Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Is democracy the worst form of government, except for all others?

China and Russia often criticise and/or ridicule Western democracy (eg, recent Bloomberg article following Trump’s felony conviction). The surge in Western nationalism is somewhat related to that criticism. In my view, it’s (indeed) rather easy to criticise democracy but how about its alternatives??

On 11 November 1947, Winston Churchill (1874-1965) made the following remark in the House of Commons, while “quoting an unknown predecessor”:

“Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…”

Source: Richard M. Langworth, 20 June 2022; bold markings relate to predecessor

In my view, the Churchill quote above is a subjective and an objective truth, to paraphrase Karl Popper (1902-1994), “one of the 20th century’s greatest philosophers of science”. 

Obviously, attacking Western democracies is far easier than defending the Chinese and Russian political systems that are characterised by (amongst many others) authoritarianism, corruption and kleptocracy.

Why is democracy the worst form of government (except for all others)??

In my view, human deeds, words and intentions are often illogical and/or irrational due to our belief systems: (1) Power (ie, Money, Politics, Religion), (2) Love, and (3) Knowledge (ie, Philosophy, Science, and the Truth); see my 2016 version. Hence, politicians in ALL systems are hungry for Power.

Unfortunately, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”, an 1887 quote by Lord Acton. See full quote below:

“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority.”

Source: 1887 letter by Lord Acton to Archbishop Mandell Creighton; see #7

The reason that all other systems are worse than democracy is simple: you cannot vote those rulers away. Their elections are charades that need to legitimise the continued ruling of their autocrats.

Hungry for the Power (2011) by Azari & III
band, lyrics, video, Wiki-band, Wiki-album+song

Hungry for the power
Excess on the brain
It’s no wonder that I crave it
I wonder that I’m sane

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.


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