The Land Across(novel) – Gene Wolfe
“This is a lecture and you do not have to read it. I just want to say something about dictators and dictatorships.
Dictators get in when democracy sucks. The elected governments do a bad job, one after another, or they are so crooked the elections no longer matter and nobody cares. Are dictators bad? Sure. But some are worse than others. Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot were about as bad they come, but there have been a whole bunch of others. They were bad, too, but look at the governments they replaced and the governments that replaced them.
If you do not want a dictatorship here, vote. But be careful who you vote for, and be careful about who gets on the ballot. Democracy means rule by the people, and if the people will not do the job – well, somebody is going to step in and do it for them.
Spreading democracy is a really good idea and I am all for it. Just keep in mind that ruling is work. It means staying informed and making the tough choices. And if the people do not want to do the work of ruling, democracy will not work. It is a lot easier to shoot a dictator then it is to replace one with something better.”