Thursday, March 11, 2021

Politics is Not a Game of Numbers

Most people accept the banal notion that in a democracy political power comes through numbers. They naively believe that the politician who attracts the largest crowds will win the election, and that the opinion of the folks in the small towns and rural areas carry the same weight in the politics of their country as the opinion of the shrewd and wealthy elites dwelling in the cities. But it is not true at all that numbers decide the character of the government. Even if the elections are held in a fair manner, and the political group that enjoys overwhelming support in the smaller towns and rural areas wins, the new government will pay more attention to the needs of the urban elites. This is because the urban elites are well connected; they know how to subvert the political system; they are capable of using all kinds of intellectual, bureaucratic, journalistic, and legal maneuvers to coerce the government.

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