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Pluralism, democracy, and citizenship

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  1. Introduction.
  2. When the 'special moral force' of democracy justifies compliance towards democratically chosen laws.
    1. The idea of moral force.
    2. The second world war and the cold war.
  3. When the so-called democracies lack legitimacy, justness and moral force.
    1. The edge with democracy.
    2. The soldiers who fought the Iraq war against their will.
    3. The US example.
  4. Conclusion.
  5. Bibliography.

?Most people think that democratic decisions have special moral force ? which we have good reasons to obey laws that are democratically chosen. If this is true, why is it true? If it's not true, why is it not?' Democracy is commonly regarded as the best, or the least bad, political system available in our societies. The war in Iraq, in example, aimed at reversing Saddam Hussein's dictatorship in order to set a democratic system, which was expected to bring freedom and prosperity to Iraqi people. The roots of the word democracy refers to popular sovereignty, as ?demos' means in Greek ?the people' and ?kratos' means power. However, this popular sovereignty can't go along without the necessary ?political equality' referring among other things to the rule of law, the fact that all are allowed to run for office, and equal voting power. Another characteristic which is also often linked to democracy is the ?popular accountability' which refers mostly to the fairness of the system .

[...] Many analysts accuse this law of contradicting the principles of the Constitution, as the duty of the law is not to teach history, however this law gained support from political leaders of each camp and was passed despite the controversy. The US example is sometimes regarded as even more taboo. However, I assume that the Israel lobby, dominated by the AIPAC, American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which presents itself as a special interest group that lobbies the United States Congress and executive branch in favour in favour of maintaining a close US-Israel relationship[14], sometimes influences US foreign policies decisions in a non democratic and unjust way. [...]


[...] special moral force of democratic decisions as a lot to do with the legitimacy and the justness people recognized to the authorities and the institutions of this or these democracies, but do we still have good reasons to obey laws descended from democracies which legitimacy are controversial or outcomes are mostly unjust? This essay will attempt to answer this question by explaining first how special ?moral force? of democracy can appear and in that respect why it is good to obey, before describing the cases when the legitimacy and the justness of democracy are so controversial that disobedience could be reasonably understood. [...]


[...] Once again, the population was brought to obey controversial for the sake of its democracy, this time threatened by terrorism and fundamentalism. The proceduralist theorists consider that the ?moral force? of the democracy resides in the fairness and the legitimacy of the procedures. Christiano explained that ?when there is disagreement about justice and the common good, the uniquely best way to take everyone's judgment seriously, so that equality is publicly embodied, is to give each person an equal say in how the society ought to be organized.?[5] Proceduralists consider that we have ?good reason? to obey the rules because we have been participating in their creation through legislative institutions that ?publicly realize justice in themselves, then they have genuine legitimacy, they have a claim- right to rule and they are owed obedience.?[6] This approach is more closely based on the usual characteristics defining democracy, the popular sovereignty, political equality and political accountability. [...]

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