The main assumption of this statement is that democracy is being forced to adapt to the post-modern world culture and those adaptations have significant implications for counseling. Therefore, counselors can benefit from staying abreast of society's challenges stemming from the general press for potentially historic alterations of democracy.
According to the New Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, Democracy was created by Cleisthenes in Athens, Greece, at about 510 BC. It has endured as a powerful idea for more than two thousand years yet, it is being questioned seriously and fundamentally by some of today's responsible thinkers. Elshtain (1995) wrote, "The vote and other markers of democratic citizenship have fallen on hard times ... the vote only cajoles us into thinking we have power ... votes may matter but not very much (p. 115)." Toffler (1990) asserted, "While we are busy celebrating the end of ideology, history and the Cold War, we may find ourselves facing the end of democracy as we have known it - mass democracy. The advanced economy, based on computers, information, knowledge, and deep communication, calls into question all the traditional defenses of democracy (p. 255)." West (1993), a philosopher, addressed democracy's current situation by stating, "The recent revival of pragmatism provides a timely intellectual background for the most urgent problematic of our postmodern moment: the complex cluster of questions and queries regarding the meaning and value of democracy (p. 107)." Surely, it behooves all of us to consider seriously these responsible concerns about democracy in our time.
Democracy is difficult to define. Kennon (1995) wrote, "Democracy can be, and has been, defined in a number of different ways (p. 89)." Apple and Beane (1995) asserted, "We live in a time when the very meaning of democracy is being radically changed (p. 101)." Since there is not an official consensus it seems appropriate to list a variety of them.
Elshtain (1995) cited Pericles' definition of democracy.
Our constitution is called a democracy because power is in the hands not of a minority but of the whole people. When it is a question of settling private disputes, everyone is equal before the law; when it is a question of putting one person before another inpositions of public responsibility, what counts is not membership of a particular class, but the actual ability which the man possesses (p. 95).
Franklin Roosevelt listed six foundations of a healthy and strong democracy (Ravitch, 1992).
1. Equality of …