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(p. 407) Some Thoughts on the Meaning of the Word Democracy 

(p. 407) Some Thoughts on the Meaning of the Word Democracy
Chapter:
(p. 407) Some Thoughts on the Meaning of the Word Democracy
Author(s):

Donald W. Winnicott

DOI:
10.1093/med:psych/9780190271350.003.0081
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date: 20 July 2018

In this paper, Winnicott discusses how Democracy is a ‘society well-adjusted to its healthy individual members’. To study the emotional development of society is to study the individual and the element of maturity. A community is never composed of 100% of healthy, mature individuals, and it is important to know what proportion of mature individuals is necessary if there is to be an innate democratic tendency, or what proportion of antisocial individuals a society can contain without submergence of innate democratic tendency. The democratic burden falls on those who are maturing as individuals, and who can add a social sense to their personal development. To some extent, in the democratic election mature people elect temporary parents, which means that to some extent the electors remain children. Connected to this is a fear of women, which has led to so few women in positions of political power. Winnicott concludes that the democratic tendency can be strengthened by a study of the psychology of social as well as of individual maturity.

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