Legalism (Chinese philosophy)
Fajia or Legalism is one of Sima Tan's six classical schools of thought in Chinese philosophy. Meaning "house of Fa", the "school" represents some several branches of realistic statesmen or "men of methods" foundational for the traditional Chinese bureaucratic empire. Compared with Machiavelli, they have been considered in the Western world as akin to the Realpolitikal thought of ancient China, emphasizing a realistic consolidation of the wealth and power of autocrat and state, with the goal of achieving increased order and stability. Having close ties with the other schools, some would be a major influence on Taoism and Confucianism, the current remains influential in administration and legal practice in China today. Though Chinese administration cannot be traced to any one person, emphasizing a merit system administrator Shen Buhai may have had more influence than any other, might be considered its founder, if not valuable as a rare pre-modern example of abstract theory of administration.
Sinologist Herrlee G. Creel sees in Shen Buhai the "seeds of the civil service examination", and, if one wished to exaggerate, the first political scientist; the correlation between Shen's conception of the inactive ruler responsible for examination into performance and titles also informed the Taoist conception of the formless Tao that "gives rise to the ten thousand things."Concerned with administrative and sociopolitical innovation, Shang Yang was a leading reformer of his time. His numerous reforms transformed the peripheral Qin state into a militarily powerful and centralized kingdom. Much of Legalism was "principally the development of certain ideas" that lay behind his reforms, it was these that helped lead to Qin's ultimate conquest of the other states of China in 221 BC. Shen's most famous successor Han Fei synthesized the thought of the other "Fa-Jia" in his eponymous text, the Han Feizi. Written around 240 BC, the Han Feizi is thought of as the greatest of all Legalist texts, is believed to contain the first commentaries on the Tao te Ching in history.
The grouping together of thinkers that would be dubbed "Fa-Jia" or "Legalists" can be traced to him, The Art of War would seem to incorporate Taoist philosophy of inaction and impartiality, Legalist punishment and rewards as systematic measures of organization, recalling Han Fei's concepts of power and tactics. Attracting the attention of the First Emperor, It is said that succeeding emperors followed the template set by Han Fei. Calling them the "theorists of the state", sinologist Jacques Gernet considered the Legalists/Fa-Jia to be the most important tradition of the fourth and third centuries BC, the entire period from the Qin dynasty to Tang being characterized by its centralizing tendencies and economic organization of the population by the state; the Han dynasty took over the governmental institutions of the Qin dynasty unchanged. Endorsement for the "school" of thought peaked under Mao Zedong, hailed as a "progressive" intellectual current; the Zhou dynasty was divided between the hereditary noblemen.
The latter were placed to obtain office and political power, owing allegiance to the local prince, who owed allegiance to the Son of Heaven. The dynasty operated according to the principles of punishment; the former was applied only to aristocrats, the latter only to commoners. The earliest Zhou kings kept a firm personal hand on the government, depending on their personal capacities, personal relations between ruler and minister, upon military might; the technique of centralized government being so little developed, they deputed authority to feudal lords. When the Zhou kings could no longer grant new fiefs, their power began to decline, vassals began to identify with their own regions, schismatic hostility occurred between the Chinese states. Aristocratic families became important, by virtue of their ancestral prestige wielding great power and proving a divisive force. In the Spring and Autumn period, rulers began to directly appoint state officials to provide advice and management, leading to the decline of inherited privileges and bringing fundamental structural transformations as a result of what may be termed "social engineering from above."
Most Warring States period thinkers tried to accommodate a "changing with the times" paradigm, each of the schools of thought sought to provide an answer for the attainment of sociopolitical stability. Confucianism considered to be China's ruling ethos, was articulated in opposition to the establishment of legal codes, the earliest of which were inscribed on bronze vessels in the sixth century BC. For the Confucians, the Classics provided the preconditions for knowledge. Orthodox Confucians tended to consider organizational details beneath both minister and ruler, leaving such matters to underlings, furthermore wanted ministers to control the ruler. Concerned with "goodness", the Confucians became the most prominent, followed by the proto-Taoists and the administrative thought that Sima Tan termed the Fa-Jia, but the Taoists focused on the development of inner powers, both the Taoists and Confucians held a regressive view of history, the age being a decline from the era of the Zhou kings. A new type of ruler emerged intent on breaking the power of the aristocrats and reforming their state's bureaucracies.
