Don B excerpts from an old Frank Meyer essay. Thank you Don! Here it is wonderfully short, eloquent, and true:
“Political freedom emphatically has nothing to do with who governs or who chooses the governors, but only with the strict limitation on the powers of the governors, whoever they may be.”
This is why democracy, as such, is a wholly worthless governing concept. This is why spreading democracy around the world is a wholly stupid goal; and an endeavor which is leading to wildly unintended consequences.
Democracy means nothing if the majority is tyrannical. Similarly, dictatorship means nothing if the dictator can do nothing. (And myriad other pithy sentences can be constructed for whatever your favorite form of government might be.) The only relevant factor in assessing government is assessing how limited government is by internal restraints (i.e., a constitution).