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Criticism of Democracy: Authoritarian Leaders and Corrupt Politics

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Democracy is a product of actors, not structures; that the people are always the determining factors for it and those who they put into position are the ones held responsible for its effectiveness. To further understand democracy and its effects within the last decades, it has to be contextualized in terms of its roots and consequences. It is argued that it is also not a product of the collective ambition of politicians to secure a stable society but rather, is a practical compromise among politicians whose particular objectives were blocked. The role of elections is an important site for democratic development around the world. And while it exercises the democratic change, it does not guarantee democratic breakthrough. In return, this only creates hybrid regimes, which conceives from elements of democracy but persists through dictatorship.

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People exercising democracy elect individuals they think is the rightful to lead but mistakes in doing so, this posits to democratic conventions as being the breeding ground of corrupt politicians. It also has come from as much from the top down as from the bottom up, as it is likely to become a product of the oligarchs as of a protest against the oligarchy. This breeds political elites using democratic platform to calculate their own interests and desires. Hence, proves that democratic institutions come into existence through negotiations and compromises, further strengthening the idea that democracy cannot be dictated, rather it is a product of bargaining.

Ultimately, this ricochets and the citizens’ unwavering hunger for absolute democracy emerges, hence the rise of authoritarian leaders who guarantee the elimination of political elites at the expense of their freedom. This cycle can perfectly be exemplified with the current regime of Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte who completed the cycle of Filipino presidents in their regimes. His emergence came from people’s dissatisfaction with the reformist narrative created by the “Yellow” administration by the Aquino’s whose ultimate goal was to oust the authoritarian regime of the late president Marcos. This dissatisfaction resulted with the revolt of the middle class towards the political elites bred by the Aquinos and thus, aimed for a much more effective regime, electing Duterte. Having had victory from using the politics of anger, he swept the nation with his populist narrative only to emerge as an authoritarian leader who promises to oust the political elites the Aquino administration bred. Even though having completed the presidential cycle, Duterte will most likely be ousted soon for pending accusations of being held responsible for extra judicial killings and a new regime shall take its place, most likely continuing the cycle unless a political reform breaks through. Not only had the Philippines exemplified the stall of democracy but also other countries such as the United States of America, Austria, Brazil, Hungary, Russia and Turkey ; all of which have fell into turned into the authoritarian regime.

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