This was Tocqueville’s point, i.e., ‘in a democracy the people get the government they deserve’.
I think this is both true and untrue.
The first presumption is that there in in fact a functional democracy, which is clearly absurd - study after study finds that the people’s wishes are of virtually no concern or import these days in the United States, and I would include Canada.
Only half the eligible population even votes - a siren call declaring something drastically amiss in self-proclaimed democracies.
I just watched Matt Damon in “The Green Zone”, a 2010 production about the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in 2003.
A fanciful Hollywood production - NOT.
I have done extensive research, as have many here on Common Dreams, into the ways and mores of our various ‘wars’ and propaganda campaigns.
I will make a broad statement - no civilization on Earth has ever had a functional democracy.
ALL civilizations are fundamentally and perhaps necessarily hierarchical, and full of specialists to boot - with layer upon layer of complexity which would strain the patience of an angel, presuming there are angels, which I very much doubt.
On the other hand, I myself have often thought as you do - and gotten angry and full of angst at the seeming stupidity and complacence of ‘the people’.
We would do well to remember our history - from whence and where in a devastated Europe we all came, bringing with us enough baggage to sink a Freudian ship of any size.
In fact, five thousand years plus of not living on the land in small bands of ice-age hunters has had a spectacular effect on our physiology and mental acumen, to say nothing of the complete and utter destruction of our tribal ways, to the point where tribal ways are seen by many progressives as arcane and primitive, which indeed they are.
But this much should be remembered.
We were successful in this way of life for seven plus million years, and it could not be otherwise.
In fact, even among the myriad and many hominid species that have ever existed, and there were many, we are the sole survivor.
Then came the affluence of the Holocene - and inter-glacial of surpassing stability and warmth - at a crucial time in our history, as homo sapiens only evolved perhaps 340,000 years ago,i.e., three interglacials back in time or so.
There may indeed have been a ‘leap forward’ when we left Africa for the last time, say 65,000 years ago plus or minus, as our social and technical skills vaulted forward.
Nothing in our way survived, not the Neanderthals, not the megafauna on every continent and archipelago we visited.
Now we are our own worst enemy - warlike, super-competitive and territorial when time and circumstance demands, with hair-trigger tempers forged over millions of years spent amongst animals that were always faster, and more dangerous than the naked ape, until we started making and using sophisticated tools of ever greater lethality, a process which continues to this day.
Don’t be too hard on us - no one has ever, in our long history and pre-history - had to contend with the ultimate predator - us.
Now we are too many and there is accelerating resource scarcity of all kinds, from minerals to water, there really are weapons of mass destruction, but they are not in Iraq, at least not yet.
And soon we will be ten billion, in a world Paul Ehrlich thinks can support at most two billion.
My solution is to become a global tribe - facing an existential threat - something we know how to do - something we have always been successful at - one for all and all for one - Musketeer style.