Democracy always works. However, it has remained our universal western option because people have made it synonymous with 'freedom.' The reason it works is because it is so good at hiding those features of its nature which keep its engine running. Whether it is the people acting as a sort of subconscious to the state or the state acting as subconscious to the people, democracy relies on a psychological mechanism which sees the will of the smallest units of organization suppressed for the sake of belonging--tension freed only by doing what is popular, rather than what needs to be done. Democracy is a way for the state to separate the wheat from the tares and the sheep from the goats.
Democracy without government is a contradiction in terms. Government doesn't merely interfere with democracy, it creates the terms for it. Like the concept of the free market, it governs quality by way of quantity. With democracy, even if everything operated how it otherwise would have, with consensus of a community majority determining what would be accepted in their society, there is the added feature of division between majority and minority. It always works because it is not about solutions to problems, but affirmation of the status quo. The state makes promises to repay society from the money it makes, and makes the majority feel good that it thought the right thoughts and had the right feelings. All the while, states always put fine print in concerning the situations in which they can cancel a law suddenly, or go to war with people you've never crossed paths with on your behalf, or give billions of dollars to someone you would never have traffic with. Democracy, like any other form of organization, could only work if it was not centralized; if people freely associated with others who wanted the same type of society and vowed to see the results through (but then, who realistically would vow to let someone else decide against and veto their own best wishes?).
Democracy is the politics of crisis. It is the politics of the noisy mob, the loud consensus shouted in the streets to intimidate and scare off dissenters. It manifested most strongly in the past few centuries as a form of emergency decision making, in which it became important to quickly distinguish between two diametrically opposite sets of values. It isn't even people who abuse democracy who do the most harm but people who truly believe in it; that sovereignty dissolves in the greater will of the people.
'The people' don't exist. They are an abstraction which hides the fact that all people are endlessly unalike, even as they follow useful patterns. Democracy simply measures these patterns, accelerates their outcomes and lords it all over the loser.
If democracy existed in a vacuum, it would be bad enough. It is all the worse that it exists in a constant paradigm of globalist parasitism, in which, even the minority which consenses against the majority have no option but to repatriate into yet another culture with which they are incompatible. It tells the minority, 'Not only have you lost, but you are wrong and have, perhaps, always been wrong.'
Every group which enters this globalist paradigm is swallowed into a world in which there will always be, not masters and slaves, but masters and slaves to other slaves; mastered by the unseen forces to which they have no choice but to conform.
If it was really about what was best for all, someone would have tied by now. No, people under one flag with opposing values never tie. Only the equally armed ever tie.