The difference between an autocracy and a representative democracy is like the difference between a slave master who lets you do nothing you want to do, and one who lets you do something or things you want to do.
So, which one is better?
The answer may not be so obvious as you might think. We’d want to say the latter, but is it really? Well, yes and no.
Of course being allowed to do some things which please you is technically, and even practically, tangibly, and viscerally preferable to being allowed to do nothing which pleases you. But the point on which I want to focus is that whatever it is you do, when you’re doing it because someone else is letting you do it, you are of course acting entirely under the auspices of someone else’s authority to command you to act. You fundamentally act as a function of the will of another. Period. When you are governed (or ruled…the difference is semantic, not fundamental) all you do is in essence at the pleasure of someone else. And the hard, unpleasant truth of this then is of course that you aren’t really doing what you want to do, but what they want to do, as your behavior is ipso facto a necessary extension of their Authority, which is inexorably corollary to their will. And this means that you’re behavior is fundamentally an expression of them, not you.
Think about it. It’s perhaps not immediately accessible, but it’s a point worth grasping.
Now, to the individual, an agent of himself, who by nature expresses himself according to his own will, this is practical death. It is the rejection of the Self (e.g. You qua You), which means the metaphysical erasure of the individual human being. And this results in an inevitable social psychosis, where the sacrifice of the individual to the State, whether overt or tacit, via the ostensible morality of social justice (common good, necessarily subjectively defined), results in the fundamental inability of individual denizens to see themselves as the natural, rational root and reference of what is both true and good. This is brought about by the perfunctory collectivization of the individual which happens when the individual is governed along with a number of others (that is, ANY State; ANY government); and it’s worth pointing out that this collectivization is fundamentally the subordination of the rational and the objective (the individual) to the fundamentally irrational and the subjective (the collective–the Nation, the Common Good, the Workers, the Volk, the Zeitgeist, the Ideal, etc.). In tandem with collectivization is the ipso facto moving of the moral (or ethical–we can interchange them here) standard away from the Individual to the Law (and they are mutually exclusive). One’s moral obligation becomes obedience to the Law rather than the choice to act in service to the sanctity of the Individual (obedience precludes choice by definition). Consequence for moral violation becomes punishment (an irrational consequence) by the State rather than the Self-defense of free people (a rational consequence).
In such a context individuals will see themselves as decidedly indistinct and ultimately superfluous products of intangible abstractions, like as I said the Nation, or the People, or even–and this may surprise you– the Laws of Nature, which have no practical, tangible, empirical essence, or any relevance distinct from those objects they are said to govern (control; which means create, though this fact is never admitted), or the Divine Will…it could be just about anything really, because these are merely semantic variations of the root collectivist metaphysical premise which perpetually and inexorably defines and rules the subconscious mind of a governed (ruled) people. Once people accept that they are not fundamerally of themselves and do not fundamentally exist to themselves, they, under the artifice of “freedom” in, say, a representative democracy, will naturally gravitate towards whatever collectivist flavor they happen to find appealing. And this suits the ruling classes just fine, whether they know it consciously or not, because for whatever else it might mean, it necessitates that the people never question the foundational premise of all governed peoples: they have no root Self, and therefore their existence is only possible via the control of some outside authoritative force. And what’s more obviously authoritative than Government? Government, we are led to understand, is the natural social and political effect of the infinite determining Cause…be it God or be it Nature, etc. etc.. And now you know why there are so depressingly and embarrassingly few sociopolitical Voluntarists (“anarchists” you might say, though I despise that label). Because collectivism has so many shiny and fetching and complex and colorful varieties, and individualism only has, well…you. Lol.
Once the collectivist metaphysical premise has been conceded (and entirely synthesized) people wake up every day willingly accepting that life is in every way and in every context the inexorable march of Death…of the inevitable nullification and eradication of their minds and independent persons. Which they are told are illusions, but don’t really feel like it; and this is why Death is so terrifying and why people never talk about it. It just is and must be, we are told, like the State, and so the terror and emotional anguish that its felt contradiction wreaks are perfunctory aspects of its “truth”. So the thinking goes: why compound this with debates which challenge assumptions? Why compound anguish with uncertainty? And this is another reason why there are so very few Voluntarists. They must reject the assumptions undergirding…well, everything. Of Being itself. To get there is a hard and naturally lonely road, filled with those of all ideological pedigrees who will hate you and wish you’d just shut up, and those who claim fealty to ancient insufficient philosophies who will call you everything from a fool to a commie to a pantheist to a peddler of solipsism. And who really wants to walk that road? Not. Many.
At any rate, what happens as a consequence of this broad social Stockholm Syndrome (to the collectivist metaphysical primary) is a boiling and fetid cauldron of collective mendacity, idolatry, psychopathy, narcissism, suspicion, ignorance, hate, fear, and violence, which necessitates from the ruling classes ever increasing control and deception. But I must add that I do not fault the ruling classes directly for this; for they, too, are human, and have been suckled on the Ideal by which they govern. I do not hate them, and I do not loathe them, and I do not ascribe to them any necessary overt evil intentions. For as they say ’round Buenos Aries, it takes two to tango. Remember, it was the Jewish people that demanded God give them a King. So, in some sense ironically, I admit that we are all in this together. Even the rulers are ruled by their ideas.