Democracy has become a magic word, a title of respectability that no state can now be without. This is because it defines the only political regime that can be presented as the organisation of a disinterested power, in which the governors can always claim that they are 'serving the people'. Despite this, even democracy cannot escape the 'iron law' of oligarchies of power forming despite the ideal of self-government by the people. This is where the complexity of democracy resides: in the inherent risk of being a regime of deceit and dissimulation. Hence, in more realistic terms, democracy is reduced to a continual labour of destruction of the oligarchies, in the precise awareness that every time an oligarchy is destroyed, another springs up in its place, composed of those who have destroyed the previous one.
University of Turin, Italy