Dead democracy theory

There is the 'dead internet theory' according to which most of the supposed humans on the internet are fakes, although this hypothesis probably doesn’t withstand scrutiny.

However, things that are far more important may be mostly fake. The advanced democracies in what we call the West are home to exceedingly unpopular regimes that seem to rely more on backing by pre-existing rulers, manipulative lobbies and media conglomerates than authentic popular support. As such, the democratic mandate of these regimes could be said to be false.

When a democracy gets too old

If the majority of people are against the regime, then such a regime cannot be said to be a living democracy. Perhaps a democracy being "advanced" translates to it being "aged", dying, or perhaps dead. These democracies are advanced and unflinching in their confidence not due to some sort of robustness and maturity, but because of their inflexibility and lack of any true loyalty to the people.

One can speculate that advanced democracies are long dead, having sagged outside the bounds of their original constitutions to become evil. Stepping outside of metaphor, it would mean they have existed for so long that any way of gaming the system to thwart the wishes of the people has long ago been discovered and refined to perfection by the few who have power. Every loophole is mapped by those who need to know about it, such that there are infinite ways of thwarting the people and defying their will, while maintaining the window-dressing of democracy. 

Rulers have effectively insulated themselves from the people, so that the system is effectively a lifeless and sterile corporate husk. The only “democracy” to be witnessed is futile cosmetics and the repetition of the word itself, more like an article of faith than a factual reality.

Young democracies are full of life and purpose, having recently emancipated their people. However, all old democracies, even in the ancient world, eventually perished, having lost support among anyone other than a small elite who were cheating and exploiting the system.

'Lesser evil'

Voter apathy is far worse than mere low turnout in elections, since it includes those who only grudgingly cast votes for the lesser evil, as if any living democracy would be like that. This gives rise to a reality in which nobody other than a tiny minority, heavily engaged in the political system and shaping the available candidates, believes in its legitimacy. Meanwhile, the vast majority are quietly resigned to being governed by whoever is in power or picking from a menu that features nothing they want, feeling certain that any effort they made to participate would be thwarted successfully by the pack of wolves who fought their way to the top long ago.

The result is that advanced democracies may be hostage to a hyper-vocal and aggressively involved minority, perhaps twenty percent of the people, often driven more by their deep contempt for all the other people than any respect for their will.

If the above speculation is right, then the ones who most like to pretend democracy is alive may be those who believe it serves their narrow interests. Such a group is hardly the people, who are in fact lifeless corpses kicked and beaten by that narrow group who rule. The say of those lambs is absent, they are dead, and what persists is only the hijacking of the state by predators eating them.

All of this is, of course, only an exercise in speculation, like the dead internet theory. But it helps to sometimes posit the most diabolic interpretation of the state of things, so to stimulate thought.