Do We Really Want a Democracy?

The United States is a democratic republic, where the individual people (demos) band together to elect those who represent them within the leadership of the republic. A democracy we are not.

Well, most of the country is not:

It is not your imagination. It really is more difficult to get anything done in San Francisco. Nothing is too small for a lawsuit – soccer fields in Golden Gate Park, shadows cast by skyscrapers, or bike lanes on city streets.


San Francisco must have the most true believers of any major city. Tim Colen, the executive director of the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition, which advocates for more housing, calls it “infinite democracy,” where challenge after challenge brings everything to a stop.

“I don’t know if we are more litigious than other cities, but we certainly do over-complicate things,” said Hastings Law Professor Rory Little. “It’s a systemic problem.”

Is it so hard to look at the ancient Greeks and see the problems that they experienced with what they had created? Arguably, they didn’t have a pure democracy since only male citizens of certain age and status could vote, but still.

If everyone is in charge, then no one is. If no one is in charge, is this then the democracy which we want?