What You Need to Know
About the Most Important Issue
In the World Today

Bruce A. Roth

Chapter 18

The World is not a Democracy

“Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form
of government, except all those other forms that have been
tried from time to time.”
—Winston Churchill

Although many nations are democratic, the world as a whole is not a democracy. Nations are sovereign; they are presently not accountable to a higher governmental authority. Some rulers do not follow the rule of law; they make the law. They can, and often do, take outrageous actions involving everything from political corruption and repression to ethic cleansing and genocide in their own countries. Nations do not interfere in the domestic affairs of other sovereign nations until conditions become so bad that they must take action to protect their own interests, or to end hostilities in a war-torn area by sending peacekeeping forces. At that point their actions usually come too late to protect that nation’s interest and the problem has become too big for a peaceful solution.

Although no system of government can prevent some of its people from being in the minority, and given that some form of government is a necessary evil, a well-designed democracy is the “least bad” form of government, and in it there is no easy route to tyranny. Professor of International Political Economy at Johns Hopkins University, Francis Fukuyama, wrote, “If contemporary constitutional government has indeed found a formula, whereby all are recognized in a way that nonetheless avoids the emergence of tyranny, then it would indeed have a special claim to stability and longevity among the regimes that have emerged on earth.”[1]

[1]Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man,
(New York: Free Press, 1992): Introduction.


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