Like many Americans today, I am going to vote in the midterm elections. Unlike many other Americans, I realize you probably have precisely zero interest in my political opinions, especially on a gaming blog.
But it does make me think about the democracy of the gaming group. I've made no bones of the fact that my style as DM is more dictatorial than anything. That doesn't mean I don't solicit feedback or anything, it just means that I am the final arbiter/judge of all in-game decisions. There's not a lot of shared narrative in our games, and they're not exactly decentralized in terms of power.
That sounds harsh to some people, but I think when we talk about our GMing styles (and the trend and backlash against softer, group-consensus game mastery), even the most dictatorial GM forgets that without the democracy and populism of group social formation and cohesion, nothing is sustainable. Quite frankly, you can be a tyrant GM directly up to the point that your group says "screw you, pal", and decides that there are a dozen better ways to spend a Saturday than watching you on a power trip.
The realm you create at the table only last as long as people continue to stand for it; the moment it becomes not worthwhile, all the strict GMing in the world won't save you. All someone has to do to break that is to not show up. So long as you're a dictatorial GM, you preside at the consent of the players, and their continued tolerance of the arrangement.
Thank you, and may God Bless America.