Sevens Manifesto for Democracy

One. Democracy is an imperfect form of government but superior to dictatorship (rule of one), kingship (rule of a royal family), theocracy (rule of clerics), oligarchy (rule of a group of tyrants), and aristocracy (rule of an educated and noble group). Only democracy provides a periodic recall of a government. 

Two. Representative democracy is superior to direct democracy because elected representatives mediate the charged emotions and aspirations of the people through experience, statecraft, and constitutional constraints. Direct democracy quickly turns into a rule by the mob. A big government far away from the people is much less democratic than a more intimate government. Local governments of a few hundred thousand people are closer to universal democracy than gigantic governments ruling hundreds of millions.

Three. Hero worship destroys democracy. Politically mature communities distrust any cultish person who rises as a knight on a white horse promising to defeat demons. Heroes are maniacal individuals, and democracy has no use for them. Fads are incompatible with universal democracy. Democracy prefers competence over charisma, reality over dreams, and evolution over revolution.

Four. Multiparty democracy is superior to one-party rule. One-party rule leads to oligarchy and dictatorship. No ideological basis of a single party derived from Marxism, theology, efficiency, or any other philosophy is compatible with democracy.

Five Extremist political parties appealing to fanaticism, racism, nationalism, or any other ideology must be allowed to vent their views and compete for votes in general elections. Banning non-violent extremism backfires. However, no political party should make a coalition government with an extremist party. Political parties must proactively exclude an extremist party from being in the government.

Six. Democracy does not allow elected representatives, bureaucrats, judges, or generals to live lavish lives that burden taxpayers. However, a decent standard of living prevents officials from resorting to corrupt practices.

Seven. Democracy releases the creative and productive energies of ordinary folks. Democracy cultivates superhumans who invent new systems that help humanity.

April 2024