Demerits of Democracy

 essay: Demerits of Democracy?essay

essay on the Demerits of Democracy !

(1) Democracy is the rule of incompetent person:

Democracy is considered the rule of fools, incompetent and illiterate persons. According to Plato, administration is an art which cannot be acquired by the common man. Only intelligent and competent persons can fully understand the administration, but democracy is the rule of illiterate persons.

Aristotle has called democracy as perverted form of government. Lecky says.” A decision upon the basis of a popular vote is ultimately the rule of ignorance. History shows that intelligence resides with the few and not with the many. Where ignorance rules, liberty is curtailed.

Democracies are un-favourable to intellectual progress and the advance of scientific truth”. Sir Henry Maine observes, “Experience tends to show that popular government is characterised by great fragility and that since its appearance, all forms of government have become more insecure than they were before. The doctrine of liberty being irreconcilable with that of equality again adds to the weakness and paves way for the domination and operation of wire-pullers”.

Professor Barker is of the opinion that efficiency deteriorates in democracy and only a few clever persons succeed in securing majority votes in their favour and thus run the administration. Sir Sydney Low says, “A youth must pass an examination in Arithmetic before he can hold a second class clerkship in the Treasury but a Chancellor of the Exchequer may be a middle-aged man of the world who has forgotten what little he ever learnt about figures at Eton or Oxford and is innocently anxious to know the meaning of those little dots”.

(2) Democracy hinders the progress of civilization and culture:

Henry Maine, Lecky and Treitschke criticise democracy because it hinders the progress of culture and civilization. They are of the view that common people are generally of orthodox views and oppose the progressive measures. According to them, civilization and culture develop in Aristocracy.

According to Burns, “The civilization which a democracy produces is said to be banal, mediocre or dull”. Sir Henry Maine says. “It seems quite certain that if for four centuries there had been a very widely extended franchise, there would have been no reformation of religion, no change of dynasty, no toleration of dissent, not even an accurate calendar. The thrashing machine, the power loom, the spinning jenny and possibly the steam- engine would have been prohibited”.

In the words of Le Bon, “If the democratic governments had powers like today in those days when the power looms and steam- power had not yet been invented, either these inventions had not taken place or they were possible only on the destruction of mankind”.

(3) Democracy gives more importance to the quantity rather than to quality:

Democracy is also criticised for giving importance to quantity rather than quality, because in democracy the decision of victory and defeat lies on the number of votes one secures. The value of the vote of a highly educated person is similar to that of a fool. While enacting laws in the Parliament, all matters are decided by majority votes and no importance is given to the views of the educated persons.

(4) In democracy administration is very costly:

In democracies elections are a very expensive luxury. The huge amounts spent on elections could be put to better use in many other ways. Besides, elections cause much excitement, dislocation and disorder. The numerous bodies of legislature and ministries are also very expensive. The democracies have no motives to economize. They are liable to misadventure at the hands of financial adventurers and mountebanks. That is why we hear of so many financial scandals.

(5) Capitalists exercise a dominant influence upon democracy:

The capitalists exercise a great influence in democracy, because they give donations to the party which is expected to win the elections and later on influence the law-making in the country. The capitalists influence the press as well as the economy of the country, because a majority of newspapers and industries are their property.

The American brand of democracy is called “Dollar Democracy”. Indian, English and other democracies are also dominated by the capitalists. The socialists call capitalist democracy as useless and the real freedom of labourers is only guaranteed in a socialist democracy.

(6) Political parties spoil the harmonious atmosphere and corruption becomes rampant:

During elections moral considerations are subordinated to securing the largest number of votes. Election propaganda misguides and mis-educates people. After elections, the ruling party becomes autocratic and the elected representative owes responsibility to the party on whose ticket he contested the election.

He must say and do what he is told to do. The ruling party also tries to please the voter by going out of the way. Thus, dishonest persons dominate the society and the moral standard of the country deteriorates owing to widespread corruption.

(7) In the Democracy there is the rule of majority which becomes unjust sometimes:

In democracy majority becomes autocratic and does not care for the minorities. This helps in the establishment of a tyrannical rule. For instance, the interests of minorities (Hindus, Buddhists and Christians) have been completely ignored in Pakistan and they have been pushed out of that country.

(8) Sometimes the Government is not stable in a Democracy:

In a multiple- party system, the government is not stable as was the case during the Third and the Fourth Republics in France. In Kerala, the government could not become stable and several times the President-Rule had to be imposed there. Though there is Bi- Party system in England, yet in 1964-65 the Labour Party had a very little majority in the House of Commons, which made the functioning of the government very difficult.

(9) Democracy is only an imagination and does not exist in practice:

Many writers like Oswald Spangler and Burke say that “Government by the people is sheer impossibility” or “Democratic equality is a monstrous fiction”. Common people lack the ability needed to understand complicated problems of administration.

Representatives are elected by the masses that are amateur, incompetent and inexperienced. A small group rules the country in democracy. In England the entire administration is carried on by the Cabinet and the Parliament has a secondary position.

Ramsay Muir has rightly said that in England dictatorship of Cabinet has been established. After elections, the leaders of the ruling party become autocratic and not much consideration is given to the views of the people. People cannot remove them before the expiry of five years.

(10) Local conflicts are predominant in democracy which harm national interests:

In the scramble for power and patronage the welfare of the nation as a whole suffers. Representatives compete with one another in securing maximum benefit for their own constituencies. Thus, the general interest of the nation is ignored for the sake of local advantages. In India, several communal riots took place at the time of the States reorganisation.

(11) It lowers the moral standard of the people:

Moneyed people dominate in democracy. They purchase votes and push out of the enlightened but poor persons from the arena of elections. Millions of rupees are spent by the capitalists to win the elections. Besides, there is red-tapism and corruption in the administration and the common man has to bribe the government officials in order to get favours. Recruitment to the services is made in a partial way and nepotism is seen everywhere. This lowers the moral standard of the country. All these evils dominate the political scene in India.

(12) It proves weak in times of war and crisis:

Generally a democratic government is weak in war and crisis. In 1940, Hitler smashed France only in three weeks. South Vietnam was weaker than North Vietnam, because there was democracy in South Vietnam and Communist Dictatorship in North Vietnam. Similarly, South Korea is weaker than North Korea.


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