Why democracy?

Right now, democracy is falling around the world by several measures [1]. Why is this a problem? Why is it so? And what can we do to reverse the trend?

Why is democracy needed?
Democracy can be seen as both an end in itself and a means to an end. A democratic process in which everyone is included and has the opportunity to participate is an end in itself; it is a process that respects the equal value of all and the right of all to have a say in their lives, whatever options are chosen and whatever the consequences.

Democracy is also a means to make the best possible decisions. There is considerable empirical evidence that more democratic organisations and societies make decisions that are better for the long-term welfare of citizens.

Humanity today faces a number of critical challenges. We must solve global warming, prevent economic collapse, avoid war and bring peace to the world. This requires more democracy. Studies show that more democratic organisations have several advantages:

  • Smarter and better decisions. Historically, more democratically governed organisations and countries have been shown to make smarter decisions. By harnessing everyone's collective intelligence, having high-level discussions and letting the majority decide, more informed, thoughtful and long-term decisions are often made. [2]
  • Prevents corruption.
    The more democratic the system of government, the more difficult it is for a powerful elite to gain advantages and resources at the expense of the majority. This is true from small organizations to large corporations and countries [3].
  • Co-determination has value for participants.
    Being involved and feeling in control together makes participants more satisfied, happy and content.

While the world needs more democracy, democracy is declining globally. There are several factors behind this:

  • Dictatorships are more aggressive in trying to spread to new areas.
  • Dictatorships have an advantage by being more efficient and more capable of action.
  • Today's representative democracies have become less democratic according to Dahl's criteria of democracy.

How to save democracy

Democracy around the world is in decline. What can we do together to reverse this trend? How can we increase the level of democracy in human groups and societies? Learn more about the different forms of democracy and the pros and cons of the various options.


[1] V-Dem report 2021. https://v-dem.net/democracy_reports.html

[2] Already Aristotle noted that democracy led to better decisions, noting that: "The majority, of whom the individuals are not individually bona fide men, may yet be better if they unite, not as individuals but as a group, just as the potluck is better than the banquets paid for by a single man. For each of the many has his measure of virtue and wisdom. If they come together, the mass becomes like one man, but with many hands and feet and many minds, and thus also with much morality and understanding." (Aristotle, Politics, p. 175) John Stuart Mill also notes in the classic text On Liberty that the free exchange of thoughts and ideas in which arguments and opinions are allowed to compete against each other increases the likelihood that the best arguments will win. Rousseau also had similar thoughts about the reliability of popular opinion. Niclas Condorcet has formulated the argument more formally mathematically in his famous jury theorem. Assuming that all participants have a slightly better probability of arriving at the correct answer than chance, and that each participant arrives at his or her result independently, then the more participants who vote, the more likely it is that the majority will be correct. These theoretical arguments can also be supplemented with empirical evidence [More sources to come...]

[3] Bueno de Mesquita, Bruce, et al. (2003). The Logic of Political Survival.

Ready for a global democratic revolution?


The Digital Democracy Association is a non-profit association that is religiously and politically independent. It aims to support and promote effective democratic organisation of people at all levels: from small networks and organisations at grassroots level to large companies, political parties and organisations at national and international level.

Its ultimate goal is a world in which everyone's influence and participation is maximised in a way that is compatible with high flexibility, efficiency and power to act in human co-operation and organisations. The Association's sub-goals are to (i) develop innovative open-source tools for digital democratic organisation (ii) disseminate knowledge and stimulate interest in effective democratic decision-making and organisational practices (iii) support organisations and companies to improve their internal democracy.