From ancient Greece to these days, people have always found various answers to that.
Some have created complex theories, others have tried to find arguments to replace it with authoritarianism, others have engaged in endless philosophical battles while the rest of the people – which were the core of their difficult speculations – remained excluded from the debate.
This doesn’t mean philosophy is not essential to politics – indeed, it gives citizens and policy-makers the guidelines to address issues and face common problems in a long-term perspective.
The danger of a constant approach that is detached from reality, though, is that of forgetting what is the subject of the whole conversation, that is which are the true actors of democracy, namely the people.
It is just like when you start arguing with your friends on where you should go eating for dinner on a Saturday afternoon: the conversation goes on and on for so long that at the end of the day you have forgotten the key point and eventually ended up going to the cinema.
This is why a bunch of young people, coming from 28 different countries of EU and beyond, have put up this blog after taking part in an intense and enriching School of Democracy.
In fact, our intent is not that of spreading some sort of philosophical ‘truth’, nor even that of engaging in theoretical disputes.
Most likely, our blog is meant to be a platform for fresh ideas and analysis of the world facts happening around us, in different languages and with different points of view, showing that democracy is not just a collection of votes during election days. Not even a mixture of red and blue flags fighting for power.
Democracy is more like a candle that won’t fully light up people’s lives if we don’t invest all of our passion, our intelligence and our commitment to keep it alive.
That is what we believe in, that is what we will try to do from now on: raising consciousness on everyday matters and creating an informed consensus that is at the heart of a well-functioning democracy.
In this way, the true protagonists of policies won’t be omitted by the political debate but instead they will play an active role on addressing issues – from civil rights, to foreign affairs and economic matters and many more. And yes, you won’t even forget any more about the key subject of your discussion with your friends and you will be finally able to take a decision for restaurant or pizzeria (just make sure it’s a proper Italian one, if you go for the second).
School of democracy 2015 graduate