In the 1,000 year history of the development of democracy in western civilization, several conclusions can be made, some of which are subtle while others seem obvious. The most subtle of conclusions is that the fear citizens have of social, political, and economic revolution gives way to the hope of conscious and intentional improvements in democratic processes. The hope of citizens increases and abates depending on how citizens perceive their ability to influence their democratic government to effect a desired outcome. When difficult circumstances arise in a democratic nation, as exists now in the United States, and citizens perceive that they have no ability to influence that situation, their hope can quickly turn into desperation.
This paper will outline two phases in the evolution of democracies and project them onto a third probable evolutionary phase.