Is democracy a good political idea? Is it an ingenuously good idea, adrift on an ocean mercilessly inimical to its seemly merits: an idea too good to be equipped to cope with politics? Is it even perhaps a bad idea, the full demerits of which are glaringly exposed by politics, if only we have the nerve or wit to look and see? What, if anything, can or should we trust about democracy? Almost no one trusts politicians as a category - least of all themselves - and how can there be democracy in the world in which we live except by and through politicians? And if we should hesitate long and hard before we soften our disbelief in career politicians, why should we be any readier to place our trust instead in bombastic businessmen who have taken up the activity rather late in life? Why democracies fail and how they can hope to succeed has become today a question of some importance.