The magic word of democracy

My whole discussion of majority tyranny boils down to the fact that there is no such thing. Tyranny there is, and majority is a very good thing to justify tyranny; but majorities always have to be construed before they can justify anything. Construction is a work for expert minorities who seem to get better and better in this demanding task nowadays.

It seems that the same goes for democracy. There are so many democracies available at the marketplace that any minority (don’t let us forget that in a complex modern society there are only minorities) is able to choose that single type which fits its purposes. A majoritarian minority will call liberal democracies anti-democratic, a liberal minority will call majoritarian democracies dictatorial. Direct democrats will call representation a non-democratic idea, while d’Argenson had the guts already in the 18th century to call everything but representation a “false democracy.”

When the same regime may be called a dictatorship, an illiberal democracy, a hybrid system, a hacked democracy, or an elected autocracy, you start wondering whether any of these terms mean anything any more. Democracy being the most popular, its problems are the most vexing. The easiest solution would be to get rid of a word which has never meant what its etymology suggests, anyway.