is democracy outdated?

orginally from April 4, 2012

The argument goes back to Plato who writes that why should we let everyone make wine, or only those qualified and capable of doing this? This leads to several questions.

  • Is governing a skill? One that can be learned and mastered?
  • What are we doing in governing a nation-state?
  • Where are we going? And why?

Democracy works,
just not for whatever-the-is we have now.

Elections are among the worst part of what we still call "democracy."
We choose between fantasies,
for all the wrong reasons.

Democracy depends on getting votes.
Politicians will resort to racism, xenophobia, and hysteria to get those votes.
Therefore, democracy is not a path to progress or enlightenment.

Can democracy work if most people are ignorant assholes?
Perhaps all that matters is that people thinks it works.

The actual processes of our contemporary democracy makes voters more ignorant.

There is, as always, an overly simplistic theory or two about how democracy works, as well as a more nuanced theory or two. One simple theory is that an educated public is best qualified to make choices about where the nation is going. At the very least it can signal it's approval or disapproval.
A more nuanced theory is that competing groups of uneducated people, voting their selfish-interests, are as good way as any to run a nation-state.

Where are we going?
What is happening beneath it all?

You can have a just dictatorship or a just totalitarian state,
and you can have an unjust and unfair democracy.

One of the drawbacks of democracy is thinking the majority is right.

Foolishnesses of Democracy: If 51% want it, it happens.
Even if 90% worldwide wanted it, that would still leave 680,000,000 people who did not.

In a democracy, we can all have opinions.
That's usually all we can have — not power, intelligence or nuanced opinions.

Democracy, some people think, gives you the right to think whatever the fuck you want, regardless of it being sensible, true, silly or frivolous.

[ back ]