The other day I was thinking about a possible situation where my characters discover a new civilization run by something like a democracy, and my characters marvel at how inefficient it is and how much the people squabble among themselves and convince them to get a king instead.
Let's ignore the blindingly obvious fact that having a king won't instantly solve political infighting by ANY stretch of the imagination. It occurred to me that there is another issue here. If I ever put out a story like that, I'd be outright demonized. The media backlash for something like that woukd make your head spin.
But why? Why do we fetishize democracy when really its just the least bad of several bad options, and one that I'm not sure is universally apllicable?
I bring this up because one of the main criticisms of fantasy in general that I see (along with escapism bashing and accusations of racism) is condemning fantasy's lack of democracies and the predisposition toward kings, lords, noble warriors etc.
Should fantasy have more democracy? Are we obliged to mirror society's real world political values?