Speaking of a guiding hand, I am reminded of Adam Smith in "An Inquiry into the Nature & Causes of the Wealth of Nations", Vol 1
Every individual is continually exerting himself to find out the most advantageous employment for whatever capital he can command. It is his own advantage, indeed, and not that of the society which he has in view. But the study of his own advantage naturally, or rather necessarily, leads him to prefer that employment which is most advantageous to society... He intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was not part of his intention.
Likewise and for much the same reasons, voters in a democracy seek to advance their own interests "led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was not part of [her/]his intention." You get enough people voting their interests and you get policies that promote those interests. Hold elections often enough then you can correct for the overshoots.
Without a "market" to guide it, non-democracies lack a self correcting mechanism which leads to diminished results.