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Democracy in The Lottery by Jackson

Politics is an essential part of nowadays life. Politics are obligations of a state in regard to society and personality. Politics is, first of all, power and the ability to govern the state and its citizens. There are a lot of different types of political modes, but the main of them are democracy, authoritarianism, and totalitarianism. We are going to discuss politics in general and democracy, power, and Government in particular in this paper.

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Democracy is a political model of a state or a political system during which the power is carried out by the people. Democracy means that political power is authorized and controlled by the people over whom it is exercised, and this in such a way as to give these persons roughly equal political influence. Democracy involves voting–on political issues or on candidates for political offices–in accordance with the general idea of one person, one vote (Pogge 1). A democracy is a system of Government, the legitimacy of which derives from the people’s participation. Legitimacy is the belief that people have that their Government is moral, fair, and just and that therefore they should obey its laws. According to the moral theory underlying a democratic system of Government, because the people themselves (indirectly, through representatives) make the laws, they are morally obligated to obey them (Kraemer 2). Pogge also writes in his journal article, that “democracy involves the fulfillment not only of important rights, but also of important responsibilities of citizens” (16). Democracy has two aspects, authorial and editorial; democracy is authorial so far as it gives the collective people direct or indirect control of Government; democracy is editorial so far as it gives people, whether in a collective or plural identity, the capacity to challenge government decisions; and as a feature of the plural people editorial democracy may be representative, reactive or regulative in character (Pettit 24).

Democracy is the power of people. Power in general meaning is ability and possibility to render determining influence on activity, conduct of people by some facilities of will, authority, right, political domination, and system of public organs. Power is concentrated in the hands of public administration.

Democratizing public administration means creating the conditions under which citizens and public servants can join in deliberating about, deciding, and implementing the work of public agencies. What we mean by Government is us, is a democratic public administration that involves active citizenship and active administration. By active administration we mean not an enhancement of administrative power, but the use of discretionary authority to foster collaborative work with citizens. The active administrator is one who acts creatively to direct administrative prerogatives toward active citizenship. Active citizenship is different from voting, paying taxes, or using government services (Kraemer 2).

We are going to mention the discussed components of politics relating democracy, Government and power to “the Lottery” by Shirley Jackson. To summarize the story in brief is very difficult, as it has a lot of aspects and hidden sense. The story is about cruelty and violence in the world, in spite of the fact that action takes place in a beautiful and familiar town, the weather is sunny and the teller uses a friendly tone while describing the events. The citizens of that small town are caught in a tradition. The initial purpose of the lottery was clear, but nowadays it is forgotten. People compete for death in public without thinking objectively about the necessity of these traditions and rituals. They perceive it as due and even do not have a will to change something. We see the dark side of human nature and the danger of ritualized behavior in this story. The black box is very symbolic. It symbolizes a doom, where society drives itself in direct and indirect meanings. To compare “the Lottery” by Shirley Jackson with our present life, it should be mentioned that the community never learns from previous mistakes. There are a lot of social ills which exist in the present world, but the problem is that this society does not want to acknowledge the mistakes and to try to stop all that.

It was said above that democracy is the power of people. And it is expressed in our life through voting and other freedoms. The citizens of that small town in “the Lottery” also had some freedoms and rights, but they did not want to use them. They did not want to change that cruel tradition of lottery, where the first prize is death. Why? The reason is in responsibility. Nobody from citizens wanted to take power and Government in their hands. They were afraid of consequences and followed responsibility. They understood that the governed power is a heavy load, especially for one person, and it was easier for them to dye after the results of that lottery than to make a responsible decision. The same happens in a present world very often. People are afraid of responsibility and refuse to take the power of Government in their hands to make some useful changes.

The end of the story is rather shocking and cruel. To sum everything up it should be said the power and the Government are not so difficult when it is concentrated in the hands of clever and adequate person.

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Works Cited

Kraemer H. Richard, Newell C., Prindle F. David. Essentials of Texas Politics. Wadsworth Publishing; 10 edition (January 16, 2007).

Kramer, Robert. “Government Is Us: Public Administration in an Anti-Government Era.” Public Administration Review 59.1 (1999).

Pettit, Philip. “Democracy, National and International.” The Monist 89.2 (2006).

Pogge, Thomas. “Achieving Democracy.” Ethics & International Affairs 15.1 (2001).

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