Friday, July 24, 2009

Blogger is Experimenting on Their Live Servers

Update: This post is now a part of Some of My Mistakes.

Again. As opposed to, say, test servers. This blog post is a workaround.

It's also a proof that Democracy is an inherent contradiction.


It's fun to watch someone flail around trying to define Democracy. (Communism too.) Due to this, I usually have to derive my own.

Seriously, if I use this particular definition, I don't even have to do any work.

Democracy = rights, some liberties, separation of powers and separation of church and state. Also has a constitution that guarantees independent courts.

Well, constitutions don't guarantee anything in any practical sense. Case closed.

But cuz I like overkill...

Elections can be held without electing anything of consequence.

If you want to guarantee human rights, the first item on the agenda is to abolish Democracy. It doesn't matter who you are, you don't get to say how I run my life unless you have a contract with my signature or seal saying that you do. Rule by majority is an inherent violation of the human right.

Ditto independent courts. Separation of powers immediately entangles them with the political arena, exposing them to strong pressure to either submit or be submitted to.

So I'm going to go back to demos kratos and say, okay, the people rule.

Sovereignty, ownership of the geographical area which corresponds to a jurisdiction, is owned by the stakeholders, the people affected, by this jurisdiction.

I'm going to accept that the majority have this right as an axiom. Clearly, if you have a bunch of people, with different opinions, but one outcome must be applied to all of them, the best way to maximize value is to match the opinions of the most people as closely as possible. Hence, demos kratos automatically means majority rule.

I'm going to accept that the majority are allowed to appoint a steward to run the thing for them.

So the majority are appointing someone to tell them what to do.

Right, TGGP, I'm hiring you to be my master.

Or...err...not, as that doesn't make any sense. Who's in charge, here? Do you get to tell me I cannot fire you?
What about unpleasant orders? The canonical example being to clean my room - perhaps to cut down on insect infestations. I decide I don't like that and fire you, defeating the whole purpose.

Circular authority collapses. The whole exercise is absurdity incarnate.

So I'm going to toss out the idea that they can appoint a steward. As any venture founded in contradiction, you can pretend to do it, but in reality it will be something very different and painfully corrupt. All Republics are automatically evil.

So, pure Democracy or bust.

The first problem is that now we're flying the space shuttle by ballot box. Imagine the Apollo XIII mission, except before the astronauts could do anything, they had to run an election across all three hundred million Americans...after all, they paid for it.

We're lucky the free market can run itself. Soviet Russia had much less support and had a nice controlled flight into terrain.

There's more, naturally; some of the Apollo XIII repairs and manoeuvres would accrue prestige to various factions, resulting in objective-outcome-independent decision making. The astronauts are quite fucked.

But, as I'm a philosopher, I find it much more damning to find a logical contradiction.

Telling yourself what to do is even more absurd than hiring someone to tell you what to do. The majority is just going to do what it was going to do anyway. They will legalize all their favourite pastimes, criminalize everything they find disgusting, and institutionalize every bias and misconception they have.

The only people affected are the minority...everyone else.

Again, I can instantly slay Democracy here by the standards of 'modern Democracy,' by invoking the rights of the minority. But that is too easy, so I'm going to throw out the idea of rights entirely. (It also narrows down the source of the contradiction.)

Instead: Democracy is the enslavement of the minority by the majority. The full scope of people ruled by Democracy have exactly no say in how they are ruled. Their opinions, freely voiced or not, are tossed aside. Their votes are meaningless. Their 'possessions' are held due to the sufferance of the majority.

Democracy is the ultimate in disenfranchisement. Oh and incidentally most people get to run around with their heads cut off. I'm sorry - like chickens with their heads cut off. I got the idea that they're chaotic and the fact that they have no qualification to rule mixed together in my head. (Not only that, no desire to learn to wield their power.)

This state of pure chaos is the closest you can get to approximating rule by the people. Insofar as your average Democracy isn't this, it isn't even trying to be Democracy, isn't even attempting to put legitimacy to votes, and is contravening majority rule.

Democracy is, in short, the opposite of what it is supposed to be. It is the rule by nobody at all. Democracy is the definition of pure chaos. As each successive definition has attempted to tame this rabid 800-pound gorilla, it simply gives me more and more ways to show that third stage rabies cannot be cured.

For example,
"Even though there is no specific, universally accepted definition of 'democracy', there are two principles that any definition of democracy includes. The first principle is that all citizens, not invested with the power to govern, have equal access to power and the second that all citizens enjoy legitimized freedoms and liberties."
By definition, any citizen who might benefit from power does not have access to it. Without gutting majority rule, and thus abandoning any pretence of Democracy, just under most citizens do not enjoy any legitimate freedoms or liberties. Simultaneously, the majority are all like, "Yay, I'm free from myself, I have liberty from my tyranny!"

The idea that the people affected by rule should have a say in how they're ruled is a very feel good idea. Unfortunately, it is impossible.

I'd like to finish off with a thought I've had basically forever but never seen anywhere else.

The actual point of Democratic ideology is that anyone can be president. People looked at the world and found that not only were their lives largely controlled by others for others' benefit, but that there was never any legal way that they could have been masters of their own destiny. While acknowledging that someone had to rule, (I reject this) they realized even basic fairness required that everyone at least have some shot at the top job.

And that's it. That's the point. That, if you were being misruled or exploited, at least to have the opportunity to do a better job by doing it yourself.

Again, this essential point just goes to show that Democracy is the first thing to get rid of if this is the outcome you want. This goal, as with the feminist movement, was immediately hijacked by cruel, mendacious power seekers. (You can see me contort trying not to say 'evil' because I know you don't accept the concept.) Attempts at Democracy turned out to be extremely useful to these people.

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TGGP said...

I'm not going to argue here over whether there are any rights in anything other than the positive sense, since you can just read the book. You do seem to be open to explicit consent-based contractarianism, which avoids the whole issue.

Well, constitutions don't guarantee anything in any practical sense. Case closed.
Yes, they do.

"Modern democracy" is a different standard than merely democracy. Benjamin Constant famously wrote of the ancients vs the moderns, and while the ancients may have had democracy that did not guarantee individual rights. So I don't think much of Wikipedia's definition.

Do you get to tell me I cannot fire you?
Did We the Sheeple vote on whether or not you could? A democracy could vote to abolish democracy. Or it could vote that they always have the power to remove their steward. That's logically possible and not a contradiction.

Telling yourself what to do is even more absurd than hiring someone to tell you what to do.
No, if "yourself" is a group it could potentially solve collective action problems. In practice I agree with Bryan Caplan that it introduces negative externalities.

Democracy is the ultimate in disenfranchisement.
No, you said the minority was disenfranchised. The ultimate in disenfranchisement would be disenfranchising the majority.

Alrenous said...

No objection to my main points. Sweet.