

German democracy is not a democracy that merely prescribes the rules of the game, but otherwise behaves neutrally in the political battle of opinion. Rather, it advocates certain highest values, first and foremost human dignity, which it defends as a "defensive" and "contentious" democracy. Parties that disregard these highest values ​​and want to abolish democracy itself by democratic means must expect to be banned in Germany.
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Source: Thurich, Eckart: pocket politik. Democracy in Germany. revised New edition Bonn: Federal Agency for Civic Education 2011.