What are the benefits of democracy? Perhaps it is its capacity to constrain the centrality of power in such a way that no one can impose his will on the rest of the population in an absolutist manner?
Democratic institutions, because they segment power, have the advantage of preserving the population from the throes of dictatorship and the arbitrariness that can characterize it. However, this advantage corresponds to a major disadvantage: the lack of agility and speed in decision-making. Since everything is done to ensure respect for individual rights and freedoms, democracy is inherently a slow mode of governance that can be tedious in many ways. Conversely, a system based on one-party rule (i.e., no opposition) has the corresponding advantage of speedy decision-making.
China is a good example of this reality and its success is in no way unrelated to its governance. Since it allows one man to manage the nation, it gives him the powers of a business owner.
What is the difference between the powers of a business leader and those of a democratic state?
A boss has several characteristics that are not found in democratic modes of governance. He makes decisions alone and is not constrained by any counter-power. Of course, he can ask his collaborators for advice, but it is he who will make the final decision in full conscience.
The boss assumes full responsibility for his choices and the consequences for the company are directly his responsibility. He can let go of any employee as he pleases, he can make unreasonable decisions if he wants to.
A democratic head of state, although his power may vary according to the country (cf. France and the monarchic character of the president), he is nevertheless subject to a whole system of checks and balances that prevent him from truly making decisions alone most of the time.
If this characteristic is desirable for the citizens, it does not always bode well for the strategic choices (diplomatic, economic, military, etc.) of the country, which lacks responsiveness in the face of a changing international context.
Having the ability to manage a country with an iron fist has many advantages in this era of globalization and the competition it brings at all levels. Of course, citizens in such a situation lack consent in strategic choices. This lack of consensus can easily be compensated by an improvement in material living conditions. A country where people live comfortably will always be less likely to want to question the institutions, even if they are not democratic.
Running a country like a business may seem like a panacea. Bold choices can be made quickly as long as they are beneficial to the country. If the authoritarian character of a regime is decried today, it is above all because it reminds us of the dark hours of the 20th century when totalitarian regimes led to ruin and destruction. This makes us forget that the glory hours of nations took place in authoritarian regimes (the absolute monasticism of the France of Louis XIV or the British Victorian period).
If of course we do not aspire to ages where a large part of the population was crushed under the weight of taxes to finance projects of all kinds, we can nevertheless see the benefits of such a regime, if only in terms of influence.
A prosperous nation can reasonably look forward to a better future for its people, which is why it is often more important to focus on economic advances than social or democratic ones.
In essence, a large corporation is often run like a state, which is why it can be mired in internal disputes that paralyze its activity. The ideal is to have the power of a large company while having the mobility of a small structure. By way of comparison, this explains, in a completely different field, the success of the steppe horsemen who swept through Europe and part of Asia in medieval times. What is an army of horsemen if not a group endowed with an immense striking force while enjoying an unequalled mobility?
The hordes from Mongolia could strike and retreat if necessary. No infantry army was able to counter the strategic advantages of the Mongolian horsemen’s formation until tactical and technological innovations were developed.
Winning is all about learning from the past
The most amazing thing about history is that it repeats itself. All the lessons we could learn from it are right there in front of us, but there are still leaders who pretend to look away. Contemporary politics can be read through the lenses of the past. Many of today’s elements are only the consequence of the long history that is sweeping over us like an unstoppable steamroller.
The merit of certain nations is that, despite international injunctions, they do not allow themselves to be dictated to in the way they organize and develop their power. It is partly thanks to a fine knowledge of history and its repetition that they manage to avoid problems that still affect the nations of our time.
One does not manage a country as one manages a company if one wishes the immediate common good. On the other hand, if one wishes to promote the common good of future generations, it is not illogical to see a State as a company whose performance is optimized.