Equality

Since the year 1789, when the French Revolution changed European politics with a decisive stroke, the West has been exclusively the province of democracies.

Democracies take many forms, but in their modern style, they all share certain tenets: everyone can vote and every vote counts equally; people have certain civil rights; freedom of association is limited by law; freedom of purchasing and business is mandatory.

In theory, a count of votes allows a society to express the “will of the people.” In practice democratic societies, because they endorse the equality of all points of view, tend to be pluralistic, or composed of many incompatible points of view at once.

The idea of the will of the people exists only if there is one will. Because the society is pluralistic, the decision made does not express a pre-existing will, but a compromise forced upon the people by the fact of the election.

The result is not an expression of an underlying will, but an ad hoc cross-section of society, which tends to center around the lowest common denominator, because without an underlying will there is no goal and thus voting becomes a matter of convenience.

In addition, the average voter is harried and stressed by a decision they do not have the ability, information or patience to make. They are aware that their vote will in part determine their future, so the pressure is on them to make the vote as quickly as possible which results in them choosing the first plausible option.

A democracy will insist that this cross section is equal to the whole because that is the fiction upon which it is founded. However, what results is a perpetual state of compromise, which is the opposite of leadership.

For this reason democracies tend to be unresponsive to long-term problems and fixated on “galvanizing” issues that are mostly emotional in content, provoking enough reaction to force the audience to confront the election and vote consistently for one side.

The fundamental assumption of democracy that is unstated is the notion that we are all equal in ability. If we are not all equal in ability, this compromise process will find the lowest common denominator.

An exploration of this situation reveals the motivation of democracy. It is not, as stated, to choose the best leadership. Instead, it exists to keep power out of the hands of single individuals like kings or tyrants, and by vesting that power in a perpetual state of disagreement and compromise, neutralizing power itself.

Unfortunately for democracy, it perpetually leads to even greater tyranny because that inability to make decisions will eventually threaten even the most stable nation.

Since this threat is always visible, the human instinct is to go into denial, and to insist that a group of people of average low ability who are forced into a compromise situation will produce the best leadership.

It is no wonder that democracy is popular with those in power, since in this environment of chaos and instability the first mass-produced, well-funded and non-committal platform wins. People pick the least worst option.

Since 1789, the fortunes of the West have declined mightily through this lack of leadership. If we are to reverse our reversal, a good place to start might be an overhaul of modern democracy.

5 Comments

  1. Tucken says:

    What you say is very interesting. I never thought about it, but when you mention it, it is just obvious that the purpose of democracy from the very beginning was to strip rulers from their power. So that it cannot be abused. There is just no way, that in those times they considered common people able to do the decision making of kings. Today, this is all forgotten and replaced with pro democractic and human rights propaganda. Something to think about. I imagine a comic strip to display commoners in ruler garbs.

    Rather is it all fear based. They managed to stop the leaking, but at the expense of making good flow impossible. Now the container is a pressure chamber, set to explode. Working towards securing, instead of a promoted goal, had it’s consequences.

    Something that has baffled me, and that I’d like to bring up, is this:
    If people are honest with themselves, looking at schematic party programs, how much can they truly say they agree to or somewhat agrees to? If each and every discussed question has at least 2 options(yes and no) I find it unlikely that anyone could side to more than 50% of any given program. Of those 50%, we can expect a party to follow through with half of their to-do lists(I am taking numbers out of thin air). Unless my math is flawed, this will make you pleased with the outcome of 1 question out of 4. And I’m not even counting turnarounds and political lies. How people can accept negative growth, where a vote to your opposite party could potentially be more in line with your views, due to this poor equation – I do not know. Yet, every time there is a vote coming – people turn into Opinion Monsters, siding fully with their given party. Very strange, indeed. They see only the propaganda given to them.

    This can be observed very easily in Sweden, were we have about 8 parties sharing power, compared to 2 in america, 84% of the population voting, compared to ~60% in A. This is interesting, in many ways. But it will have to wait until another time.

  2. Jim says:

    Man, you got Holder bearing down on states that have ID standards to vote. They don’t want informed people voting. They want naive drones.

  3. 1349 says:

    The idea of the will of the people exists only if there is one will. Because the society is pluralistic, the decision made does not express a pre-existing will

    For the “will of the people” to exist, the mass of people must be a self-coordinating organism, which it isn’t. Thousands of people living in hundreds of kilometres away from each other physically cannot talk things over to work out a united opinion.
    Consensus is hard to achieve even in small groups. When more than 3 people start discussing a technical problem here at my job, we can end up arguing and shouting at each other ))), and the guy directly responsible for the solution shoulders the final decision, alone.

  4. 1349 says:

    Instead, it exists to keep power out of the hands of single individuals like kings or tyrants

    …especially kings or tyrants of local descent sharing interests with the locals.

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