Apathy and Contemporary Democracy
First, it requires individual responsibility for non – participation. The second side transfers the responsibility onto other factors such as the elites, institutional practices, structures of society, and the administrative policies in society. The first face of the democratic apathy concept depends on the ideology of free choice, and this allows individuals to express apathy towards any issue that they dislike. However, individuals must pursue other choices, which may not result in apathy. On the other hand, the second face of this concept imposes a condition on individuals, whereby, individuals may presume that apathy is a state of mind. They may also consider that political outcomes brought about by several forces such as structures, institutions, or manipulation or exploitation by the elite of society. At that specific juncture, individuals may assume that they cannot control such manipulation by the elite, or change the structure of institutions. This is because the level of knowledge of these individuals makes them presuppose in such a manner. The outcome is a submissive attitude by individuals towards democracy. Both these faces render individuals subservient to the forces of democracy. and impose responsibility in different ways on them (DeLuca, 1995, P.10-11).Political life comprises the very spirit of life. Liberalism requires the government to provide adequate protection to the private life of individuals, who are self – sufficient. The Greek philosophers referred to individuals who lead a private life without participating in public affairs, and who were irresponsible towards and unmindful of public life, as idiots (DeLuca, 1995, P.10-11).According to C.B. Macpherson, a political theorist, democracy connotes something bad for some individuals. Every individual knows that democracy implies the rule of the people, by the people, and for the people. A democratic government should act according to the wishes of the majority of its citizens.