Democratic Despotism

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According to Chuck Chalberg, Alexis de Tocqueville’s description of democratic despotism depicted a regime that degraded men instead of tormenting them. Chuck Chalberg proposed that such a regime would exceed a tyranny of old (Chalberg, p. 1). In my opinion, Alexis de Tocqueville has been proven incorrect. His hypothesis was that a democracy aimed towards equality would instead fuel a despotic government. He suggested that it created a soft tyranny leaving societies vulnerable.

Shively outlines alternatives to electoral democracy; these include an authoritarian system, a one-party state, a monarchy, a military government, and theocracy.

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If required to live under one of these regimes, I would find the military government the most acceptable. This kind of leadership can gradually restore mechanisms associated with civilian rule. Most military governments aspire to bring political stability and justice and protect citizens from unsafe ideologies. I would find the authoritarian system least acceptable as it inhibits political pluralism and fosters minimal social mobilization. The monarchy has the best potential to usurp democracy in the 21st Century; it serves as a contrasting establishment. Most people today claim the right to govern through popular backing (Krastev, p. 2). The primary survival logic for the Chinese and Russian regimes is not coercion.

According to our readings, some individuals fear or distrust democracy as it molds them in its image, covering social life with a plethora of small, petty, and uniform rules. Some are averse to democracy as it rarely instructs but frequently inhibits actions. It confines, hampers, stymies, weakens, and stifles, leaving a nation like a flock of industrious yet fearful creatures. Democracy’s greatest shortcoming is that it furnishes ample opportunities for corrupt officials to prioritize their self-interests. A survey executed by Sylvana Habdank-Kolaczkowska on Russia revealed a decline in the average score for democracy in 2013 (Blua, pages 1-2). Corruption in the country has also risen, with certain European Union member states receiving downgrades. Dishonest leaders neglect the citizens’ needs, focusing solely on their interests. Democracy can bring both benefits and detriments in varying contexts.

I believe that specific economic and social conditions, namely income levels and education, are requisite for countries striving for stable democracies. These factors instil the doctrines of fairness, justice, and cooperation. I propose that these virtues can enhance and maintain robust democracies worldwide. Democracy necessitates high levels of economic and social advancement. China is one nation on the brink of democracy; its ruling political party fights to continue and protect its political hegemony (Minxin, p. 1). The various effects of socioeconomic changes—increased income, improved literacy rates, advanced communication technologies, and faster urbanization—reduce collective action costs and stimulate demands for more democratic regimes. Socioeconomic transformations hinder authoritarian regimes from taking hold, as these forms of governance find it challenging to maintain their rule when development reaches a particular level.

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