Dictatorship or what?

Democracies can go wrong in times of social, political and economic upheaval. Such conditions can make citizens opt for a strong leader who makes things right. It is a familiar pattern and it happened several times in history. The most notorious example was the rise to power of Adolf Hitler in the 1930s which led to World War II. The principle cause was the suffering of the German people during the Great Depression. The economy may implode once again causing another depression similar to the 1930s.

And so there may come another time of great upheaval. Without proper solutions it can bring another bitter political struggle between fractions of the left and the right. There could be violence with left-wing and right-wing groups marching in the streets. Democracies may turn into dictatorships and there may be another world war. But it doesn’t have to be. Financial and economic crises are caused by interest. Negative interest rates can prevent a depression or end a depression that already started.

The founding fathers of the United States doubted that democracy would last long. The Constitution of the United States provided safeguards against the rule of the people. The elite feared that the people would vote to take their wealth from them in order to distribute it among themselves. Nowadays the wealth distribution in the United States is one of the most uneven in the developed world. The people are dissatisfied with the political system. A revolution is brewing but revolutions with looting and killing are unlikely to bring improvement.

There is an alternative. In Switzerland people are satisfied with their political system. It is a stable country and politics over there is rather boring. The most interesting feature of the Swiss political system is direct democracy. The Swiss can hold a binding referendum if they feel that politicians make the wrong decision. The government is obliged to respect the outcome. Referendums can be held on any issue so politicians won’t ignore the wishes of the citizens. And so the time may come to implement this political system in other countries.