Those that failed were deposed. As disenfranchised or opportunist aristocrats were attracted by the reform-oriented rulers, they brought with them philosophy concerned foremost with organi
A dictatorship is an authoritarian form of government, characterized by a single leader or group of leaders with either no party or a weak party, little mass mobilization, limited political pluralism. According to other definitions, democracies are regimes in which "those who govern are selected through contested elections". With the advent of the 19th and 20th centuries and constitutional democracies emerged as the world's two major forms of government eliminating monarchies, one of the traditional widespread forms of government of the time. In a dictatorial regime, the leader of the country is identified with the title of dictator, although their formal title may more resemble something similar to "leader". A common aspect that characterized dictators is taking advantage of their strong personality by suppressing freedom of thought and speech of the masses, in order to maintain complete political and social supremacy and stability. Dictatorships and totalitarian societies employ political propaganda to decrease the influence of proponents of alternative governing systems.
The word "dictator" comes from the classical Latin language word dictātor, agent noun from dictare In Latin use, a dictator was a judge in the Roman republic temporarily invested with absolute power. Right after the end of World War II, with a more relaxed political and social climate, several studies regarding the classification of various forms of government have been conducted. Among these, has been intensely discussed by historians and political scientists the conceptualization and definition of the dictatorship form of government, it has been concluded that dictatorship is a form of government in which the absolute power is concentrated in the hands of a leader, a "small clique", or a "government organization", it aims the abolition of political pluralism and civilian mobilization. On the other hand, compared to the concept of dictatorship, is defined as a form of government where the supremacy belongs to the population and rulers are elected through contested elections. A new form of government that, in the 20th century, marked the beginning of a new political era and is linked to the concept of dictatorship, is known as totalitarianism.
This form of government is characterized by the presence of a single political party and more by a powerful leader who imposes his personal and political prominence. The two fundamental aspects that contribute to the maintenance of the power are: a steadfast collaboration between the government and the police force, a developed ideology. Here, the government has "total control of mass communications and social and economic organizations". According to Hannah Arendt, totalitarianism is a new and extreme form of dictatorship composed of "atomized, isolated individuals". In addition, she affirmed that ideology plays a leading role in defining how the entire society should be organized. According to the political scientist Juan Linz, the distinction between an authoritarian regime and a totalitarian one is that while an authoritarian regime seeks to suffocate politics and political mobilization, totalitarianism seeks to control politics and political mobilization. However, one of the most recent classification of dictatorships, formulated, do not identify Totalitarianism as a form of dictatorship.
In Barbara Geddes's study, she focused in how elite-leader and elite-mass relations influence authoritarian politics. Geddes typology identifies the key institutions; the study is based and directly related to factors like: the simplicity of the categorizations, cross-national applicability, the emphasis on elites and leaders, the incorporation of institutions as central to shaping politics. According to Barbara Geddes, a dictatorial government may be classified in five typologies: Military Dictatorships, Single-party Dictatorships, Personalist Dictatorships, Hybrid Dictatorships. Military dictatorships are regimes in which a group of officers holds power, determines who will lead the country, exercises influence over policy. High-level elites and a leader are the members of the military dictatorship. Military dictatorships are characterized by rule by a professionalized military as an institution. In military regimes, elites are referred to as junta members. Single-party dictatorships are regimes.
