Mesropyan Emma, student of Stavropol State Agrarian University
Currently the most optimal political regime is democracy; democracy means the power of the people. Obviously, any liberal, defender of humans, humanist, everyone who considers himself a modern progressive person believes that it is good; the most important public problems should be solved by popular vote. If any country, for example, China, which has a developing industry and an expanding domestic market, does not give citizens the right to vote, this is enough that any self-respecting liberal considered the People’s Republic of China not an advanced country.
It should be noted that at the time of writing, the vast majority of developed countries have a democratic political system. However, there is a number of questions to the progressive political system. The people of Italy voted for Mussolini in 1925, the people of Germany voted for Hitler in 1933, the people of Iran voted for Ahmadinejad in 2009. Why do people vote for dictators? The people of Turkey joyfully slaughtered the Armenians, the majority of Arabs demand the extermination of Jews, after the destruction of the Twin Towers, 90% of the Egyptians admired the incident during the survey in 2001. Why are people inclined to Nazism and genocide? Since 1960, slightly less than forty African states have gained independence, mostly without war, and held democratic elections. As a result of these elections, the vast majority of these countries have become cannibalistic dictatorships. Why does not democracy work in Africa? Why, finally, the coming to power of the people very quickly ends with the coming to power of the dictators in Africa, Latin America, Middle East and any poor countries?
The liberals and democrats hate to acknowledge this fact, which is accessible to observation, and usually argue that «the people were deceived» and «democracy has become a dictatorship». The problem is that a large part of such dictatorships continue to enjoy majority support. Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, Evo Morales in neighboring Bolivia enjoyed the support of majority. Democrats explain it by saying that the people are «deceived» through television, media, etc., but there is another question: if people are so easily deceived, what makes you assign them functions of infallible arbitrators?
There is not a single totalitarian regime that would not come to power without the support of the people. The victory of Hitler in the elections, which is often liked to be referred to as an exception, is in fact not an exception, but a rule. Mussolini won a complete victory in quite fair elections. Moreover, he adopted a law on equal voting rights for women in Italy, seeking to maximize the number of voters. Mao Zedong came to power not by military coup. He came to power because the absolute majority of the impoverished Chinese peasants relied on Chairman Mao.
The great economic freedom led to prosperity in all ages, but the prosperity of states made them only sweet bait for the conquering barbarians in ancient times. The states of Sumer were conquered by the Assyrians. The memory of their image of government was exterminated by the conquerors. Even the new capital of Assyria, Nineveh, was erected in a new place, which did not remind us at all that once the rulers of the states that had been destroyed or subordinated by the Assyrians had to discuss their affairs with the city dwellers. If city dwellers disliked the behavior of the ruler they could overthrow the old ruler and hand power to a new one who eradicated the exorbitant taxes imposed on the citizens by the previous ruler and «recognized freedom». However, the Greek democracy accurately repeated the Sumerian way in the final analysis. Greek city, unable to withstand long kingdoms for a long time, became the prey of partly Persian, then Macedonian, and later Roman conquerors. A thousand years have passed, and «free Greece» has become a «slavish Byzantium». In fact, the history of Greek policies strikes a resemblance to the stories of modern democracies. Almost always the victory of the poor ends with the forgiveness of debts, the redistribution of land and the coming to power of a tyrant. Almost always a tyrant, «confiscates the property of the rich, which allows him to increase the pay to his mercenaries and hand out to the poor his portion of wealth», as Polybius writes of Apollodore. Only the fundamental difference is the final factor of instability for democracy has always been a war in antiquity. Ancient democracy was a military democracy. Citizens wore weapons, and the city lacked unity of command or troops to win the war with the extended kingdom.
In the Middle Ages, there was the following trend: it is easy to achieve absolute power, relying on the support of the people, and it is obvious that tyranny over ten thousand commoners is easier to establish than over distrustful to the tyrants high society. Despite completely different social conditions, the main problem of medieval communes remained the same as the main problem of ancient democracy. The governance, in which the voters were rich people, the part responsible for their actions, gave birth to the inevitable envy of the poor part of citizens. The advent of the paupers to power ended with the division of property and loss of freedom; in those rare cases when the popolo grasso, as in Venice, could retain power and legislatively consolidate its primacy, it lost its flexibility, dynamism and the ability to lead.
Surprisingly, the fact that there are democracies that do not thrive and there are prosperous countries that are not democracies does not bother most of our public figures. Politicians, like scientists before Galileo, do not trouble themselves with such a small thing as experience and observation. Universal suffrage is the solution to all problems and that is it. Is this so, judging from the centuries-old human history? If the country is on the rise, industry develops, the standard of living of citizens grows, technical innovations are introduced, the state policy is properly built, and accordingly the political regime is chosen correctly.