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Is democracy the best form of government?

A democracy is a type of government where political power is shared by allowing each citizen to vote. Proponents have various arguments in support of democracy, perhaps the most common being that is affords its citizens the most freedom. Its critics tend to believe that the average citizen is unqualified to vote.

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Experts and Influencers

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Agree
Experts In Politics


Winston Churchill    Former Prime Minister of U.K.
Agree
Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.
11 Nov 1947    Source


George W. Bush    United States President 2001-2009
Agree
Some skeptics of democracy assert that the traditions of Islam are inhospitable to the representative government. This "cultural condescension," as Ronald Reagan termed it, has a long history. After the Japanese surrender in 1945, a so-called Japan expert asserted that democracy in that former empire would "never work." Another observer declared the prospects for democracy in post-Hitler Germany are, and I quote, "most uncertain at best" -- he made that claim in 1957.
06 Nov 2003    Source


Hu Jintao    President of China
Agree
People's democracy is the lifeblood of socialism. ... As an important part of the overall reform, political restructuring must be constantly deepened along with economic and social development to adapt to the growing enthusiasm of the people for participation in political affairs.
24 Oct 2007    Source


Dmitry Medvedev    President of Russia 2008-
Agree
Not only do I believe in democracy as a form of governance, as a political regime, I also believe that the practice of democracy can save millions of people in Russia and billions throughout the world from abjection and poverty.
14 Sep 2010    Source


Disagree
Experts In Politics


Adolf Hitler    Leader of Nazi Party
Disagree
...it is madness to say: in the economic sphere there are undoubtedly differences in value, but that is not true in the political sphere. It is absurd to build up economic life on the conceptions of achievement, of the value of personality, and therefore in practice on the authority of personality, but in the political sphere to deny the authority of personality and to thrust into its place the law of the greater number - democracy.
27 Jan 1932    Source


Experts In Philosophy


Ayn Rand    Philosopher, Novelist
Disagree
“Democratic” in its original meaning [refers to] unlimited majority rule... ...a social system in which one’s work, one’s property, one’s mind, and one’s life are at the mercy of any gang that may muster the vote of a majority at any moment for any purpose.
01 Jan 1964    Source


Experts In War


Osama Bin Laden    Former Leader of Al Qaeda
Disagree
It has now become clear to you and the entire world the impotence of the democratic system and how it plays with the interest of the peoples and their blood by sacrificing soldiers and populations to achieve the interests of the major corporations. ... I invite you to embrace Islam.
08 Sep 2007    Source


Experts In Cognition


Robin Hanson    Economics Professor
Mostly Disagree
Democracy today suffers from enormous errors regarding estimates of policy consequences, i.e., of passing particular bills. Voters have serious illusions and misconceptions that sway their minds on election day, when they have little expertize and only mild motivations to attend to their task. Candidates have strong expertize and incentives to attend to their task, but that task is largely to pander to voter illusions.
01 Feb 2008    Source


Experts In Business


Peter Thiel    Entrepreneur, Billionaire
Disagree
Most importantly, I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible. ... The 1920s were the last decade in American history during which one could be genuinely optimistic about politics. Since 1920, the vast increase in welfare beneficiaries and the extension of the franchise to women — two constituencies that are notoriously tough for libertarians — have rendered the notion of “capitalist democracy” into an oxymoron.
13 Apr 2009    Source



Comments

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0 Points      playboy      22 Jun 2013      General Comment
hey sexy lady


0 Points      lisa      22 Jun 2013      Stance on Question: Agree
yaa u talking to me?
i'm soo sexy wanna touch ma b**t?? anyone??


0 Points      Richard      22 Jun 2013      Stance on Question: General Comment
get lost u both




0 Points      Nathaniel      29 May 2013      Stance on Question: Disagree
Wengerocracy is the best form of government. Knowing if there is law, which is wengerocracy, is better then democracy and picking someone who says there is law.


0 Points      rebecca      07 May 2013      Stance on Question: Mostly Agree
to be completely honest, i am inclined to agree. but how can i not, if that is how i have been raised, how all Americans have been raised? we live in a democracy. to not say it is the best, well, that is almost like treason.


0 Points      chad      07 Nov 2012      Stance on Question: Neutral
Its not the best... its not the worst... its not the best because the majority of people can be uneducated workers who dont think. "I don't want a nation of thinkers, I want a nation of workers." john D. Rockefeller. if majority cant make a good decision than democracy is fail. its not the worst system either its better than complete anarchy. the best system is small grouped village like they had in olden times when we were hunter gatherers than atleast you feel a closeness to your brotherhood


0 Points      Richard      18 Sep 2012      Stance on Question: Disagree
What if someone was in power who cared about the people, stood for the people, was in touch with the people and was not corrupted by the power that Dictatorship brought him. Yes, it seems unlikely but what if? We could have the ability to do more, faster with less red tape, paperwork, and continual discussion (as with a dictatorship) coupled with the freedoms of democracy.

The problem is the people always believe the mob (majority) to be right. The truth is people are easily manipulated when in a crowd or together as a majority on an issue. It takes but one person to convince 10 000 that his conviction is the right one. Nevermind what the minority of free thinkers, academics, intellectuals, or revolutionaries have to say or have warned against.

Political Ideology is not the problem. Humans are. We are self-righteous, greedy, self-serving, destructive, and worst of all manipulative. People always point me to the selfless acts of others they have witnessed in order to prove me wrong on my previous statement. But the fact is these selfless people are in the tiny minority, or as with Maslow's hierarchy of needs, already have 10 houses, 4 cars, 2 security guards and a 10 mil bank account. "Giving" to the poor doesn't detract from their riches as they resupply their wealth with shares bought and sold or actually working. Thus, they aren't losing wealth. They simply aren't gaining more.

