Democratic Despotism

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Updated: Apr 07, 2020
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Category: Politics
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According to Chuck Chalberg, Alexis de Tocqueville’s description of democratic despotism meant a regime that degraded men instead of tormenting them. Chuck Chalberg speculated that such a regime would prove to be broader than a tyranny of old (Chalberg, p 1). I think that Alexi de Tocqueville was proven wrong because his insight and contention were that of a democracy that drove for equality but instead it ended up fueling a despotic government. He stipulated that it was a soft tyranny that conflicted societies are vulnerable.

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Some of the alternatives to electoral democracy according to Shively include an authoritarian system, one-party state, monarchy, military government, and theocracy. If I had to live under one of these regimes, I would find the military government the most acceptable among the five because this type of leadership can gradually reinstate the mechanism associated with the civilian rule at a society’s lowest level. Most military governments have the desire to bring political stability and justice to a country and to protect citizens from unsafe ideologies. I would find the authoritarian system least acceptable because it limits political pluralism and promotes minimal social mobilization. Monarchy regime is one of the systems that has the best chance of becoming the lead rival to democracy in the 21st Century because it acts as an opposing foundation and today most people claim popular backing as the right to govern (Krastev, page 2). Coercion is not the central survival logic for the Chinese and Russian regimes.

According to our reading, some people fear or distrust democracy because its powerful embrace shapes them to its will and it covers social life with complicated and petty rules which are uniform and minute. Some fear democracy because it rarely enjoins, but inhibits people’s actions and it restrains, hinders, stultifies, enervates, and stifles so much leaving a nation like a flock of hardworking and timid animals. The biggest flaw of democracy is that it provides numerous opportunities for corrupt officials to act in a self-centered and greedy manner as they prioritize their interests. The survey carried out by Sylvana Habdank-Kolaczkowska on Russia showed that the average score for democracy declined in 2013 (Blua, page 1 and 2). Corruption also increased in the country, and some European Union member states received downgrades. Dishonest and corrupt leaders always look after their interests and fail to put the citizens’ needs into consideration when they are in power. Democracy can be both beneficial and harmful to citizens in different contexts.

I think that certain economic or social conditions including income levels and education are necessary conditions for countries to have stable democracies because they help to instill the values of fairness, justice, and cooperation into people’s hearts. I think that these values can help to improve and maintain functioning democracies in different countries. Democracy is considered an entailment of high levels of economic and social developments. China is one of the countries that is soon becoming a democracy. China’s dominating political party is determined to perpetuate and defend its political monopoly (Minxin, page 1). The different effects of socioeconomic changes including income, rising literacy, improvement of communications technologies, and urbanization rates reduce the costs associated with collective action and help in fostering demands for greater regimes of democracy. Socioeconomic changes inhibit authoritarian regimes from taking effect because such forms of governance find it ultimately impossible and difficult to uphold their rule when development increases to a certain level.

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Democratic Despotism. (2020, Apr 07). Retrieved from