Why Is Democracy So Good?


No, it’s not that good, but there’s nothing better out there. Nothing more rational and humane has been invented so far in terms of the socio-political arrangement of our life. Who would’ve thought in even the wildest imagination that America, a genuine embodiment of governance ‘of the People, by the People, for the People,’ might succumb to something flagrantly antidemocratic, obliterating the notion that democracy means construction based on people’s will and not destruction by the crowd’s violent dictate!

As Winston Churchill famously remarked, ‘no one pretends that democracy is perfect’, and America has proven to the world that the great Englishman was right, especially when he publicly agreed that democracy is the worst form of government. In any case, today’s America is a live corroboration of the fact that democracy, as a rule of the people, is full of contradictions and irregularities, to say nothing of the accompanying ironies and absurdities that we see in the behavior of both the American governed and the government. And not only the American!

Unfortunately, there is no way to prove that other forms of government are more acceptable because the five-millennium history of Mankind has used many ways of ruling and containing people but has never been successful in making their lives visibly better. As a consequence of thousands of years of peoples’ fight for a better life and national freedom, democracy has come into our lives as a panacea from all historical troubles and strife, but it has not cured all those human pains and healed all our wounds.

The critics of democracy have even recognized certain basics of totalitarianism in this long-cherished and still highly respected instrument of ruling the public, although this kind of evaluation might be a definite exaggeration. Plato himself, the shrewdest Greek among the wisest men of all time and nations, is universally known for his negative attitude towards what we the modern-day people have embraced as the most elevated way to govern people with the hands of the people to the benefit of the people. The giants like Aristotle, Rousseau and Nietzsche are next to him in this prolonged political controversy.

There are considerable misgivings on the level of modern sophistication too. I have myself been in doubt for quite a while on the issue, but my knowledge and experience have never been sufficient and deep enough to analytically weigh up all merits and flaws of democracy so that I could make myself conspicuous with some valuable recommendations. What I know for sure is that in this tiny country, which is hardly noticeable on the world map, democracy is working as well as it does anywhere else in the world, even if our public looks and sounds less than adequately informed about it.

We all know very well that even the most democratically minded government of any nation is not capable of providing the best for the majority of its citizens. Moreover, among political philosophers, there are doubts that this is not even the main target of the governments who have acquired and enjoyed the image of a democracy. This thought probably has deeper philosophical roots which might need more profound deliberation, although it is viable enough to be kept in mind. The critics of democracy have tried hard to denounce it, but history has proved to be tolerant enough to it to keep it up as the dominant banner in the process of electing governments.

The same has happened in Georgia in the last thirty years, and this will continue into eternity, as it seems. So, if we are compelled to clad this nation in democratic attire, let us at least look good in this still-improving apparel. What I mean is, to be as fair and educated as we possibly can when faced with the ballot box, and to cast our vote with a wise deliberation on the nation’s fate, notwithstanding the doubts that democracy triggers in our hearts and minds. Perhaps our frustration of democracy is based not on the character of this type of government but the way some elected individuals of our choice want to establish the kind of a rule which kills the reputation of democracy. The interrelation of an individual ruler and our right to choose a leader is a very curious ramification of our contemplation about democracy.

By Nugzar B. Ruhadze

Image source: blogs.iadb.org

16 July 2020 17:53