(not part of the guide, just a small observation)
If the people have access to the muzzle of guns in sufficient quantities, so as to threaten the government in case of significant civilian discontent, there is an indirect ‘democratic’ effect in action. This effect applies to any country and any form of government, even to dictatorships. Violence does not have to occur in order to a person or a group capable of violence to gain power due to this capability, the unmentionable threat of violence is enough in many cases.
Think about Ghandi and Martin Luther King, while their names are commonly used to show how ‘peaceful’ non-violent civil disobedience protests can be effective, both had much more violent options backing them (e.g. Malcolm X types and radical Indian nationalists) ready to shed blood if the ‘peaceful’ negotiations fail.
If there are such ‘democratic’ effects in dictatorships, is it possible to have ‘tyrannical’ effects in a democracy? Is the financing and monetary support of presidential candidates by corporations has a ‘tyrannical’ effect?, the power wealthy people have over the media?, or maybe the way the system is built to reduce the power of any political candidate outside of the democratic/republican binary?
Is, in certain cases, the difference between democracy and tyranny smaller than we think?
(For the new reader, here is a link to the latest draft (pdf, 14/Jun/2012) of the Guide for a Young Patriarch which is based on the posts made in this blog and attempts to organize them into a consistent message.)