Democracy, from Greek demokratia (literally, “rule by the people”), is a very old word commonly used in ancient political typologies in which three modes of rulership, by the one, the few, and the many, were cross-classified with good and bad variants, the “bad” being those in which selfish rulers enhanced their own wealth and power at the expense of the common good. Ancient authors collectively were taxonomically ambiguous, some using democracy to denote the good and some the bad variant of rule by the many. Ancient authors also advanced various ideas about what made democracy more or less workable. Some argued that all political arrangements were dependent on the virtue of the rulers and that democracy therefore depended on virtue-inculcating civic education for the many ...

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