A cheetah never changes its spots, so goes the cliché. But a wolf may certainly dress in sheep-skin and devour all the innocent sheep that naively trust that the wolf is of their kind. In my view, democracy is just but a masqueraded form of tyranny, albeit seriously mistaken for a noble method of governance. In fact, as Bernard Cricks suggests, democracy is the most promiscuous word in the world of public affairs.
Democracy, as I see it, is a disguise to tyranny. It is deceptive. In fact, it is arguably the worst method of governance, one in which the poor masses are made to believe that it is acceptable that government should take superimpose all its insane and sometimes simply ridiculous policies to individuals. For example, democratically elected governments impose a myriad of insurmountable taxes upon individuals who work tirelessly to get their money. It is the government which decides the threshold (which we all should accept) of the amount of tax that each individual is to pay. When it takes more than the recommended threshold, the government is often not questioned. And those who complain are told, “[t]his is democracy. You voted them in.” One should note though that I am not totally against payment of tax. I will, later in this piece, mention the main problem that arises from the payment of tax, besides the fact that government decides on its own whether or not people should be taxed, when and how much they should be taxed.
The problem with democracy is not just that it is deceptive. The main issue is that it goes to the extent of making the electorate believe that all the gruesome impositions by government, the horrible and unnecessarily invasive policies (e-tolls for example) are all the people’s fault. In actual fact, it insultingly suggests that people govern themselves and yet like oligarchs, it is quite related to dictatorship. So while all other known and failed forms of governments are largely tyrannical, what makes democracy stand out is the fact that the democratically elected governments render us hopeless in that it tells us that all our plights are our own fault because we govern ourselves, yet the truth is that we do not. We are governed.
So, while democracy is seemingly a haven and the perfect lane to a utopian society, it is factually an insult to the livelihood of the electorate. Democracy perpetuates corruption. It is the cornerstone for kleptocracy. Think about how many friends (or acquaintances)a king, queen or dictator may have- often quite limited. Then consider how many a democratically elected leader of government is likely to have. A plethora. A king or dictator’s acquaintances fear him so much that they are afraid to steal. For they understand that they are not individually necessities or untouchables for the rulership of their master. They could easily be eliminated, even by death. A democratically elected leader on the other hand needs the cabinet and works with numbers to secure his position. He needs each individual Member of Parliament, of the executive (e.g. cabinet members) and even of the judiciary for his ‘rulership’. He is not absolutely feared by these for, reciprocally, he needs them as much as they need him. As such, he steals huge sums of money from state coffers and they protect him to the last degree. When they steal they steal innumerable sums of little moneys (which add up to a huge slice of the tax-payer’s money) he also has to protect them. Meanwhile, it is the masses that are affected because delivery is impaired and only the most mediocre of services are rendered to the masses. Perhaps that is good cause why paying tax is piercing; knowing that it is simply going to enrich a select few. Think about Zimbabwe: transfer of land to the so–called war veterans who are but Mugabe’s buddies. South Africa is no better. Remember the arms deal, Nkandlagate, Guptagate, oil rig, and a plethora of other cases in which the already corrupt cabinet, executive, parliament and sometimes the judiciary came in full defence of a clearly corrupt leader.
So while democracy wears an untouchably beautiful sheep skin, like a wolf, it is essentially a façade.
Malice, corruption, selfishness and total disregard for the masses cannot change into love, peace, accountability and respect for individual human rights because it has been hidden under the name of democracy or because certain tyrants and their cronies in governance call it democracy. No not at all. Democracy as a concept itself contains deep chasms. Unfortunately, it is defined and glorified so as to hide its true characteristics. It is promiscuous. It is a cheat.
Democracy has been used to justify governments’ inability to alleviate the plights of the poor. In fact, the use of the word today entails what we call propaganda- that which makes people believe that the possible is impossible and that the impossible is possible, and they truly believed it.
Public policy owes to humanity a suitable, utopian system of governance that will simultaneously suit the needs of the masses and the governors in tandem. Meanwhile, democracy viewed objectively is certainly not the best that public policy could offer.
I find no better way to conclude but to mention that it is democracy that has caused people to believe in statements like “I know it is wrong, but if the government says it, it must be right,” or at worst that “All men are equal, but some are more equal than others.”