What are the strengths and weaknesses of each form of government?  

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Plato considered this question in The Republic. Plato stated that a democracy could degenerate into mob rule, a monarchy could have a self-seeking despot at the controls, and an oligarchy could be run by a small clique bent on their own self-interests. I will create a list that will further expand on these and other types of government.

A monarchy, as Plato said, could be run by a mean despot who insists on terrorizing the people to achieve his own ends. The free will of the people is stifled so they have no personal love for the country unless they love the leader. One benefit of the monarchy or dictatorship is that decisions can be made quite quickly, though the decision-making process goes through one person.

An oligarchy is good in that the decision-making process if left up to a few people. The bad news is that these few people can run the country to their own benefit and not listen to the will of the people, thus depriving them of life and liberty whenever they see fit.

A democracy is good in that the people rule themselves. Everyone has a voice. The bad news is that it can be quite slow to make a decision, and people tend to vote for their own self-interest instead of what would be good for the country as a whole. A democracy depends on the public mindedness of the people. If the people are selfish, then the country can devolve into anarchy.

One governing style is not inherently good or bad; rather, a government is only as good as the people who are in charge of it.

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As is evident for anybody who lives under government control, each type of government has associated strengths and weaknesses. Some of the strengths and weaknesses of the following traditional types of government include:

Monarchy

• Advantage: In a monarchy, decisions can be made quickly based on the opinion of the monarch.

• Disadvantage: A government in which there is one decision maker is often unsuccessful at protecting the rights of those who live under the government's rule.

Theocracy

Advantage: When a religious leader leads a government based on what he claims are God's words, there is a synergism between political and religious life for believers.

Disadvantage: Those who do not believe in the prominent religion find themselves in situations in which they may feel like their interests are not being considered.

Democracy

Advantage: A democracy allows for the people to feel like they have influence regarding those they choose to represent them in government.

Disadvantage: In many instances, a political leader in a democracy must seek compromise with other political leaders in order to take small steps toward progress. Passing laws can be a slow, arduous process.

Oligarchy

Advantage: Decisions are made quickly in an oligarchy, as those in power often have similar interests.

Disadvantage: Oligarchies are typically made up of upper-class individuals who rely on public obedience or oppression in order to exist.

 

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