A good dictator vs. a bad democracy

When I read an article, I sometimes read the comments to the article, too. It is interesting what people think about a certain topic and if you read a lot of comments you get a better feeling what other people think. This happened today as well, and I stumbled upon a statement, made in a comment: I prefer a good dictator over a bad democracy.

It would be easy to just brush away this statement and say that a dictatorship is always worse than a democracy. But I find it too easy. Let’s compare it with a company. When things are going well, people have time to debate and plan and discuss until they reach an agreement. Good leadership should involve many people to tap the collective creativity and reach a common decision. During bad times, this approach might not be as helpful as it might be under regular circumstances. Now, decisions need to be made fast. To be fast, it is easier to have a few people responsible or even one. Maybe you don’t like what he or she decides or in which direction the company steers, but when the need for decisions is urgent, you have to make compromises.

Another reason why some might prefer a dictatorship, or an authoritarian leadership is that they don’t have to carry the burden of responsibility. It is an easy life, not having to think too much. If it is a better life, is a different matter, though. Democracy, I mean a real democracy, can only function, if you are involved. This is definitely more effort, but if you don’t like something, this is your chance in changing things for the better. What I experience, and I include myself in it, is that I see a lot of people being upset with democracy, but they don’t do anything to evoke change.

We basically have three different options. To fight (change something), to freeze (not doing anything), or to flee (change to a different place). Many people are in freeze mode, but complain a lot about everything. This is wasted energy, in my opinion. If I don’t try to change something, I can invest my energy in something else and life a happier life.

Do I have an answer what is better, dictatorship or democracy? I would say it depends. During times of hardship I can see the benefits of an authoritarian leadership. However, as soon as things get back to normal, those people need to give up their power. If that is always so easy as I write it here is a different question. But democracy needs our active involvement. And it requires us to take a step back from now and then to think about the greater good.

Maybe there is a better approach. I don’t know yet. I will keep on thinking about it and time will tell.


Have a wonderful day and take care!



One Comment Add yours

  1. Great reflection. Thanks for sharing!

    I agree that it is a waste of time to stay “frozen” while complaining. Regarding the arguments of complexity (speed of decision and effort of engagement), I think technology could be used better to facilitate these processes, i.e., helping us to efficiently engage in democratic processes, instead of seducing us in wasteful activities such managing meaningless likes and gossip. More and more business is digital, and online platforms and tools can help democracy at the workplace.

    Democracy at the workplace helps to address the most significant issue of our times, wealth (and therefore power) inequality (dictatorship of capitalism, respectively the 1% of people who own 99% of wealth)).


    Liked by 1 person

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