Freedom and Politics an Essay by Paarth Kansal

Through formal education, I have learned about the importance of democracy within society. Specifically, I have developed an appreciation for the ability of citizens to vote within society, regardless of race or income, and affect political decisions on an impactful scale. However, formal education has also provided me with the political history of the United States, which has been marked by racial discrimination, gender inequality, and economic stratification. Thus, I have learned to hold a slight skepticism for the political system. Furthermore, I have also been exposed to modern cases of discrimination against minority groups, the LGBTQ+ community, and low-income groups through news networks and social media. Although I believe that the democratic system is beneficial for society, I believe that it is not perfect, with social stigmas and conservative ideologies preventing further equality from being achieved.


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My perspective regarding democracy has partly been influenced by cases outside of the United States. For instance, in order to protest the oppressive regime in Tunisia, a 26-year-old Tunisian man named Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in protest against the confiscation of his goods, beginning an anti-dictatorship movement known as the Arab Spring (Gardner, 2011). Furthermore, statistics from a 2005 survey demonstrated that at least 90% of participants in Egypt, Indonesia, and Iran agreed that a hypothetical constitution for a new country should guarantee rights for freedom of speech (Mogahed, 2012). Thus, the desire for freedom and feelings of dissatisfaction within oppressed nations have been formative in my opinion of democracy. Until recently, I learned more about the present-day international struggles for democracy through my background, rather than through formal education.

References: (2011, December 16). Retrieved April 13, 2019, from https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world- middle-east-16212447/how-the-arab-spring-began

Mogahed, D. (n.d.). Retrieved April 13, 2019, from https://www.ted.com/talks/dalia_mogahed_the_attitudes_that_sparked_arab_spring/transcript#t-300638

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