An interesting article and quite pertinent, but I think it misses the point a little. Incumbency is always, everywhere, an advantage and especially in more despotic regimes. The real weakness of democracy, as Plato noted more than 2,500 years ago, is that a great many people aren’t very bright and aren’t very informed about reality and so they’re easy prey for cynical demagogues. Today’s modern communication technologies make it easy for wannabe tyrants to reach their audience with simple-minded sound-bites that the less intellectually capable can cling on to, much as a drowning person clings to any piece of flotsam that comes within their grasp.

Today the real political divide is not between left and right or between competing economic models. It’s between people on one side of the Gaussian distribution of IQ and people on the other. Several IPSOS/MORI polls have consistently shown that Brexit & Trump supporters are more ignorant, less educated, less intelligent, and make far poorer lifestyle choices (resulting in obesity & obesity-related diseases) than those who vote for less backward options. Brexit & Trump (and Bolsonaro and Babis and Salvini et al) prosper because they give their followers easy-to-grasp sound-bites that substitute for understanding and reason. And in a democracy, that’s all you need in order to achieve power.

Hence democracy is finished, but few are bothering to think ahead to see what more adequate approaches can replace it. We seem stuck in the “democracy results in terrible outcomes but it’s still better than kings” etc. modality. Which is pathetically inadequate and akin to saying “well, the Wright Brothers’ Flyer isn’t very good but it’s still better than a Montgolfier balloon.”

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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