Democracy has various critics from numerous different and sometimes diametrically opposed political orientations. Traditionally, the political spectrum is divided into left and right, but another common dimension articulated by political scientists is the vertical dimension, or authoritarian and libertarian. So it is possible to have libertarian right-wing politics, authoritarian (or anti-democratic) left-wing politics, and vice versa.
It is important to note that there are multiple forms of democracy—for instance, social democracy found in Scandinavian countries, a more direct form of democracy in Switzerland, and a democratic republic found in the United States. There are also pseudo-democracies in certain authoritarian states which only maintain the illusion of being democracies. There is also the economic factor to consider in assessing a democracy—whether it is freely capitalist as in the United States, or more regulated as in certain countries in Europe, or contains certain elements of socialism or social democracy.
So, when speaking of the limitations of democracy, there are always a number of factors to be considered. Strictly speaking, democracy is simply "the rule of the people." This is much more complicated in a modern nation with millions of citizens and sophisticated forms of democratic representation.
Using that definition of democracy as the primary form to assess its limitations, however, there are basic conclusions which one might draw. Because democracy almost always depends on some form of majority rule, this always has implications for political minorities and individual interests. Depending on a number of social factors, this majority force can be manipulated by certain political actors or trends—for instance, demagoguery or what is called "mob rule," a form of group think.
While democracies can be very flexible, they can also become unwieldy in their convoluted forms of representation. However, this is perhaps mostly a problem of large representational democracies, where the processes of election, legislation (particularly legislation, which can become very tiresome), and accountability become involved in bureaucratic labyrinths; at the same time, of course, this can be a counter to more direct forms of democracy (which rely more heavily on referendums, plebiscites, and the like), which may be too impulsive and reactionary.
There are many issues involved in democracy; however, the alternatives based in minority or elite rule depend on an inherent lack of freedom and upholding of privilege.