Re: democracy and such
I've been itching to answer this one all day but I've been a bit busy.
Democracy is not just elections. Democracy is, at it's base, holding those in power to accountin order to limit their ambitions to serving the people. A mere election is usually the most efficient way to choose who those in power are going to be but it is not the essential element of a democratic system of government. The House of Lords, prior to being stuffed with government-appointed stooges and tripped of its ability to prevent the cabinet exercising untrammelled power, was more democratic than our current "system".
When a democratic system comes apart, it becomes mob rule and a sort of soft totalitarianism (fascism is actually the merging of state power with private capital, with the state totally directing the use of capital without actually taking ownership, but who's counting?) but by dint of that failure it stops being democracy - those in power are no longer held to account, the system no longer prevents their excesses but encourages them. A functional democracy prevents mob rule.