I mentioned it numerous time on here prior to 2016.....Technocracy
Short hop from technocracy to autocracy, Joe, no?
I agree with some of your analysis re democracy, but I think you put too little emphasis on the rule of law, or rather, what democracy means for the rule of law.
For instance, in a dictatorship like Nazi Germany, there were laws, but they were not equally applicable to all citizens, which essentially subverts the rule of law, which allowed genocide to be codified and regulated.
In Communist Russia, and in today's Russia, there are laws, but they are ignored in certain instances when dealing with certain citizens (for instance the murder of critics of Putin, or the Stalinist purges). This again subverts the idea of the rule of law.
So what is the rule of law? It is the idea that any and all citizens hold the same rights before the law of a nation, no matter their background or circumstances. This law derives from the people through their elected representatives or through direct voting like referendums, is decided by the majority or the majority of their legislative representatives, and is implemented for the benefit of all (which is the clause of the American constitution that causes the most ire between liberals and conservatives - what was meant by the benefit of all? Does that mean social security and welfare, or does it mean freedom from repressive regulation? Though that is an argument for another thread).
Of course, the democratic system employs coercive force - the police, the courts, the penal system - but crucially, this force is only employed after the breaking of laws agreed by the people, is not employed against one section of the population exclusively (which is why pre-Civil rights NI could never have been recognised as a democratic society, despite a Unionist majority) and is not employed without the authorisation of the law, unlike secret police forces such as the Cheka, Stasi and Gestapo.
All of the above is an ideal - democracy is an imperfect solution, the best bad idea we have. But it surely guarantees citizens far more benefits, rights and choices than any other system out there. Much as you might think a technocracy might differ from an autocracy, they are the same thing, and cannot exist without removing the individuals rights from the centre of the governmental system.
The current unrest a la Trump, Brexit, Syria, Isis, fake news, manipulation etc is not a symptom of democracy's failure - it is a symptom of what happens when we let democracy degrade. Remember, much of the manipulation that happened during the American election was aimed at that system by an autocrat. If a vicious kleptocrat like Putin thinks democracy is a bad idea, then, for me, that is an endorsement that we need more of it. And quick.