A couple of days ago, the London Guardian challenged us as to whether we really want honest politicians. Now it asks us whether democracy is overrated, concluding,
Perhaps these developments point to a deeper problem incipient in western democracies. Far from the free market and democracy enjoying the kind of harmonious relationship beloved of western propaganda, democracy grew in fact as a constraint on the market, holding it at bay and enabling a pluralism of values and imperatives. What happens when this healthy tension becomes a dangerous imbalance, in which the market is dominant and consumerism is established as the overriding ethos of society, permeating politics just as it has invaded every other nook and cranny of society? Democracy comes under siege. In Italy it is already gasping for breath. In the US it is deeply and increasingly flawed. Democracy is neither a platitude nor an eternal verity - either for the world or for the west.