Democracy, in its pure form, has never worked – and will never work. But the belief that it somehow can has never gone away.
Before proceeding, I must ask “Which people believe this?” And the answer is not encouraging – people who have no idea what they are talking about – 99 percent of the population. I am not putting them down – just describing them accurately. Everyone who works with people – politicians, advertisers, businessmen – know this – but refrain from saying it very loudly. They just proceed to manipulate them – often successfully.
Books have been written about this – such as The Revolt of the Masses, by Ortega y Gasset. And Mein Kampf. They all assume the existence of a mass population that only want bread and circuses – as in ancient Rome. Now, with mass communications, they also want to belong – and be like everyone else. Or at least, their kind of people.
This, it seems to me – summarizes the situation nicely. If not very diplomatically.
If you want to follow up on this, I recommend this video Schizophrenic Germany from a MOOC describing the Modern World. The existence of these MOOCs illustrates a split on our culture – between those who want to learn, and those who already know everything – or think they do.