Man by nature is not democratic. Although it applies to all living beings, but let’s restrict ourselves to mankind only, for obvious reasons. Given a choice, one would like to impose one’s views over the other person. Undemocratic behavior starts from home itself where domestic violence, child berating etc. are very general trends. So given a choice, man would like to embrace the characteristics of a monarch or autocrat because that is what gives the real taste of Power, power over others. Democracy on the other hand, requires allowing other person to enter your mental space and enjoy equal share of it. This is not to say that Love is absent from our lives, but during those moments which are very trying and which really test our inner strength, one would like to vent out one’s internal turmoil over the other and try to force through his way.
Democracy implies rule of the people. However the underlying principle is equality. Equality means allowing others point of view, sharing benefits. It falls in the quadrant I am OK, You Are OK. Given a choice, we like to be in the quadrant I am OK, You are not OK. Competitive spirit also fuels this behaviour. It makes one push oneself forward, even at the same time suppressing others point of view for self projection.
Democracy, on the other hand, becomes a strong weapon in the hands of weak and disadvantaged. They are able to claim their right with the support of this system. It acts as a booster for those who would otherwise lag behind in the society for want of adequate space for themselves. The benefits of democracy can not be denied as it ensures that all components of the society are able to move in tandem thereby ensuring that structural cracks in the society are avoided.
What are these cracks. These result when gap between the highest and lowest sections of society starts widening. If the gap widens, it can become disastrous and can even cause civil unrest. Therefore Democracy plays a very noble part by ensuring that society remains in harmony. The invention of democracy was necessitated to counter the inherent contrary nature of man.
We can see that we are undemoctratic by nature but democracy is important for our progress as a society.
So what stops us from behaving so animal like. Democratic thinking, definitely no. But other things like social stigma, fear of backlash, inadequate physical or mental strength, fear of law etc are more plausible reasons which restrict our behavior to more acceptable levels. So governments not only impose dictatorship but democracy as well. If it were to be made voluntary, there would be no takers.