In single-party dictatorships, a single party has control over policy. Other parties may exist, compete in elections, hold legislative seats, yet true political power lies with the dominant party. In single-party dictatorships, party elites are members of the ruling body of the party, sometimes called the central committee, politburo, or secretariat; these groups of individuals controls the selection of party officials and "organizes the distribution of benefits to supporters and mobilizes citizens to vote and show support for party leaders". Personalist dictatorships are regimes. Personalist dictatorships differ from other forms of dictatorships in their access to key political positions, other fruits of office, depend much more on the discretion of the personalist dictator. Personalist dictators may be leaders of a political party. Yet, neither the military nor the party exercises power
Liberal democracy is a liberal political ideology and a form of government in which representative democracy operates under the principles of classical liberalism. Called Western democracy, it is characterised by elections between multiple distinct political parties, a separation of powers into different branches of government, the rule of law in everyday life as part of an open society, a market economy with private property and the equal protection of human rights, civil rights, civil liberties and political freedoms for all people. To define the system in practice, liberal democracies draw upon a constitution, either formally written or uncodified, to delineate the powers of government and enshrine the social contract. After a period of sustained expansion throughout the 20th century, liberal democracy became the predominant political system in the world. A liberal democracy may take various constitutional forms as it may be a constitutional monarchy or a republic, it may have a presidential system or a semi-presidential system.
Liberal democracies have universal suffrage, granting all adult citizens the right to vote regardless of ethnicity, sex, or property ownership. However some countries regarded as liberal democracies have had a more limited franchise and some do not have secret ballots. There may be qualifications such as voters being required to register before being allowed to vote; the decisions made through elections are made not by all of the citizens but rather by those who are eligible and who choose to participate by voting. The liberal democratic constitution defines the democratic character of the state; the purpose of a constitution is seen as a limit on the authority of the government. Liberal democracy emphasises the separation of powers, an independent judiciary and a system of checks and balances between branches of government. Liberal democracies are to emphasise the importance of the state being a Rechtsstaat, i.e. a state that follows the principle of rule of law. Governmental authority is legitimately exercised only in accordance with written, publicly disclosed laws adopted and enforced in accordance with established procedure.
Many democracies use federalism—also known as vertical separation of powers—in order to prevent abuse and increase public input by dividing governing powers between municipal and national governments. Liberal democracy traces its origins—and its name—to the European 18th-century known as the Age of Enlightenment. At the time, the vast majority of European states were monarchies, with political power held either by the monarch or the aristocracy; the possibility of democracy had not been a considered political theory since classical antiquity and the held belief was that democracies would be inherently unstable and chaotic in their policies due to the changing whims of the people. It was further believed that democracy was contrary to human nature, as human beings were seen to be inherently evil, violent and in need of a strong leader to restrain their destructive impulses. Many European monarchs held that their power had been ordained by God and that questioning their right to rule was tantamount to blasphemy.
These conventional views were challenged at first by a small group of Enlightenment intellectuals, who believed that human affairs should be guided by reason and principles of liberty and equality. They argued that all people are created equal and therefore political authority cannot be justified on the basis of "noble blood", a supposed privileged connection to God or any other characteristic, alleged to make one person superior to others, they further argued that governments exist to serve the people—not vice versa—and that laws should apply to those who govern as well as to the governed. Some of these ideas began to be expressed in England in the 17th century. There was renewed interest in Magna Carta, passage of the Petition of Right in 1628 and Habeas Corpus Act in 1679 established certain liberties for subjects; the idea of a political party took form with groups debating rights to political representation during the Putney Debates of 1647. After the English Civil Wars and the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the Bill of Rights was enacted in 1689, which codified certain rights and liberties.
The Bill set out the requirement for regular elections, rules for freedom of speech in Parliament and limited the power of the monarch, ensuring that, unlike much of Europe at the time, royal absolutism would not prevail. This led to significant social change in Britain in terms of the position of individuals in society and the growing power of Parliament in relation to the monarch. By the late 18th century, leading philosophers of the day had published works that spread around the European continent and beyond; these ideas and beliefs inspired the American Revolution and the French Revolution, which gave birth to the ideology of liberalism and instituted forms of government that attempted to apply the principles of the Enlightenment philosophers into practice. Neither of these forms of government was what we would call a liberal democracy we know today (the most significant differences being that voting rights were still restricted to a minority of the population and slavery remained a legal instituti
Despotism is a form of government in which a single entity rules with absolute power. That entity is an individual, the despot, as in an autocracy, but societies which limit respect and power to specific groups have been called despotic. Colloquially, the word despot applies pejoratively to those who abuse their power and authority to oppress their populace, subjects, or subordinates. More the term applies to a head of state or government. In this sense, it is similar to the pejorative connotations that are associated with the terms tyrant and dictator; the English dictionary defines despotism as "the rule of a despot. The term has been used to describe many governments throughout history, it connoted the absolute authority and power exercised by the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt, signified nobility in Byzantine courts, designated the rulers of Byzantine vassal states, acted as a title for Byzantine Emperors. In this and other Greek or Greek influenced contexts, the term was used as an honorific rather than as a pejorative.
