Leaders and the ideologies they propound ask a fundamental question, 'Is Humanity basically good or bad?'
Those who believe that Humanity is basically bad, unabashedly seek to concentrate power in their hands and dominate the masses with the help of a relatively small group of loyalists and supporters. It is usually centred around an ideology and a few personalities.
However whenever one entity tries to dominate another, conflict will naturally occur, as Theocracies, Dictatorships, Monarchs and Communists have eventually discovered.
Each type of domination has its advantages and disadvantages. The more overt the domination more the hostility. When domination is covert and subtle, the less the opposition by the dominated.
Democracy has the unique distinction of the masses to choose who will dominate them, if even for a short while. Naturally the people are more accepting of democracy than any other form of rule.
Democracy is not a new concept it has existed in various forms for thousands of years. An interesting note is available on Wikipedia What is Democracy?
Though I quote the American president John Adams, America is not the originator of democracy, though it is the loudest proponent of its own kind of democracy.
Known Western Democracy originated in Europe with Athens 508 -507 B.C.E. and then other City states and across Greece then Roman empire. It then spread across Europe and finally through post Colonial efforts it spread across the world.
In a democracy the politicians have to woo the electorate. This is relatively easy. They break up the electorate into tribes, religions, genders, race, caste, and then grant each group in the electorate with favours and privileges. With passage of time the tail increasingly wags the dog.
Wooing the electorate with the wealth of the state is easy. The politicians don't have to spend their own money, they just take it out of the State treasury and distribute it.
As appeasement grows, which it will always do so in a democracy, more and more power and privileges flow to certain groups and the drain on the exchequer deepens.
This is because in a democracy wealth flows from the producers to the non producers in the name of 'equality'. As a result the State sinks deeper and deeper spiritually, financially, socially, morally and culturally.
Naturally a State weakened by the burden of unsustainable load can no longer indulge the people. When governments cannot afford to indulge and bribe the electorate, restrictions are placed on the people and sacrifices are demanded of them. First the people will grow angry, then furious and finally riots and violent protests will break out and one day democracy will collapse.
When this happens another form of government will step in, promising to try and set things right. This new form of government will be very centralised and highly authoritative. The people will have lost their freedom and democratic rights.
This calamity of the death of democracy may be delayed by a wise population but its death is inevitable. That too, only if the people exercise their electoral and citizenship rights with responsibility as long as they can.
While on the topic one must look at a different kind of Socialistic Democracy that was practiced in India for 2000 years until the Muslim invaders tampered with it and the British completely dismantled it.
Until this invasion on India's civilisational political structure India had a different kind of vibrant democracy. A system where every village was a Republic.
In the Indian democratic system called the 'Asiatic Model' the people in society held much their resources in a common pool. The villagers themselves decided upon everything that impacted their lives through their Panchayat system (reintroduced in 1992). They paid their taxes to the ruler but otherwise they just minded their own affairs without any significant interference from a government bureaucracy and the ruling elites at the capitals.
The Cholas in South India had a well documented democratic electoral system in 920 C.E. I am not sure there was any comparable system elsewhere in the world at that time.