09 September 2009

Who Needs Democracy?

I am flat-out amazed when I read statements like those I see in Thomas Friedman's NYT column today:
There is only one thing worse than one-party autocracy, and that is one-party democracy, which is what we have in America today. One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century.
Autocracy means a system of government ruled by one person with absolute power. Looking back over history, both recent and further back, how well did society fare under autocracy?

Hat tip - Keith Kloor