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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 30 2012: Democracy is not inefficient. The most powerful leader is the one with the strongest will. The chosen leader is the one that the public wants. The public chooses the one with the strongest will.


    democracy does not pick the "best" leader but it does pick the most ppowerful
    and its very efficient at it
  • Dec 29 2012: It is not that democracy is inefficient, we are inefficient. We lack organization and determination, which are basic to the democracy. Another point would be that democracy is weak, at least when compared to its enemies (corruption, personal interests...). Democracy has a long way to go still, but longer is the path for us to walk and achieve democracy.

    Human kind has this desperate need of being all together, to be equals. Sad but true I guess, it won't happen. In order for the world to be considered as global, as one; inequality must be present and democracy must fail.
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    Lejan .

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    Dec 29 2012: Do you know of a better alternative to Democracy or about ways to fix those problems you noticed?
  • Dec 24 2012: Efficient is someone (or something) that does more with less, so my first question would be: inefficient compared with what???. Show some figures and your source, in order to agree or disagree.

    You are right, masses are often ignorant, easily driven and dumb, but democracy grants anyone the right to get out and stand up (if most people don't use it, that's another story). This simple fact, I think, is what balances the equation, and makes the big difference with other methods of government. On a monarchy or a dictatorship (socialism is a dictatorship by definition) if you were born as part of the mass you will die being part of the mass, you simply don't have the right to scale in the social fabric. So I stay with democracy with all its faults.
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    Dec 24 2012: Someone once said something like "Democracy is system of 51 fools"...........pondered many times how right it is !!!

    Alternatively came up with question below

    What you think about if everyone thinks something is right /good to do but the Tyrranic Monarch / Military Dictator forcefully execute what s/he wanted to do?

    Agree with you what you said about so called NEWs....I don't see any news in mainstream media....only propaganda or rumour as you said it correctly
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    Dec 30 2012: Short example of democarcy:
    If we are three people and we want to decide where to go out in the evening and two of us want to go to the cinema, you don't want - but you have to do it because we are the majority and we decide. If tomorrow evening and two of us want to go to a concert, you don't want - but you have to because we are the majority and we decide. If later on we want to eat a pizza and you don't want - you have to because we are the majority and we decide.

    If we go along like this what do you do? If we are the majority - in the case you are always on the wrong side - you will never choose. So, you isolate yourself? You can, yes. But this way we're not together anymore and you are alone. Maybe we can decide to follow you? It's not happening like this if we are the majority.
  • Dec 29 2012: First of I would like to say that Democracy is not the most inefficient form of government. However there are no types or forms of government that are completely efficient or ever will be. Human nature insures this. Three main reasons: whenever money, power, and religion come into play, a government will be dysfunctional. And no, I am not saying religion is bad, rather it tends to create problems when conflicting religions fight for power and influence. Money tends to influence decisions to one side or another which tend not to be in the best interest of the people. And as they say “absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

    However, all forms of government can be made more efficient including democracy. Power can be shared, money interests can be excluded, with exceptional difficulty though. Religion should stay in its place, not trying to influence policies or governments. So lets stop talking about why and which forms of government are bad or do not work rather lets start a discussion on how to improve the ones we have.
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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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    Dec 24 2012: Personally, I don't think the masses are ignorant, I think they're reasonably smart.

    If the majority chooses a leader I don't like, it doesn't bother me too, too much because I know I can go on fighting. Every time the leader introduces a new policy I don't agree with I can fight him/her on that policy.

    I was introduced to a really cool form of decision-making in Columbae House at Stanford called consensus decision-making. Consensus decision-making means that when the house has to make a decision, they keep dialogue-ing about it until every member of the group, in the case of the house sixty people, agrees with the final decision. Sometimes the process takes a long time, often it goes very quickly.
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    Dec 24 2012: I have never experienced a national democracy or a national anarchy, but I suspect anarchy would be markedly less efficient than democracy. I base this on the many experiences I have had on the much smaller scale of social and business interactions. Thank you!
    • Dec 24 2012: Well, a true democracy would be inefficient because every issue would have to be votes on by everyon eligible and willing to vote. Of course not many countries use a true democracy.
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      Dec 24 2012: what experiences?
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        Dec 24 2012: For example: A group of four couples trying to decide which restaurant to go to; Anarchy sends everyone to different places according to their free-will, uninfluenced choices; Democracy lets the night be spent discussing and debating the best choices with a decision, possibly, never being reached; A Representative Republic allows everyone to go enjoy dinner together wherever their designated expert says.
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    Gail .

