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November 02, 2003

Electing Stalin

P6 says:

essentially, that once you have agreed that government is a job for the full-time expert and that ''rule by the people'' is literally impossible, you need some way in which the ordinary man can stop the elite from walking off with the store.

I say:
What is it that the common man knows that is so important that he should control government? Nothing. It is not so important as the fact that the common man outnumbers the uncommon man.

If one desires a representative government one must be aware that there is a limited amount of consensus that is possible from the masses. There are the inevitable mathematics that a Greatest Common Factor among the masses won't be particularly high. The greater the actual number of diverse people, the lower that GCF will be.

The masses are all ants without a queen. They experiment and try every which way to get over. Once they succeed in finding a way, they will discipline themselves to that way and their achievement depends upon their ability to successfully negoitiate the factors that change the conditions under which their original success flourished. The better they are at this, the more they become an elite power. An elite is created by success. Achievement requires focus and discipline, such are the very things that differentiate one from the masses.

What everybody should understand is their fundamental agreement. Education of the masses to prevent their 'being complicit in their own oppression' disempowers the elite only if the elite in fact is empowered by the assent of the masses. In a market economy, this is nothing more or less than giving the public what it wants. So when the public changes its mind or if the public has its mind changed for it this same action only facilitates the creation of a new elite. Sick of violent movies, watch chick flicks. Sick of all movies? Read a book. Sick of Democrats? Vote Republican. Sick of both? Vote Green. Sick of politics? Don't vote. Sick of civil society? Go to jail.

Every choice isolates and lowers the GCF. If one is disciplined in their thoughtful choices, there are only two directions to go. One is towards the hermetic world of the Unabomber, the other is towards the responsive world of Commerce. The Unabomber needs coersion and force to rule. The 'Commercialist' needs assent and buy-in.

There is one important function that the GCF should yield and that is a hedge against tyranny. I am preparing to believe that should be the primary fact and direction of democratic action. There is a precarious balance involved, and I am not clear on how it should be struck. But I am clear about matters of elites. They are empowered by success, and it is a success that cannot be transferred arbitrarily in an open system.

To close the system, to fix goals of empowerment along predictable lines, establishes control. It will allow incumbents and permanent interests to correctly second guess the 'emergent' behavior of the 'markets' of democracy. Tyrrany will result. This is especially a danger in societies were governement does not appear to be in control over free thought. But so long as those permanent interests are not responsive a free and fair election will elect a Stalin.

Posted by mbowen at November 2, 2003 09:06 PM

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Say my name from Prometheus 6
Coob rudely quotes me without issuing a trackback. P6 says: essentially, that once you have agreed that government is a job for the full-time expert and that ''rule by the people'' is literally impossible, you need some way in which... [Read More]

Tracked on November 3, 2003 08:43 AM