You might believe in the power of democracy because of a kind of “wisdom of crowds” effect whereby voters can collectively make good decisions although many or even most of them are uninformed. According to this theory, the uninformed vote randomly, and their votes therefore cancel each other out, leaving the real decision in the hands of the well-informed. But as Bryan Caplan demonstrates in his 2008 book, The Myth of the Rational Voter, the uninformed do not vote randomly. Rather, their votes are systematically biased by certain popular economic fallacies. If fewer uninformed people vote, therefore, it’s not a bad thing.
Of course, the preferred narrative is that voters are staying home in droves because they’re apathetic. But maybe they’re discouraged because they keep being disappointed by their politicians. Maybe apathy is just the first step in realizing that politicians do not generally have your best interests at heart, and that even if they do, they can’t give you the moon. Having not unreasonably given up on politics and politicians, though, maybe we can learn to trust a little more in ourselves and in each other to find peaceful, voluntary alternatives to the heavy, corrupt fist of the state.