Due to its reflexive connotation throughout history, the word despot cannot be objectively defined. While despot is related to other Greek words like basileus and autokrator, these connotations have been used to describe a variety of rulers and governments throughout history, such as local chieftains, simple rulers and emperors. Of all the ancient Greeks, Aristotle was the most influential promoter of the concept of oriental despotism, he passed this ideology to his student, Alexander the Great, who conquered Persia, which at the time was ruled by the despotic Darius III, the last king of the Achaemenid dynasty. Aristotle asserted that oriental despotism was not on consent. Hence, fear could not be said to be its motivating force, but rather the servile nature of those enslaved, which would feed upon the power of the despot master. Within ancient Greek society, every Greek man was capable of holding office. In contrast, among the barbarians, all were slaves by nature. Another difference Aristotle espoused was based on climates.
He observed that the peoples of cold countries those of Europe, were full of spirit but deficient in skill and intelligence, that the peoples of Asia, although endowed with skill and intelligence, were deficient in spirit and hence were subjected to slavery. Possessing both spirit and intelligence, the Greeks were free to govern all other peoples. For the historian Herodotus, it was the way of the Orient to be ruled by autocrats and though Oriental, the character faults of despots were no more pronounced than the ordinary man's, though given to much greater opportunity for indulgence; the story of Croesus of Lydia exemplifies this. Leading up to Alexander's expansion into Asia, most Greeks were repelled by the Oriental notion of a sun-king, the divine law that Oriental societies accepted. Herodotus's version of history advocated a society where men became free when they consented lawfully to the social contract of their respective city-state. Edward Gibbon suggested that the increasing use of Oriental-style despotism by the Roman emperors was a major factor in the fall of the Roman Empire from the reign of Elagabalus: As the attention of the new emperor was diverted by the most trifling amusements, he wasted many months in his luxurious progress from Syria to Italy, passed at Nicomedia his first winter after his victory, deferred till the ensuing summer his triumphal entry into the capital.
A faithful picture, which preceded his arrival, was placed by his immediate order over the altar of Victory in the senate-house, conveyed to the Romans the just but unworthy resemblance of his person and manners. He was drawn in his sacerdotal robes of silk and gold, after the loose flowing fashion of the Medes and Phoenicians, his eyebrows were tinged with black, his cheeks painted with an artificial red and white. The grave senators confessed with a sigh, after having long experienced the stern tyranny of their own countrymen, Rome was at length humbled beneath the effeminate luxury of Oriental despotism. In its classical form, despotism is a state in which a single individual holds all the power and authority embodying the state, everyone else is a subsidiary person; this form of despotism was common in the first forms of civilization. The word itself seems to have been coined by the opponents of Louis XIV of France in the 1690s, who applied the term despotisme to describe their monarch's somewhat free exercise of power.
