the determining factor in the decline of democracy

Vanishing American has an excellent post on the late Italian ethnopatriot Oriana Fallaci. One quote from Fallaci is particularly interesting. She said, “Fear is the determining factor in the decline of democracy.” Personally I’m inclined to believe that the determining factor in the decline of democracy is democracy itself. It’s the nature of democracy that is the problem.
Democracy breeds corruption. By corruption I don’t mean the handing over of paper bags filled with currency in back rooms. I mean corruption in a wider sense. If doing the right thing will cost you votes but doing the wrong thing will win votes then a democratic politician will have no difficulty persuading himself that doing the wrong thing is actually doing the right thing. If in doubt, bribe the voters with the promise of lots of free stuff.
Democracy breeds weakness. Making decisions involves political risks. Therefore the best thing to do is to avoid making decisions.
Democracy breeds moral cowardice. Taking a stand on moral principles might upset some voters so the best thing is to avoid having moral principles.
Why anyone ever thought that the best way to choose a government was by a popularity contest is beyond me.
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