It's important to realize that today's tyrants and demagogues are merely fulfilling Plato's prophesy. None seized power by force - all were democratically elected. Representative democracy is hopelessly unfit for purpose in a complex interconnected world. Voters are totally ignorant of the complexities and inter-dependencies upon which our global civilization is based, and have zero interest in educating themselves. Hence they vote for amusing buffoons who tell them infantile lies and give them mindless soundbites, because this is the easiest thing for the ignorant and foolish to do. The opposite of representative democracy (which is, in reality, a complete misnomer) is not tyranny but rather a system of governance based upon demonstration of competence. Just as we need to demonstrate competence to drive a vehicle or fly an aircraft or design a bridge, so too should we have to demonstrate competence before proposing and voting on policy. Alas, we're still stuck in our mindless fetishization of a hopelessly broken system, which means tyranny is inevitable. Perhaps clever people, hundreds of years from now, will stand a better chance of implementing a more coherent and positive-outcome-oriented system. But for us, and for our children and grandchildren, we must accept that horrors are inevitably on their way. And democracy is the cause, not the cure.

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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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