Democracy is Hard, Autocracy is Easy

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It is an extremely difficult undertaking. Democracy is hard. This sentiment is not driven by any abhorrence for this form of government. On the contrary, in my judgment, it is the best form of government. However, love for this system should not preclude a critical examination of same. Achieving consensus on any matter of consequence from interests groups, who are hell-bent on ensuring your failure, cannot be a facetious undertaking.

Conversely, trying to persuade citizens to support your cause through the ballot box in an open process of competition is certainly not a walk in the park. But it must be done, it has to be done. The alternative is too fatal. Those who refuse to rule by agreement and refuse to subject themselves to the will of the people, tend to embrace autocracy. No elections, no debate, no arguing of one’s case in the public domain, no scrutiny from the press and no demands for transparency. Some love autocracy because tt is consistent with their penchant for ruling by force or decree. It is a system for lazy leaders who are not prepared to do the hard work of ruling through influence.

The etymology of the word ‘democracy’ alludes to ‘demos’. In the Greek language, ‘demos’ constitutes the force and power of the people. Every voice, every opinion comes with molecular energy that sticks to the side of power like a thorn. In this, critique is consistent and incessant, from the leader’s family to his/her associates, scrutiny, scrutiny. The dog is not spared. The pet cat does not escape a critical post on the Meta platform. In the US, the purported ultimate perfection of democracy, President Joseph Biden has been called a mongrel and a pedophile by critics. His wife, his son, his daughter and extended family members cannot catch their breath. It is brutal. Sir Henry Sumner Maine put the matter this way: “Of all forms of government democracy is the most difficult.

The difficulties of popular government which arise from the modern military spirit and from the modern growth of irreconcilable parties could not perhaps have been determined without actual experience. But there are other difficulties which might have been divined because they proceed from the inherent nature of democracy”.


What has been expatiated above would result in the autocratic leader ordering the mass execution of the entire village. Those who subscribe to this form of government would scoff at the idea of any hint of dissent, let alone an attack on their family. As result, there is no form of constructive critique of the leader. Those who function in this governance system must subscribe to the whims and fancies of the maxim leader. In this regard, it is an easy street for those at the helm. There can be no Wild West social media frolics of the autocrat’s plans and proposals. His wife does not have to face the scrutiny of the press over her shoes or wearing the wrong dress to the wrong function. As well as that, there are no institutions to get in the way of policies and directives. It is conceived, talked about and implemented immediately. There are no loudmouths in a legislative assembly to block the wishes of the despot. There is no press to tear apart every ideas that proceed from the state apparatus. If a reporter gets out of line, he/she can be arrested without evidence and ordered locked up until further notice. Due process is nonexistent. The law is dead. These are the reasons why fragile and insecure characters embrace this system of government. Thin-skinned snowflakes love autocracy.

I shall have it no other way. Let there be institutions. Let there be freedom of speech. Long live a free press. Let there be numerous political parties competing to win influence over the people in a free and fair electoral process. Let the people have their say. Democracy remains a relatively nascent form of government and may mean different things to different societies at different times but we shall have it no other way. The system has been rightly revered, scrutinized and critiqued but in my estimation, it remains the best system. I hold steadfastly to the view that humans may be cultured in the system of despotic rule but innately, the inclination of democracy reigns supreme. Therefore, regardless of how authoritarian a system persists, it will recoil. In the process, there will be massive upheavals for humans and society to return to the natural state. Hence, it is folly to proceed with any government system that is contrary to the tenets of democracy. If power resides strictly in the hands of one tyrant whose intentions are wholly dishonorable, rebellion and revolution are inevitable. Therefore, on the basis of the need for the preservation of society and in the interest of peace and order, democracy remains the best system.

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