Although US citizens see Trump as a uniquely US phenomenon the reality is that he’s merely the most stupid and repellent of a wide cast of characters who’ve understood that you can win by lying to the simple-minded and giving them easy-to-remember sound bites. Johnson in the UK has just won a crushing victory using this method; Duterte in the Philippines won on the same basis as did Babis in the Czech Republic and Bolsonaro in Brazil. Salvini in Italy is nearly certain to become the next Prime Minister and Martine Le Pen may become the next Presidente of France. Meanwhile Modi in India is running the Trump Playbook with great success, as is Orban in Hungary and Erdogan in Turkey. In Germany AfD and in Poland PiS are likewise going from strength to strength using the same formula. Democracy is dead because we humans aren’t very good at not being tricked by charlatans. Just as Plato pointed out more than 2,500 years ago. Democracy always, without exception, ends in tyranny because one blustering demagogue can sway a sufficiently large mob that everyone else then falls into line because they fear the consequences of attempting to stand up to the tsunami of mindlessness the Great Leader has created. My book Why Democracy Failed analyzes this problem in detail and provides suggestions about better approaches to governance that can mitigate this inevitable result. But it will be hundreds of years hence before such ideas will find fertile ground.

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Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

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