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    Dec 24 2012: One summer I babysat 6 10-yr olds. Because they rejected the notion of a babysitter, but were williing to be with a responsible adult, I gave them the right to form their own rules (government). They chose democracy. Within 3 days, everyone was suing everyone. I had said that I would not get involved, but at one point, the group was split 3 and 3 and they really needed a judge. After 3 days of what had been constant arguing, I agreed to judge. I heard the case and judged that democracy doesn't work. I established socialism as the de facto government.

    With socialism, big (expensive) toys must be shared no matter who owned them, but small toys (dolls etc) were private property. Again the law suits began and it didn't take long for me to again be called in as judge. I judged socialism to be a failure, and I instituted communism. All toys can be played by all.

    that didn't work. Fights were renewed. I was again called in and I judged communism to be unworkable. I instituted a benign monarchy. I would take input, but the final decision was mine. This didn't help much. So I said that the benign monarchy was dead and I was now a dictator.

    The funny thing about this is that the kids LOVED it. They were no longer responsible for their own actions & consequences. As much as they liked it, I hated it. I was busy every minute resolving disputes. Something had to be done. Then I had an idea.

    Each day while waiting for parents, we played round robin Donkey Kong. There are rules for winning at the game. Stay relaxed. Look at the big picture. Your'e not competing agaiinst a partner, but with yourself. Don't be afraid of the bombs. While calm, decide on your next move.

    We instituted a Donkey Kong government (rational anarchy) and ALL arguments immediately ended. When a child felt unhappy, she went to a list of things she liked to do and did them in an effort to remember how to be happy.

    Kids loved it. Moms talked of great changes in kids. I loved 2
    • Dec 24 2012: That sounds like an interesting experiment that seemed to show a suprisingly accurate view on government.

      It seems as though each governing style has a flaw and that flaw always proves to be a huge flaw. We talk about the superiority of choice and the power of the people in democracy but it is really the wealthy and well-spoken that hold all of the power in almost every case of government. The only difference is, in democracy they have to control the masses in other forms of government they have more direct control (dictatorship, monarchy, communism, etc.)
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      Dec 25 2012: Interesting indeed.

      So the States needs Sulla the Proscriber?

      There is Sweden.
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    Dec 24 2012: No

    The U.S. is a Republic not a democracy.

    The most efficient form of government would be a monarchy.
    • Dec 24 2012: Yes, but, I never said the US was a democracy and I was referring to democracy as a whole. Of course the problems with monarchy are that one persons judgement completely rules over everyone and they could easily be incorrect or make a bad decision with no one to stop them.

      Also, "absolute power corrupts absolutely" and it is my personal belief that, generally, over time, governments ruled by one person become less an less efficient and power until a new change of leadership.
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        Dec 24 2012: Duly noted and I don't disagree. And the current crop of constituents are crap.
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        Dec 24 2012: Isn't your problem with democracy that one person's desires can be swallowed-up by the masses? How then can you deny the monarchy, or dictatorship which absolutely, and utterly resolve that problem?
        • Dec 24 2012: No, my problem with democracy is that 49.9% of people could be ignored even if they are right. I am saying, in general, people are too easily manipulated and decided by propaganda and media. So, if a small group of people knew exactly what was best for the country but weren't able to convince the majority, then they don't get to do anything about it!

          I don't believe I stated that monarchy or dictatorship were any better than democracies soling this problem. I was more referring to how people consider democracy sucks. Great system when in fact there seem to be a few flaws in it. However, I and other have yet to come up with a better solution.