Lately, I somewhat understand why Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle oppose democracy. Well, not thoroughly, but they do emphasize the importance of skill required for voting and that skill to be possessed by the people a.k.a voters. What these Greek philosophers regret about the democratic system is that the voters decide their choice and make a judgment based on their intuition and feelings, whereas, in order to choose a leader, it takes not only skill but also wisdom and well understanding concerning the real issue being faced.
Since democracy is associated with the election, Socrates argues that letting the citizens vote without educating them about a systematic election simply shows a state’s irresponsibility. Didn’t the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) warn us not to consult and appoint a case to someone who lacks knowledge and is not the expert of the case? This is why Plato highlights reason and wisdom that should govern a state, not rhetoric and persuasion.
Unfortunately, in today’s democracy, it opens the way to elect inexperienced and incompetent people. Today’s democracy lets anybody to elect and lead, regardless of his/her ability and background. Democracy means 51 people tell 49 people what to do. Democracy fails because the voters are blinded by their immediate needs and personal interest and disregard the main substantial issues. Furthermore, it was because of democracy that brought Socrates to be sentenced to death for his objection to the drawbacks of democracy. There is no point for democracy when stupidity is celebrated (NoFX).
Against this backdrop, the form of good governance is abstract and unlimited. It is neither dependent on democracy nor related institutions. In fact, according to Plato, the main aim in constructing an ideal state was to find in it justice, while Aristotle supports merits. Therefore, I am convinced that all forms of civil government are good either democracy, aristocracy, oligarchy, and monarchy, etc. It is just its success and failure will completely depend on the “driver” of the government.
What matters as an individual and as a voter is to keep educating ourselves, enrich our insight, and be politically literate. The democracy we live in today is okay, but it remains insufficient to solve the issues and achieve welfare and justice. There need to be some alternatives that can be combined and altered within democracy. As the School of Life writes, “Democracy can only be as effective as the education system that surrounds it.”