The word is Greek in origin, in ancient Greek usage, a despot was technically a master who ruled in a household over those who were slaves or servants by nature. The term now implies tyrannical rule. Despotism can mean tyranny, absolutism, or dictatorship However, in enlightened absolutism, which came to prominence in 18th century Europe, absolute monarchs used their authority to institute a number of reforms in the political systems and societies of their countries; this movement was quite triggered by the ideas of the Age of Enlightenment. The Enligh
A common definition of separatism is that it is the advocacy of a state of cultural, tribal, racial, governmental or gender separation from the larger group. While it refers to full political secession, separatist groups may seek nothing more than greater autonomy. While some critics may equate separatism with religious segregation, racist segregation, or sexist segregation, most separatists argue that separation by choice may serve useful purposes and is not the same as government-enforced segregation. There is some academic debate about this definition, in particular how it relates to secessionism, as has been discussed online. Separatist groups practice a form of identity politics, or political activity and theorizing founded in the shared experiences of injustice visited upon members of certain social groups; such groups believe attempts at integration with dominant groups compromise their identity and ability to pursue greater self-determination. However and political factors are critical in creating strong separatist movements as opposed to less ambitious identity movements.
Groups may have one or more motivations for separation, including: Emotional resentment and hatred of rival communities. Protection from genocide and ethnic cleansing. Resistance by victims of oppression, including denigration of their language, culture or religion. Influence and propaganda by those inside and outside the region who hope to gain politically from intergroup conflict and hatred. Economic and political dominance of one group that does not share power and privilege in an egalitarian fashion. Economic motivations: seeking to end economic exploitation by more powerful group or, conversely, to escape economic redistribution from a richer to a poorer group. Preservation of threatened religious, language or other cultural tradition. Destabilization from one separatist movement giving rise to others. Geopolitical power vacuum from breakup of larger states or empires. Continuing fragmentation as more and more states break up. Feeling that the perceived nation was added to the larger state by illegitimate means.
The perception that the state can no longer support one has betrayed their interests. Opposition to political decisions. How far separatist demands will go toward full independence, whether groups pursue constitutional and nonviolent or armed violence, depend on a variety of economic, political and cultural factors, including movement leadership and the government's response. Governments may respond in a number of ways; some include: accede to separatist demands improve the circumstances of disadvantaged minorities, be they religious, territorial, economic or political adopt "asymmetric federalism" where different states have different relations to the central government depending on separatist demands or considerations Allow minorities to win in political disputes about which they feel through parliamentary voting, etc. Settle for a confederation or a commonwealth relationship where there are only limited ties among states; some governments suppress any separatist movement in their own country, but support separatism in other countries.
Ethnic separatism is based more on cultural and linguistic differences than religious or racial differences, which may exist. Ethnic separatist movements include the following: Eurasia The Soviet Union's dissolution into its original ethnic groupings which formed their own nations of Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Russia, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Chechen separatism in the Caucasus the Republic of Chechnya is part of the Russian Federation. Serb separatism in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo. Albanian separatism in Kosovo, North Macedonia, Serbia Greeks separatism in Northern Epirus region of Albania. Turkish separatism in Cyprus. South Ossetian and Abkhazian separatism in Georgia. Armenian separatists of Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan. Azeri separatists in Iran want to unite the provinces of East Azerbaijan, West Azerbaijan and Ardabil with Azerbaijan. Kurdish separatism in Turkey, Syria and Iran. Sorbs separatism in Germany. Silesian separatism in Czech Republic. Basque and Catalan separatism in Spain.
Minor separatist movements in Andalusia, Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Galicia, León, Navarre and Valencia. "Celtic nations" in the British Isles have created various separatist movements from the United Kingdom described as Scottish independence, Welsh Nationalism, Irish Republicanism and Cornish Nationalism. France's Basque, Corsican, Breton and Savoyan separatists. Italy's separatist movements in Friuli, Sicily, South Tyrol and Veneto. Bavarian separatism in Germany, despite the Bavarian Land being referred to as the Bavarian Free State. Belgium granting Dutch-speaking Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia greater autonomy. In the Netherlands, some Frisians covet an autonomous area. Switzerland's division into cantons along geographical and linguistic lines. Russian separatism in Crimea Separatist movements of Pakistan including Balochistan movement and the Sindhudesh movement. Separatist movements of India Jammu and Kashmir Assam separatist movements Insurgency in Northeast India Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil minority separatism in Tamil Eelam.
