Home > Democracy is not good in itself

Democracy is not good in itself

The president of the United States said the other day that “democracies don’t attack each other†. I found this strange since Hitler was democratically elected and attacked many people; albeit without the popular vote made possible by an inefficiency in the German political system of the time; nevertheless, however, had there been a majority movement in Germany to correct this inefficiency, and so make it impossible for some such like Hitler to be elected through it, such a movement would have succeeded in correcting the system. So the German Majority of the time is responsible for allowing the inefficiency in their democratic process due to laziness (what’s the worst that could happen they might say) and so responsible. Either way, Bush is certainly speaking of such democracies when he speaks of democracies for he is certainly speaking of the United States, which has essentially the same inefficiency; indeed, the very same inefficiency (in terms of the weighting of the votes as well as the intergrity of the vote counting system) he owes his office to, having lost the popular (as in actual) vote in both election he appeared in. However, it should not be said that the system failed or that Bush took advantage of it; it was the American people that did not correct it.

Yet there is this sentiment that democracy, no matter how ambiguous, is somehow a virtue. That somehow all decisions made in a democratic way are virtuous.

This is especially dangerous and foolish. Clearly even a true democracy can err like any other political process. Yet somehow, the errors of democracy are contended to be less full of error. For some reason they are excusable. Indeed, they are understandable and expected. Generally, when errors occur the blame falls on a single individual’s shoulders and everyone uses their name as a reproach for a few months. But who gave power to these individuals?

This is why holding democracy as a virtue and at the same time blaming government, or even hating government is so comforting. At no point in time is the voter to blame. At no point in time is the voter responsible to think about things. Whenever something goes wrong it is not the voter’s fault but the guy immediately associated with the wrongness. Furthermore, when the voter doesn’t see — through very superficial research and little thought on the matter — any way they can affect government through voting, they easily proclaim: there is no one to vote for! It is not the voter’s responsibility to seek out some new political movement, or failing that start their own political movement. Far from it. It is the voters’ responsibility to ignore the problem and blame as many other people as possible.

I am not contending we should ignore incompetence and corruption when we see it in government, that we should not discover what exactly occurred, that we should not hold accountable those that should account, that we should not think very carefully about how, through our voting we brought about this situation, discuss the issue, and not try our best to ensure it never happens again. Indeed, how much sense would it make if we didn’t?

However, this problem can’t be solved by more government examining the government and then even more government examining the government examining the government and so on. The problem is solved through awareness. And let us further clarify that it is not solved by some body forcing people to be aware.

Nor am I contending that we should get rid of democracy. Allow me to explain my position. Lest I simply blame everyone else and don’t seek for myself a deeper understanding of not only politics but how to take part responsibly in the political process.

I believe the ideas of capitalism are applicable to some situations. I believe the ideas of socialism are applicable to some situation. I believe ideas born from the synthesis of socialism and capitalism are applicable to some situations. I believe there may very well be ideas not associated with capitalism or socialism that are applicable to some situations. What I do not believe is that there exists a theory that once in place will simply solve all our problems and continue solving our problems indefinitely.

Indeed, Kurt Gödel’s incompleteness theorem, to those familiar with logic, strongly suggests there will always be situations we will encounter which are not resolvable by any previous mode of thinking. Which means there will always be a need to consider new situations and to think of new ideas concerning them.

Thus, my political theory essentially states that if everyone thinks about politics a sufficient amount, society will avoid gross error and may on occasion exhibit brilliance. Furthermore, this necessity of thought will never diminish.

Core theorems in my political theory are:

The government is simply a manifestation of the understanding of people affecting such a government. This still holds true in situations where governments interfere with other governments; in such cases the government in question A is being affected by a government not in question B which is affected by the people associated with that government, and thus by association associated with the government in question A. It is a case of people, of B, affecting government A, and so the theorem holds; even if the people of B don’t think they affect A, does not mean that they are not, and does not diminish they’re part and responsibility in the actions of their government if it is indeed not the case. It is a more obtuse relationship, which may be very bad for the people normally associated with the government in question A but a relationship nonetheless. A government may also be disproportional affected by some past generation associated with such a government for some, which is the same thing axcept the meddlers of B in this case happen to have lived in the same place and happen to be now dead; the abstract relationship is nonetheless the same.

Which leads to the conclusion that a government can’t function above, nor below, the understanding of the people associated with (affecting) that government for any significant amount of time.

The understanding of the people, and in a globalized world where the strong countries interfere with the weak, the understanding of all people is thusly more important than the design of the government at any given point in time.

Increase in understanding is therefore the most important thing in society.

“What is education?†is the most significant question society can pose itself, and should be foremost on the minds of all individuals, in the absence of any more pressing matter requiring the sum total answers over all previous moments in human history to the question in question.

Education is independence of mind. The ability to make decisions without another’s guidance.


copyright 2006 - 2020 Eerik Wissenz