What a Democracy is? An Etymological Approach


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Everybody knows that the word democracy is derived from Greek and means the rule of people. If we go to the Etymology Online we find almost no surprises there:

democracy (n.)
1570s, from Middle French démocratie (14c.), from Medieval Latin democratia (13c.), from Greek demokratia “popular government,” from demos “common people,” originally “district” (see demotic), + kratos “rule, strength” (see -cracy).

Though we can see some disturbing hints here that it is not so simple as it seams. It’s not just generic “people”, but “common” people which come from particular “district”.
If we surf the site further down the link, we’ll find that demotic:

demotic (adj.)
1822, from Greek demotikos “of or for the common people, in common use,” from demos “common people,” originally “district,” from PIE *da-mo- “division,” from root *da- “to divide” (see tide).

means “divided” people from the point of view of its proto-indo-european origins. But who was the person who created that devision?

Well, let’s search for the same PIE root on the same site:

demon (n.)
c.1200, from Latin daemon “spirit,” from Greek daimon “deity, divine power; lesser god; guiding spirit, tutelary deity” (sometimes including souls of the dead); “one’s genius, lot, or fortune;” from PIE *dai-mon- “divider, provider” (of fortunes or destinies), from root *da- “to divide” (see tide (n.)).

Hrmmm… What does that mean? Really, democracy is a demonic rule which creates devision between people, isn’t it? That comes as a no surprise conclusion.

PS
Those Republicans, who like to say that the US is not a Democracy, but instead a Republic, and whom this article will undoubtedly please, I have to disappoint – etymology of the word Republic (Latin res publica) is even more upsetting (for them) 🙂

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5 Responses to What a Democracy is? An Etymological Approach

  1. Este resulta alguno de los webblog que mucho mas me satisfacen! Tus post resultan ser extremadamente maravillosos!

    Te dejo en bookmarked!

  2. Añadido sin dudar en el bookmarked!!, realmente me satisface tu pagina web!

  3. Me apasiona tuu internet web. Tengo la impresion que has apuntado la noticias de forma
    extremadamente atrayente. Te incluyo directo en predilectos!!!

  4. Iva says:

    What were your conclusions of Republic?

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