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Democracy with a true universal franchise is a relatively recent idea. In fact it's so recent it's less than a century old in most of the world. In spite of this a lot of people, especially in the West, seem to think that it's somehow naturally ordained and inevitable. In reality it's so exceptional that it has never happened before - and that makes it more fragile than it looks.

I think it could be put more strongly than that. Universal franchise democracy is not fragile, it's an experiment in governance that shows no signs of practicality. For well-tested practical government, look towards the feudal system, with a semi-inherited (usually for only three or four generations before a reset) aristocracy and a docile peasantry. Preferred system for 1000+ years in Europe and Asia.

This new-fangled "everybody gets a say" concept is farcical from first glance...

by asdf on Mon Oct 18th, 2010 at 10:57:56 AM EST

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