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Democracy - The most inefficient type of government?

I look at general masses of people, what they do, how they think, how easily they are manipulated, and how clueless they can be. I often wonder how people can be so ignorant! And this got me to think "if the masses are so ignorant and so easy to manipulate, why do they select our leaders?" Well this brought me to another point, is democracy really an efficient form of government if its people are ignorant?

We are prisoners of democracy. If you are on the opposing view of the masses and unable to convince the needed majority, then you effectively have no say, even if you are correct.

This wouldn't be a problem except that it seems that people, now more than ever, are suckers of propaganda, rumors, and biased news. If the masses don't understand what they are voting for and are so easily swayed, how can we still consider democracy a superior system of government?

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    Dec 26 2012: The greater the electorate numbers and the more diversity there is of political/cultural views, the less likelihood that central government can be democratic.

    The only way to get close to any form of democracy, is to decentralise government as far as it takes for it to represent localised and unique characteristics, culture, political views and landscape type.

    Local people deciding on their own affairs is far more likely to be democratic than any faceless bureaucratic representative from central government imposing inappropriate, standardised policies on regions that are loath to find even remotely helpful.
    • Dec 27 2012: But isn't there a 'need' for central authority? Without a central authority isn't a country more like a bunch of small cities and towns then one unified country?
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        Dec 27 2012: "Without a central authority isn't a country more like a bunch of small cities and towns"

        and it is bad because ...?
        • Dec 27 2012: I'm not say it is bad however we live in a country. And part of a country is having a central government. Look at examples of countries with a weak and disorganized central government. You will find they are not doing nearly as well as those with a central control.
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        Dec 27 2012: can you tell me any geographical areas that are decentralized for a longer period of time, and not a result of a failed state? i can not. so it is not exactly fair to compare the US with afganistan or somalia, and declare strong state as winner. the US became strong with a very limited, almost nonexistent government in the 1800's. and one can argue that life in somalia is way better without a state than with it. when they had a government, it was not a tad bit better, it was worse.
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        Dec 27 2012: Well, maybe there is a peceived need for central authority, but that would only be because it's what we've become used to.

        I think the idea of a 'unified country' might be an illusory pipedream, if people and unique communities are to retain some sense of autonomy at the same time. Unification in the truest sense can only be achieved under some kind of dictatorship - either despotic or benevolent, and since benevolence is not known to coexist within a dictatorship, the result will always be oppression of some kind.

        Central authorities cannot cope with diversity; the more remote that central authority is from places of such diversity, the less democratic they will be.

        On the other hand, leaders of smaller communities would have a visible 'face' and a local presence, and would therefore be very answerable to the people who voted for them. Democracy would naturally follow, and would be cognisant of the particular community's diverse, autonomous character.

        I don't think there's anything wrong with a bunch of small cities and towns. With the inevitable depletion of fossil fuels, it's likely to head that way anyway.

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