Democracy

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Full Title or Meme

A process of communal decision making.

Context

  • A form of government that is the worst possible, except for all of the others that have been tried so far. - Winston Churchill
  • We must make our choice, we may have Democracy or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few. But we can't have both. Louis Brandeis.[1]
  • The context here is a political system that supports private property, and a capitalist economy based on private companies, all of which are regulated by the rule of law.
  • Many, including the author, predict that a Nodal Point is coming sooner or later, where any old existing Democracy will need to adapt, or die.

Problems

Inequality

The wealth holders have always used their wealth to manipulate the system. In the feudal system it involved the struggle of the barons against the King. Once equality before the law was introduced, the wealth holders were at a disadvantage when taxes were controlled by the majority. But now they hired experts to game the democratic systems to their own advantage. In Britan the law was settled by the law nobles in the supreme court of the house of Lords. In the US the wealth holders have found a way to bribe the law makers into putting judges on the Supreme Court that are friendly to their concerns to the point where any limitation on their ability to influence legislation has been ruled unconstitutional.

Speed

Democracy is a human institution and so only progresses at the speeds that humans can accept. Even its founder, Solon, cautioned that

Unfortunately, the speed of technological advance seems to be such that even before Democracy has adapted to one change, technology may very well have obsoleted that and moved on to the next.

Some have argued that technology must be freed of governmental interference and allowed to move at its own speed, but that typically ensures that many human beings will be left behind. Wired reported in 2022[2] that Robert Hassan said "for decades, network computing, which made everything from social media to Zoom possible. This allows for a kind of connectivity that collapses both space and time. The result is that democratic politics seem interminably slow relative to the pace of commerce and culture."

Responsibility

Personal

Corporate

References

  1. Kurt Anderson, Evil Geneuses, Random House (2022) ISBN‎ 978-1984801340
  2. Elanor Cummins, Overclocked, Wired (2022-07) pp 38 ff.