The other day
in a comment thread I was asked, by a person who knows nothing about my views
on Democracy, "Is there anything about Democracy that doesn't scare you?"
I replied: "There are just two things that scare me about democracy: Ignorance, that greatest weapon of mass destruction, and the failure of people to realize it is not a spectator sport."
I would like to elaborate a bit here. Democracy has been called the most inefficient system of government there is, but it is the best we have (or something close, I think from Churchill). As the lights of democracy twinkle out around the world--in no small part due to the workings of our own government and it's nefarious tentacles, such as the CIA, the IMF, and so on and on)--and with the potential serious rise of a bona fide psychopath to POTUS, one who could release enough nukes to send civilization back to the stone ages and has a hot temper to boot, it is long past time to revisit the twin pillars of a viable democracy.
Those twin pillars of Democracy are an informed public and an active public. Perhaps otherwise known as "educated people who participate in government affairs."
Without those two cornerstones, Democracy is doomed to failure and the ultimate transformation to fascism, as we clearly see happening now. A small handful of individuals control the major media that is supposed to inform the masses, on public airwaves. These individuals perpetually defend those in the top one or less percent of the financial bracket, remarkably similar to control of the press during the Weimar Republic--and going back through the ages to Rome and before.
Combined with a dumbing down of the populace, we have a major numbing down of the populace, that is largely obsessed by new gadgets, reality shows, football games, inane conspiracy theories, and a list that seemingly stretches to the moon and back.
One can't help but note that we have 7+ billion people on the planet, about 14 times what it was when Jesus supposedly walked on water. We have ecosystems collapsing right and left, along with literally up and down. We have species disappearing at a rate no less than 1,000 times what was formerly considered normal.
We have leaders who "don't believe" in global warming, who yet fail to grasp that we really do live in a global village, as one species on one planet; we have politicians who don't believe we are a species, or for that matter don't "believe" in evolution! It is as if we are merrily partying on the Titanic, getting drunker and drunker by the day, even being clearly warned of the icebergs directly ahead.
Since we don't have an informed public OR a politically active public, we really don't have a functional democracy.
And so, YES, that is what scares the hell out of me about democracy. At 68, my yet grander fear is for the lack of a worthy legacy for the children I personally know, read about, and see walking to and fro from some dumbing down school on a regular basis, a school more concerned with "standardized numbers" than kids learning.