Main article: Criticism of democracy
Economists since Milton Friedman have strongly criticized the efficiency of democracy. They base this on their premise of the irrational voter. Their argument is that voters are highly uninformed about many political issues, especially relating to economics, and have a strong bias about the few issues on which they are fairlyknowledgeable.
Popular rule as a façade
The 20th Century Italian thinkers Vilfredo Pareto and Gaetano Mosca (independently) argued that democracy was illusory, and served only to mask the reality of elite rule. Indeed, they argued that elite oligarchy is the unbendable law of human nature, due largely to the apathy and division of the masses (as opposed to the drive, initiative and unity of theelites), and that democratic institutions would do no more than shift the exercise of power from oppression to manipulation.
Plato's The Republic presents a critical view of democracy through the narration of Socrates: "Democracy, which is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder, and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequaled alike." In his work, Platolists 5 forms of government from best to worst. Assuming that the Republic was intended to be a serious critique of the political thought in Athens, Plato argues that only Kallipolis, an aristocracy led by the unwilling philosopher-kings (the wisest men) is a just form of government.
More recently, democracy is criticised for not offering enough political stability. Asgovernments are frequently elected on and off there tends to be frequent changes in the policies of democratic countries both domestically and internationally. Even if a political party maintains power, vociferous, headline grabbing protests and harsh criticism from the mass media are often enough to force sudden, unexpected political change. Frequent policy changes with regard to business andimmigration are likely to deter investment and so hinder economic growth. For this reason, many people have put forward the idea that democracy is undesirable for a developing country in which economic growth and the reduction of poverty are top priority.
This opportunist alliance not only has the handicap of having to cater to too many ideologically opposing factions, but it is usually shortlived since any perceived or actual imbalance in the treatment of coalition partners, or changes to leadership in the coalition partners themselves, can very easily result in the coalition partner withdrawing its support from the government.
^ Demokratia, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, "A Greek-English Lexicon", at Perseus
^ Democracy is people who rule the governmentdirectly.BBC History of democracy
^ a b c John Dunn, Democracy: the unfinished journey 508 BC – 1993 AD, Oxford University Press, 1994, ISBN 0198279345
^ Weatherford, J. McIver (1988). Indian givers: how the Indians of the America transformed the world. New York: Fawcett Columbine. pp. 117–150. ISBN 0-449-90496-2.
^ "Democracy". Encyclopædia Britannica.
^ "Republic," n. Oxford English Dictionary 2011.OED Online. Oxford University Press. Accessed 12 December 2011
^ Liberty and justice for some at Economist.com
^ a b "Aristotle, Politics.1317b (Book 6, Part II)". Perseus.tufts.edu. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
^ R. Alan Dahl, I. Shapiro, J. A. Cheibub, The Democracy Sourcebook, MIT Press 2003, ISBN 0262541475, Google Books link
^ M. Hénaff, T. B. Strong, Public Space and Democracy, University ofMinnesota Press, ISBN 0816633878
^ Benhenda, M.. Liberal Democracy and Political Islam: the Search for Common Ground. SSRN 1475928
^ Hannah Arendt, "What is Freedom?", Between Past and Future: Eight Exercises in Political Thought, (New York: Penguin, 1993).
^ a b Nikolas Kompridis, "Technology's Challenge to Democracy," Parrhesia 8 (2009), 31.
^ Substantive fairness means equality among all...