Monday, November 7, 2011

Does Democracy Need Authoritarian Government?

My reading for seminar this week was satisfaction with democracy. The literature I’ve read indicates that satisfaction with democracy has been on the decline since the fall of Communism in the Soviet Union. I doubt, many people are going to be shouting “Down with democracy, Up with Communism” and carrying pictures of Lenin, Stalin and Mao in the streets.

 Still the question is interesting: Does Democracy need some form of autocratic government?

During the Cold War, politicians could use the very real threat of Communism to differentiate themselves by arguing “We’ll at least were not Communists.” Following the fall of the Soviet Union, lots of inadequacies with democracy and the democratic process have had a rather harsh spotlight shined on them.

 Parties that were previously bastions of democracy were revealed to be just as corrupt as the evil communists. Furthermore, citizens have grown increasingly dissatisfied with unresponsive, “do nothing” political parties, that don’t care about them.

 Certain political figures throughout history have advocated this idea of a world completely governed democratically. Great idea, we can have mass discontent throughout the world. One can’t deny that democracy was easier with communism around. Because we could always say “Look how they live in Communist countries”!

Once the light was shined on democracy though, we found that though democracy may be preferable, it is far from the perfect paradise that some made it out to be. The fall of Communism forced us to confront the reality of democratic imperfection.              

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