Several ethnic minority groups fighting for separate states in Myanmar, including the Chin, Karen, Rohingya
Anarchy refers to a society, group of people, or a single person that rejects hierarchy. The word meant leaderlessness, but Pierre-Joseph Proudhon adopted the term in his 1840 treatise What Is Property? to refer to anarchism, a new political philosophy which advocates stateless societies based on voluntary associations. In practical terms, anarchy can refer to the curtailment or abolition of traditional forms of government and institutions, it can designate a nation—or anywhere on earth, inhabited—that has no system of government or central rule. Anarchy is advocated by individual anarchists who propose replacing government with voluntary institutions; the word anarchy comes from the ancient Greek ἀναρχία which combines ἀ, "not, without" and ἀρχή, "ruler, authority". Thus, the term refers to the state of a society being without authorities or an authoritative governing body. Anarchism as a political philosophy advocates self-governed societies based on voluntary institutions; these are described as stateless societies, although several authors have defined them more as institutions based on non-hierarchical free associations.
Anarchism holds the state to be unnecessary, or harmful. While anti-statism is central, anarchism entails opposing authority or hierarchical organisation in the conduct of all human relations, including yet not limited to the state system. There are many traditions of anarchism, not all of which are mutually exclusive. Anarchist schools of thought can differ fundamentally, supporting anything from extreme individualism to complete collectivism. Strains of anarchism have been divided into the categories of social and individualist anarchism or similar dual classifications. Anarchism is considered to be a radical left-wing ideology and much of anarchist economics and anarchist legal philosophy reflect anti-statist interpretations of communism, syndicalism, or participatory economics; some individualist anarchists are socialists or communists while some anarcho-communists are individualists or egoists. Anarchism as a social movement has endured fluctuations in popularity; the central tendency of anarchism as a mass social movement has been represented by anarcho-communism and anarcho-syndicalism, with individualist anarchism being a literary phenomenon which did influence the bigger currents and individualists participated in large anarchist organizations.
Some anarchists oppose all forms of aggression and support self-defense or non-violence while others have supported the use of militant measures, including revolution and propaganda of the deed, on the path to an anarchist society. Since the 1890s, the term libertarianism has been used as a synonym for anarchism and was used exclusively in this sense until the 1950s in the United States. At this time, classical liberals in the United States began to describe themselves as libertarians and it has since become necessary to distinguish their individualist and capitalist philosophy from socialist anarchism. Thus, the former is referred to as right-wing libertarianism or right-libertarianism whereas the latter is described by the terms libertarian socialism, socialist libertarianism, left-libertarianism and left-anarchism. Right-libertarians voluntarists. Outside the English-speaking world, libertarianism retains its association with left-wing anarchism; the German philosopher Immanuel Kant treated anarchy in his Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View as consisting of "Law and Freedom without Force".
For Kant, anarchy falls short of being a true civil state because the law is only an "empty recommendation" if force is not included to make this law efficacious. For there to be such a state, force must be included while law and freedom are maintained, a state which Kant calls a republic. Kant identified four kinds of government: Law and freedom without force Law and force without freedom Force without freedom and law Force with freedom and law Although most known societies are characterized by the presence of hierarchy or the state, anthropologists have studied many egalitarian stateless societies, including most nomadic hunter-gatherer societies and horticultural societies such as the Semai and the Piaroa. Many of these societies can be considered to be anarchic in the sense that they explicitly reject the idea of centralized political authority; the egalitarianism typical of human hunter-gatherers is interesting when viewed in an evolutionary context. One of humanity's two closest primate relatives, the chimpanzee, is anything but egalitarian, forming hierarchies that are dominated by alpha males.