We need the minority just as much as we need the majority. That minority of free thinkers, academics, intellectuals, and revolutionaries are the ones that changed the world. They brought us medicine, computers, a better understanding of science and space, but most important of all a curiosity for knowledge.

Democracy should protect the rights of the minority more often than it does. We rely too much on what the mob thinks, when in actual fact they don't think. They just regurgitate the drivel fed to them by some sob who knows how to manipulate the mob for his own profit. And that is the biggest problem facing democracy. How do you overcome the this human condition where if we are in large groups, emotion replaces logical thought?


0 Points      chad      07 Nov 2012      General Comment
word richard knows whats good


0 Points      yourmom      05 Mar 2013      Stance on Question: Disagree
Your face doesn't know whats good.




0 Points      Nashhinton      14 Dec 2011      Stance on Question: Mostly Agree
A democracy is a good type of government only if it is regulated by constitutional laws and rights to ensure that the majority doesn't abuse their privileged power. In other words, let's say that we were to establish a secular government which encourages and guarantees religious freedom and equality. If the majority of the nation are fundamentalist Christians, and if they desire to teach creationism in school, we should create a constitutional law to create a separation of church and state to further protect the majority from abusing their large influence on public policy, automatically abolishing them from granting their wishes because of their large political influence to legalize creationism in school.

Of course, we all know intelligent design and creationism can't be taught in public schools because public schools are part of the public sector which is controlled by the government. And if schools were allowed to teach intelligent design, the government would be promoting religious ideas which violates the concept of the separation of church and state and secularism.


0 Points      Prashanth      05 Sep 2011      Stance on Question: Disagree
I think there are better forms of government other than democracy.Dictatorship is not completely bad neither is democracy completely good.Consider this form of government-- Instead of having bulky political parties why not have leaders of parties etc stand as candidates for the post of President/Prime Minister.The people can directly vote for them.Better still we could invite applications for this post from the citizens.Based on screening them for leadership track record,no criminal cases etc. we could select the top 5 or 10 most eligible candidates.People can select the candidate who is most popular/likable for 5 years.He could then select experts from different sectors as ministers.He could hand pick distinguished people from different sectors as expert advisory group who could debate/discuss proposed laws.He can hand pick worthy local people for mayor position in cities/villages who should interact directly with people and pass immediate orders to solve their problems.He should have a citizens forum where people directly give ideas to the Prime Minister/President.The judiciary to oversee the constitutional validity of laws passed,Election Commission,Constitution and an ombudsman to check corruption etc all of them will be there.

This form of government will cut flab,be efficient and agile.It will eliminate unworthy but popular people from getting elected.Also the people debating will be experts in their field.There is greater likelihood of better decisions.As it is today the party leaders only call the shots.Then why not have worthy leaders directly elected by the people.These leaders will keep a balance between expert opinion,constitutional provisions and public opinion.


0 Points      Syed Ishrat Ali      03 Oct 2012      Stance on Question: General Comment
I agree with Prashant.


0 Points      Richard      18 Sep 2012      Stance on Question: Disagree
Although your eloquently structured argument carries merit, I fear your system will fail purely because of numbers. Lets say you live in a country with 1 million people. If 20 000 (0,02% of the population)people had an opinion or idea about the specific proposal the president and his advisors would spend all day listening to opinions instead of making a decision.



1 Point      Chippy      13 Jun 2011      Stance on Question: Neutral
Here's a question:
Should we of should we not intervene in another nation's struggle for democracy? Can you guys find evidence and quotes for that one?


0 Points      Richard      18 Sep 2012      Stance on Question: Neutral
Tricky question, I'm leaning towards no but then again you could have situations such as Syria where the majority of people want democracy but don't have the means or firepower to make it happen...


0 Points      Benja      13 Jun 2011      Editorial Comment
That's one of the best suggestions for a question I've heard since I started TakeOnIt. I'll put it on my TODO list, if you don't get to it first.



0 Points      blacktrance      10 Feb 2011      Stance on Question: Agree
Yes, provided that it isn't an absolute democracy with tyranny of the majority. Despite its heavy flaws, democracy with protections for individual rights is the best of all possible systems.


1 Point      Adam Atlas      17 Apr 2010      Stance on Question: Neutral
It's the best we have for now. It's not necessarily the best that can exist. I'm not sure about things like futarchy (it would be interesting to try it on a relatively small scale and see how well it works), but there's a vast unexplored space of possibilities.

I'm in favour of whatever political system is most likely to keep the world from being destroyed until politics doesn't matter anymore. If the Singularity happens, and it goes well, conventional politics and economics will immediately become obsolete. (Political theory itself is somewhat analogous to the problem of Friendliness on a much slower, smaller, stupider scale, and it won't be necessary once we have the real thing. If Friendly AI works, it will be the best form of government, because it will be the only thing that can figure out what everyone collectively means by "best".) They'll also be obsolete if the Singularity happens and it doesn't go well, because we'll all have been converted into paperclips or smiling mannequins.


-1 Point      ASHELY NOBODY      08 Mar 2012      Stance on Question: General Comment
no i think democracy is best


0 Points      harjit      06 Jan 2013      Stance on Question: Mostly Disagree
how can you say that it is best according to me monarchy is best


0 Points      prash      03 Sep 2012      Stance on Question: Agree
i agree with u ashely


0 Points      tania      03 Apr 2013      General Comment
i thnk democracy s de bst.we are free and allowed to vote.freedom of speech and expression than in autocracies.we have a voice in de runnin of de states,on the economy,health,education,infrastructural development.its promote human rights and respect human rights