Democracy has proved to come with striking advantages (for most people) compared to any known alternative form of government. The answer to the why-question is found in the identification of those advantages.
The first advantage of democracy: avoidance of tyranny. Writes Robert H. Dahl (in On Democracy): “Perhaps the most fundamental and persistent problem in politics is to avoid autocratic rule.” That tyranny is an endemic danger in government is abundantly clear from history, including the recent history of the twentieth century, and clear enough today when we look to, for example, China or Russia or Saudi Arabia. In all autocratic systems – absolutist monarchies, aristocracies, oligarchies, outright dictatorships – there is an overwhelming risk of tyranny.
In democracies, the combination of government above and safety below is possible. It’s ingenious: we get both protection and protection from the protectors. We can allow our governments to rule because we are not at their mercy.
Governments hold vast powers. Power corrupts. Government for the people will only happen if government power is under popular control. Without control, government becomes tyrannical. Look to Putin’s Russia. Controls from below undermined, resulting in tyranny from above. Benevolent autocracy is a myth.
For more detailed analysis, see How Democracies Live.
On the backslide to tyranny in Russia, see Putin Has Turned Russia into an Unapologetic Autocracy.
On tyranny, see The Perfect Dictatorship.