One of the most beautiful political concepts to have been developed is a democracy. Its idea is to free the oppressed and help ease the stranglehold of politicians among their constituents. It gives us as individuals the free rein to choose based on our preferences.
However, there are downsides to the prevalence of democracy. For Damon Vickers, expert investor and New York Times bestselling author, the twilight of constitutional government is turning dimmer as we forge on into a new decade.
According to a Freedom House report, 2019 has seen a retreat in democracy, seeing political swings and fragile economies struggle to bring about peace due to deep-seated conflict.
What democracy means
By definition, democracy is of Greek origin and means rule by people. It is a government by which people are in authority of choosing the governing legislation.
Damon Vickers notes democracy as a resilient system. It sets a process of tackling conflicts, and the outcomes are highly dependent on how the participants act about it.
Since democracy is an inclusive form of government, some cornerstones are crucial to its establishment. Some of these are freedom of speech and assembly, membership, equality, voting, consent, minority rights, and the right to life.
A democratic government can employ many decision-making methods, but it typically depends on a majority rule or vote. For instance, electoral voting can take place when choosing key individuals to occupy a seat in the government.
“Democracy paints a picture of freedom, but it comes with a price,” Vickers believes. “It can harm individuals, especially those whose opinions and actions divert from the consensus.”
Damon Vickers sees a democratic dilemma
Democracy ideally excludes violence in its premise, since theoretically, any form of abuse is unnecessary. Conflicts are sorted through rational deliberation of parties involved. However, it’s not always the case. Challenges in democracy include the existence of resistance and the role of violence in curbing it.
Another issue that arises in a democracy is the ‘deep fake’ that is a consequence of misinformation, as Damon Vickers elucidates. “The open forum on exchange and input can be used as a tool to inject false information in the narrative of conflicts.
“For instance, a person might be tried by public opinion when they are witnessed to be doing socially unacceptable actions. These can easily go viral over the internet,” Vickers adds. “Any disinformation about a person online can be taken as a fact, which harms their integrity and reputation.
Vickers also stated that although democracy allows freedom, there must also be a sense of responsibility for how majority rule is implemented to protect everyone and not just the interest of those in power.