4.3 The Word "Democracy" Is Misleading
From Political Freedom and Democracy by LJM Cooray (1996)

The word democracy is even more misleading. Democracy may be defined as

"government by the people: that form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people".

Applying this definition, no organised society with a large population, whose inhabitants cover a significant extent of territory, can hope to qualify as a democracy. Even the Greek city state democracy, in which all citizens participated, and which has been characterised as the ideal democracy, excluded women and slaves — two-thirds of the population. As the number of persons in a society increases, the problems of modern organised social interaction become more complex and the possibility of meaningful participation by people in every decision or even in every major decision, becomes impractical.