When Washington Post racing columnist Andrew Beyer says “democracy,” he means “communist country”:
At a time when the populations of Arab countries are seething with resentment against their own leaders, the rulers of Dubai don’t hesitate to engage in self‐indulgence on a gargantuan scale. They are unembarrassed that this money is derived from the natural resources of their country — resources that, in a democracy, would belong to the nation.
He’s writing about the use of oil wealth to build a powerful and expensive stable of racehorses. He’s right that in a free society, all that oil wealth wouldn’t belong to a small group of hereditary rulers. But countries that declare that their natural resources “belong to the nation” end up poor countries.