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    The drawbacks of democracy – Korach

    No-one has yet devised the perfect form of political structure.

    Democracy is high up on the list but even it has its drawbacks. One of the main reasons, as the Korach story clearly indicates, is that there can be a tug of war between democracy and religion, between the people and God.

    But religion is not the only challenge to democracy. There are other systems that limit it. Examples are political, economic and social forces.

    They are not necessarily at war with democracy, but in each case they stand for the principle that maybe the people cannot always be relied upon to know what is best for them.

    Rabble-rousers like Korach have a mantra: “You should listen to me; I know better than you do what is best!” That is how demagogues become dictators – and democracy goes out of the window.

    Is there a solution? There has to be someone or something to monitor what is happening. A powerful answer is the legal system, the availability of due process of law.

    Religion posits God as the ultimate arbiter. Regardless of what the demagogue says, despite what the people clamour for, God is the One who makes the decisions.

    Perhaps what that is saying is that the final answer to the problem of democracy might well be undemocratic.

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