“Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” So said Winston Churchill in 1947.
The modern world is complicated, even more so than it was immediately after the Second World War when Churchill made his proclamation about the benefits of democracy. It’s seems quite likely that nobody really understands how the various parts – social, cultural, technological, economic, military, political – all interact and influence one another. Is democracy (or, at least, the democracy we currently have) up to the task?
Elections can be swayed by money and lobbying, institutions can be captured by elites, minorities can be oppressed by majorities. Two wolves and a sheep voting for dinner may be a democracy, but it’s no fun to be the sheep.
Are there alternative forms of government yet to be tested? New forms of democracy? Or completely different ways of organising society, perhaps using the internet or related technologies? Or is such utopian dreaming dangerous? There must be a reason, after all, why democracy has been such an enduring system (albeit one that has mutated many times over the years).
Is democracy the best form of government? Or just the least-worst? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!