So great is the contrast with human hunter-gatherers that it is argued by palaeoanthropologists that resistance to being dominated was a key factor driving the development of human consciousness, language and social organization. In Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology, anarchist anthropologist David Graeber attempts to outline areas of research that intellectuals might explore in creating a cohesive body of anarchist social theory. Graeber posits that anthropology is "particularly well positioned" as an academic discipline that can look at the gamut of human societies and organizations to study and catalog alternative social and economic structures around the world, most present these alternatives to the world. In Society Against the State, Pierre Clastres examines stateless societies where certain cultural practices and attitudes avert the development of hierarchy and the state. He
Direct democracy or pure democracy is a form of democracy in which people decide on policy initiatives directly. This differs from the majority of established democracies, which are representative democracies. In a representative democracy, people vote for representatives who enact policy initiatives. In direct democracy, people decide on policies without any intermediary. Depending on the particular system in use, direct democracy might entail passing executive decisions, the use of sortition, making laws, directly electing or dismissing officials, conducting trials. Two leading forms of direct democracy are participatory deliberative democracy. Semi-direct democracies in which representatives administer day-to-day governance, but the citizens remain the sovereign, allow for three forms of popular action: referendum and recall; the first two forms—referendums and initiatives—are examples of direct legislation. In 2019, Thirty countries allowed for referendum initiated by the population on the national levelA'compulsory referendum' subjects the legislation drafted by political elites to a binding popular vote.
This is the most common form of direct legislation. A'popular referendum' empowers citizens to make a petition that calls existing legislation to a vote by the citizens. Institutions specify the timeframe for a valid petition and the number of signatures required, may require signatures from diverse communities to protect minority interests; this form of direct democracy grants the voting public a veto on laws adopted by the elected legislature, as is done in Switzerland. A'citizen-initiated referendum' empowers members of the general public to propose, by petition, specific statutory measures or constitutional reforms to the government and, as with referendums, the vote may be binding or advisory. Initiatives may be direct or indirect: With the direct initiative, a successful proposition is placed directly on the ballot to be subject to vote. With an indirect initiative, a successful proposition is first presented to the legislature for their consideration; such a form of indirect initiative is utilized by Switzerland for constitutional amendments.
A deliberative referendum is a referendum that increases public deliberation through purposeful institutional design. Power of recall gives the public the power to remove elected officials from office before the end of their term; the earliest known direct democracy is said to be the Athenian democracy in the 5th century BC, although it was not an inclusive democracy: women and slaves were excluded from it. The main bodies in the Athenian democracy were the assembly, composed of male citizens. There were only about 30,000 male citizens, but several thousand of them were politically active in each year, many of them quite for years on end; the Athenian democracy was direct not only in the sense that decisions were made by the assembled people, but in the sense that the people through the assembly, boulê, law courts controlled the entire political process, a large proportion of citizens were involved in the public business. Modern democracies, being representative, not direct, do not resemble the Athenian system.
Relevant to the history of direct democracy is the history of Ancient Rome the Roman Republic, beginning around 509 BC. Rome displayed many aspects of democracy, both direct and indirect, from the era of Roman monarchy all the way to the collapse of the Roman Empire. Indeed, the Senate, formed in the first days of the city, lasted through the Kingdom and Empire, continued after the decline of Western Rome; as to direct democracy, the ancient Roman Republic had a system of citizen lawmaking, or citizen formulation and passage of law, a citizen veto of legislature-made law. Many historians mark the end of the Republic with the passage of a law named the Lex Titia, 27 November 43 BC, which eliminated many oversight provisions. Modern-era citizen lawmaking began in the towns of Switzerland in the 13th century. In 1847, the Swiss added the "statute referendum" to their national constitution, they soon discovered that having the power to veto Parliament's laws was not enough. In 1891, they added the "constitutional amendment initiative".
Swiss politics since 1891 have given the world a valuable experience base with the national-level constitutional amendment initiative. In the past 120 years, more than 240 initiatives have been put to referendums; the populace has been conservative. Some of the issues surrounding the related notion of a direct democracy using the Internet and other communications technologies are dealt with in e-democracy and below under the term electronic direct democracy. More concisely, the concept of open source governance applies principles of the free software movement to the governance of people, allowing the entire populace to participate in government directly, as much or as little as they please. Athenian democracy developed in the Greek city-state of Athens, comprising the city of Athens and the surrounding territory of Attica, around 600 BC. Athens was one of the first known democracies. Other Greek cities set up democracies, though most