Idiocracy

2012-06-12 (Tuesday) § 5 Comments

I think maybe any attempt to prevent stupid people from having input in governance is an existential threat to democracy.  Everybody is supposed to have input whether they’re smart, stupid, good or evil.  That’s what I understand the fundamental doctrine of democracy to be, that all of us will be better off long-term if all of us get some say in governance.  As soon as we start trying to define some set of people out of the demos, we’ll have given up on that doctrine.  Barring some well-articulated intellectual stopwall, it’s a slippery slope from there to aristocracy, which after all means the doctrine that the “best” people should be in charge.

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§ 5 Responses to Idiocracy

  • TCC says:

    I absolutely agree with that, which is why I think it’s important to continue educational efforts to help people fight back against tribalistic thinking and become more genuinely informed and to empower the more informed voting populace to exercise their franchise.

    • paginavorus says:

      What about to empower the less informed voting populace to exercise their franchise?

      • TCC says:

        I’m of mixed feelings in that regard. On the one hand, I think it’s good to empower people to get involved in having a voice in the decisions that are made for them, but I think that has to be stated as something to be tackled responsibly, not just as a right to be exercised. I’m not comfortable (as you seem not to be as well) with insinuations that people should be deprived suffrage if they refuse to become informed, but I think it’s perfectly acceptable to promote the value of informed action being paramount in exercising that right.

  • Anonymous says:

    I’m sure a true meritocracy would be better than a democracy, assuming we really had the best people in charge of ruling the country…theoretically, they would look out for the interests of everyone (otherwise they are not actually the best people.) The problem is finding a way to evaluate people that isn’t open to bias or corruption.

    • paginavorus says:

      I don’t think there’s any way to do anything that isn’t open to bias or corruption. I’d rather aim to put constraints on bias and corruption.

      Defining “best” and “the interests of everyone” might be hard without specifying who’s to judge, which itself involves a decision between various -ocracies. I’m thinking that decision might have to be a fundamental one, meaning we can’t make it based on what’s most likely to achieve a given outcome until we decide who’s “we” that’s choosing the given outcome in the first place.

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