“Systemic failures” of Democracy
1) “Logic Failure”:
“The majority makes the best decision that can be made”, then “The decision that the Majority makes is the best decision that can be made.”
“The majority chooses which government is the best government that can be had”, then “The Government that is chosen by the Majority is the best government that can be had”.
Both implications are literally statements of a fallacy with a first and last name called “Argumentum ad Populum”, which like all fallacies is an erroneous reasoning.
The pillar of “Democracy” is a fallacy. Ergo, if a decision that is adopted democratically or a democratic government turns out to be good is pure chance, it is not a merit of the system. (see more about this here)
2) “Failure of Responsibility”:
In Democracy, if the decision or the government chosen by the Majority is bad, the consequences are paid by all members equally, both those who proposed it with their vote and those who did not. I know of no human system that works without assignment of responsibilities. The Majority is a legal entity that in Democracy is very powerful and that at the same time is absolutely free of all responsibility. (see more about this here)
3) “Stability and Continuity Failure”:
In Democracy, we must admit the possibility that any policy may be elected or that representatives or authorities of any political orientation may be elected. That is why Democracy cannot apply precise limits to governments. In this way, one government can execute policies in one direction and the next government can execute completely opposite policies. The same government can execute policies in one direction and in a short time execute opposing policies. On the other hand, this lack of precise limits conditions the system to be guided by a leader, which generally degenerates adherence to a person who is considered irreplaceable (even in “True Democracies”). This in turn produces at each end of the cycle a process of power draining known as “Lame Duck” and a state of uncertainty that have negative consequences for the entire society.
4) “Target Failure”:
In Democracy, the legal entity (the Majority) that elects the government or makes the decision is determined, based on the vote count. It is not true that “To obtain the greatest number of votes, you have to run the best government or make the best decision.” Good governments, good policies, good decisions are not visible or measurable in the short term. There are countless much more effective methods to get more votes. (see more about this here)
5) “Failure of Semantics and Mythology”:
The concept of Democracy is confused with that of Democratic Polyarchy. Democracy is confused with the rule of law, with the Republic, with Liberty, with Equality, with Solidarity, with Human Rights and with other important concepts. This confusion enables the word Democracy to be used to hide attacks on the Rule of Law, the Republic, Liberty, etc., thus seriously deteriorating the quality of the Polyarchy.
The concept of Democracy is especially confused with the concept of “Citizen Sovereignty”. Many politicians sell Democracy and its candidacies as “Popular Sovereignty” even though this is very weak and generally non-existent in Democracy. The mundane “Popular Will” is confused with “The Common Good”.
The word Democracy is usually assigned supernatural powers with immeasurable results that prevent a clear vision of the true solutions to problems.
6) “Failure of Virtue”:
For Democracy to “work” it is required that from the beginning, the majority of citizens possess the “virtues” that are needed to supplant the shortcomings of Democracy as a system. If society has an idiosyncrasy with the appropriate “virtues”, some of the shortcomings of Democracy are partly compensated and in this way Democracy “works” relatively well in certain countries. If society has an idiosyncrasy with an infinite number of “virtues” but these are not adequate, Democracy quickly becomes “the government to obtain the majority.” Democracy depends a lot on the characteristics of the people to function and that is bad for a system.
On the other hand, suppose that most people have good intentions and that most of them have their own rational criteria and are trained to analyze and understand the various issues that make life in society (economy, education, health, diplomacy, sociology, criminology, etc). Even so, assuming a society that meets these unrealistic conditions, Representative Democracy as a system demands that these ideal citizens invest much of their valuable time in supervising their representatives and their work. Direct Democracy or Participatory Democracy are even more demanding with the time of citizens
People normally use the little time that they have left after work and sleep, to live, to enjoy their children, their friends, art, sports, their religion, etc. Time is the most valuable thing we have and Democracy needs citizens to be very generous with their time. Again, Democracy depends a lot on time and the will of the people to function and that is bad for a system.
7) “Legitimate Failure”:
For something to be lawful it has to be in accordance with the laws. For something to be legitimate, in addition to being lawful it must be fair. For something to be rationally fair, it must be precise and fair. Democracy is not a precise or equitable system, much less is it in a superlative order. In a Democratic Polyarchy, Democracy is moderated to avoid a “Tyranny of the Majorities”, however and even so, only the Majority decides which government has 100% of the inhabitants. In this way, it can be affirmed that Democracy is legal, but it does not have “rational legitimacy”. Democracy only has a very weak “charismatic legitimacy”