Democracy: The Least Bad Form of Government

MIN READOct 7, 2015 | 08:00 GMT

In 2007, EU polls found that around the world, regardless of country, continent, age, gender or religion, about 80 percent of respondents believed democracy was the best way to run a society. And yet, very few people felt this way until very recently.

(ALEX WONG/Getty Images)

"No-one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise," Winston Churchill observed in 1947. "Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." And most people tend to agree with Churchill's sentiment that nothing beats the wisdom of the crowd. But few people felt this way until very recently; throughout most of recorded history, democracy has consistently equated to mob rule. This raises one of the biggest but least asked questions in global politics: Should we assume that we are cleverer than our predecessors and that we have finally figured out the best way of organizing communities, regardless of their circumstances? Or should we assume that because democracy has a history, it -- like everything else in history -- will someday pass away?...

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