Perhaps the most damning argument against democracy is the fact that a true democracy does not exist today, anywhere.
Truly democratic societies may have existed in ancient times, however, this would have been within extremely small civilizations in comparison to modern societies.
In our day and age, such a thing as a true democracy does not exist. What exists today are many simulacra disguised as democracies. In reality the only commonality between them is the name.
Convincing yourself you live in a democracy can be gratifying and convenient. The civilized citizen feels a sense of fulfillment and importance due to being able to place a piece of paper into a ballot box, and despite nothing changing, they tell themselves: “We’re so lucky our government doesn’t oppress us!”
Fortunately the truth is becoming increasingly more apparent. People have noticed that there are elections everywhere, including within some autocracies. They are realizing that democracy doesn’t merely mean having a right to vote.
So how is this faux democracy justified? They say the discerning factor for fairness in elections is in being a democratic republic rather than a despotic republic:
• Elections must be neutral;
• Everyone must have the opportunity to form and register their own party;
• The existing authority must submit to the results of the election; and so on.
However this doesn’t solve the issue since a significant problem remains: the election of a head of state in modern democracies is itself anti-democratic. This is the exact reason the founder of the Republic opted for this specific model – to avoid giving too much power to the people.
War of Thrones
Over time people started considering democracy to be something sacred and began fantasizing about it. Today, for many, democracy is the supreme political system which signifies the pinnacle of civilizational advancement and progress.
Democrats take great offense at even the mere thought of critique against the system, whereas historically, few thinkers have given credence to the idea that democracy is the absolute ideal for society. The views of the Enlightenment thinkers were far more divergent with regard to this mode of governance compared to the modern charlatans of today.
Montesquieu concluded that democracy is suitable for governing small localities but impractical in countries with a large population, for which, in his view, despotism is more suitable.
Alexis de Tocqueville, throughout his work revealed his doubts concerning democracy, despite which he stubbornly chose to defend it tooth and nail.
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Such observations are pretty much common sense; it goes against the general interests of the people to grant absolute authority and power to someone unqualified.
The early liberals who stood against oppression and tyrannies could not become despots when they gained power. They required a solution, which arose in the form of representative democracy.
Representative democracy makes up for the shortcomings of democracy, while maintaining the pretense of popular participation. This is the model adopted by most democratic governments today.
Utilizing the first-past-the-post system, the people appoint a head of state who wields the country’s executive power for a fixed period of time.
Of course this system has numerous flaws. It politicizes the people by letting them express themselves via the ballot box, which leads to partisanship and the gamification of politics.
Welcome to the Party
Representative democracy requires the appointment of worthy representatives who will forward our interests. Yet this is only possible if we form a party.
To the undiscerning this may seem relatively inconsequential at first glance, but it creates numerous problems. Parties are naturally sensitive to the disadvantages that all organizations face:
– Funding: Maintaining a party is expensive, and the need for funding makes it more susceptible to corruption and conflict of interest.
– Sectarianism: To survive, a party must adopt rules and values which govern the political commitments of its members.
As is evident, this kind of system makes it very difficult for any independent candidate to run for president, let alone win.
In France, an individual would have to collect 500 signatures from mayors and elected officials in order to run for presidential office.
You may be surprised to learn that Le Pen, Mélenchon and Zémmour – the three candidates who collectively received more than 50% of the votes in the last election – were close to being ineligible for participation in the previous elections due to almost not having acquired the required number of signatures.
Meanwhile Anne Hidalgo – who received less than 2% of the votes – had acquired thousands of signatures beyond the necessary required amount. This was an easy feat for her as many of the mayors were from the same political party as her (the French Socialist Party).
This controversy highlights the wayward nature of the partisan system. Political parties can very quickly transform into mafias which decide whose participation in politics is sanctioned and whose is not.
Party members often receive directives from higher-ups and develop a common front, despite this going against the interests of the people and their representational wishes. Furthermore, the party’s power is inversely proportional to its reverence for democratic values.
Having a greater number of members within a party also means having a greater range of differences too, which in turn means being less capable of successfully representing the interests of its voters. On the flip side, having fewer members within a party means it wields less political power and influence, which translates into being unable to act effectively within civil society.
We are forced to conclude that political partisanship directly conflicts with democracy since it removes the possibility for people to truly influence the country’s politics as they’d like to.
In summary, as soon as a democracy becomes “representative,” it ceases to be a real democracy.
The Game is the Game
Elections work like a game: There are participants, rules, and a winner.
Every game has rules, and it is very easy to create an unbalanced set of rules which favour one participant over another.
Most countries adopt a first-past-the-post system. This means each voter can only choose one of the available candidates participating in the elections.
The early democrats identified the unfairness of this system long ago.
Nicolas de Condorcet highlighted how this system favors the candidate with the least divided party rather than the candidate who serves the interests of the most people.
How? Well, imagine a country where 20% of the population leans to the right and the other 80% leans to the left. However, in this country there are eight left-wing parties and only one right-wing party.
Multiple candidates on one side means their votes get divided, and ultimately the chances of any one of them being elected diminishes greatly.
The right-wing will likely win the election in the above-mentioned scenario, and assume power, despite 80% of the population opposing them. Thus, this electoral system favors the candidate whose side is most united rather than the candidate who best represents the will of the people.
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There are numerous other issues with the gamification of politics too, including the promotion of Machiavellianism and encouraging the use of populism.
Nevertheless, I feel that the particular point I have discussed within this article is the most important.
It is by design the perfect system of governance for retaining power while giving people the illusion of choice. The party in power will always be more united. It will always be in a better position to put forward a candidate who ticks the right boxes in order to win a majority in an election. They can also easily sabotage and divide the votes of the opposition to ensure they always come first.
This is the greatest systemic flaw of democracy.
The early Democrats adopted this system specifically because they wanted to ensure that they never lost power after they’d gained it.
When you’re informed that the West has free societies ruled by the will of the people, you are being lied to.
Political power is not placed in the hands of the people anywhere. And that’s a good thing.
I didn’t write this to try and persuade people they should dream about living in a true democracy. By choosing not to implement true democracies, Western countries in fact made the right choice.
I’m fighting against the blatant hypocrisy.
I’m raising my voice against the Western hypocrisy which oppresses innocent people, bombs civilians, and destroys civilizations – all in the name of a so-called democracy that doesn’t even exist.