Thomas Hobbes believed that the natural state of mankind is conflict. The reason is: to survive, to gain power.
According to Hobbes, the only way we can survive, (we means strong, weak, poor, rich, everyone) is by handing over ourselves to a sovereign authority. He stresses that we should not expect for anything other than peace from the government.
Well isn’t it very strange that the moment you are born, in a free country, you are in chains. Chains of rules and regulations, laws and guidelines, though we call ourselves free. We often hear rantings of parties about complete freedom, but is it really possible. The answer is both yes and no, but with conditions. Yes, you can get complete freedom, but then you might just prove Thomas Hobbes right. There will be murders, rapes, and only the strong will survive. And no, you can not get complete freedom, because as Jean Rousseau said, when we are born we sign a general will. A social contract.
In this general will, we willingly submit ourselves to the society for the greater good and development of every member. This is the crux of the society. Laws ensure peace, government policies ensure development and our work ensure happiness. This “will” is also based on a theory that humans are born good, actually it is not “good” but it is the absence of the perceived “bad”. As soon we are let off, we grab opportunity to self develop and then that transforms to greed, competition and lust; contaminating any form of government and destructing it in the end.
Plato said that Monarchy kills itself when it makes the tyranny obvious, Oligarchy murders itself when the exploitation of the public for the benefit of the few is out in the open and Democracy too cuts itself, by over appeasing. He says that a revolution is eminent in the end, and it destructs the complete establishment.
In Greece, direct democracy was invented to rule 250,000 people, it was the rule of the mob. In democracy everyone rules the nation. And this is where the flaw lies, this is where Plato and the likes strongly opposed it. They said that when it comes to personal needs, one seeks for specialists such as a doctor for health, mason to build, etc…but when it comes to rule the nation, should not one go to the wisest man?
The two major reasons were:
Reason 1: When the leader is being chosen from the common people, how will one know who is exceptional and fit to rule?
Reason 2: When the average intelligence of the voter base itself is not evenly distributed how to expect a stable fine leader?
But the biggest flaw, in my view is, that democracy is the rule of majority, i.e. all one has to do is to please majority. This appeasement of the majority, this flattery, this forms the core cause of the demise of democracy, and gives birth to the self proclaimed protector. Now, the dissatisfied crowd perceives the protector as the ultimate power who can please everyone, forgetting that to please everyone, is impossible. In democracy, people, after the accumulation of the dissatisfaction choose either of the two, either the man who shouts and flatters the crowd with impossible possibilities or the bunch of wise guys, who appear too complex to the simple crowd.
It is the gradual evolution of direct democracy to what we currently have, more of a democratic autocracy. We choose our representatives, but they do what they feel like and the public is not involved in decision making. So the first half is democracy, while the second half is autocracy. And this is the only possible stable model, but still we need wise autocrats, because only autocrats have the guts to take strong decision, only they have the vision, their decisions might not appeal to public but they do serve in the longer run.
There will always be a dream seller, his words will be bread to the hungry, water to the thirsty, he will sell power to the weak and gold to the rich, he will claim to be the protector, and then there will always be the wise guy, whose wisdom tales will be known to lands far away. The dream seller will deliver short term gain and will be authoritative in long term, while the wise guys, they serve the nation and die peacefully. This current system is the evolved model and is a mix of oligarchy, monarchy, aristocracy, anarchy and democracy and it depends upon the government to assign the weightages to each of them.
To every voter, the difference between knowledge and wisdom is…experience…please use it and be wise.