There are a few definitions of democracy still around today, some of them obviously faulty, but convenient for those in worldly power.
One is ”tyranny of the majority”, which the American founders warned sternly against. This is when anything the majority votes on goes, in public as well as private matters, effectively opening up for bulldozing the democratic values that make it possible for people to influence the demos – their fellow people.
Another is the ”mind-controlled demos” (people), which the likes of Edward Barnaise championed and Aldous Huxley warned about. This is done with massive oligarch and/or state control of education and media.
Then there is thwarting of democracy by controlling the election system – an approach Stalin was very fond of. This is done by controlling who can run for office, who can vote and how the votes are counted.
Then there is what I’d call ”true democracy”. This means real and strong guaranteed democratic values – free speech, economic democracy*, transparency, etc. as well as an election system with integrity.
I would say that most of society’s ills come down to a lack of true democracy. All of today’s sc. ”liberal democracies” seem to be a hodge podge of all of these while pretending to be “true democracy”.
*The Gamestop-story really showed this “free market”-system’s true face. It revealed that this system masquerades as a free market system as long as it’s one small group sucking up all the wealth. The instant profit becomes more democratized they pull the plug and cheat.
The difference between ‘elite’ and ‘elitist’ should be highlighted in this blog post on ‘real democracy’ vs ‘the other kinds’. Thomas Jefferson wrote about a “natural aristocracy” in a free society. Then there is one that keeps itself in power by coercive and fraudulent means.
The highly controlled environment of big cities can be a tool for this, as can other strongly controlled environments. This is the reason for the electoral college. It was obvious already in the 18th century that the big cities could/would lead the country astray if they would get all the voting power.
More details coming later…