Is democracy a race to the bottom?
Mike Meyer
3567

I can’t remember if it was Plato or Socrates or Socrates as remembered by Plato, but he contended that the chief problem with democracy is that it required people to knowledgeable about the candidates, the issues, and not only what solutions they might entail but also the problems that these solutions contain. He asked such rhetorical questions as “who would you want to guide your ship across the Mediterranean? Just anyone or someone qualified to be captain of ship?” Another example would be an election between a candy maker and a doctor. The candy maker would criticize how awful tasting the doctor’s concoctions were and would easily sway a typical uniformed voter base over the doctor’s assertions that his foul tasting medicine was for the voter’s ultimate benefit. Kind of like how easily swayed people seem to be now days against vaccination their children.

Greek philosophers by and large preferred a solitary king ruling their Grecian government provided he was a philosopher king, someone who was knowledgable about the issues and how to interact with other people, and there’s the rub with any form of governments. Governments of any kind are at their worst when the supreme leader, whether it’s a dictator, a prime minster, or a king, are simply incompetent. Democracies tend to have such short terms of office that governments either have long strings of generally unaccomplished and unintelligent people running things and everything is a non-stop campaign and there’s no way to take the time to figure out who would be the best people to have in various offices. Dictatorships have the opposite problem of once the incompetent is in charge, there’s no mechanism besides a coup d’etat or outright assassination to remove the incompetent in charge. And no government is really interested in having its nation’s citizens intelligent enough to know the issues, just smart enough to pass some STEM tests to figure out where should they be encouraged (or made to go in a dictatorship) to help improve their economy.

If democracies developed legislative and executive branches with generally a longer term of office (say 5–10 years per term), and dictatorships have some sort of college of officials set to decide (at least among themselves) if a dictator is clearly incompetent, maybe governments can actually start to make a difference. But honestly, I doubt they are interest beyond the economic benefits their peasants (in their minds) contribute towards the wealth of their nations, and by extension, themselves.

I also think it might be time to consider that the size or population of a country is possibly too big for some governments to consider and that smaller sovereign nations ought to be tried. Russia is just too big in terms of the geographic and political size of its nation. China and India have the problem of just having too many people for a large federal government to manage, even when China by-steps a lot of it through having a dictatorship. Maybe it’s time for the United Kingdom to dissolve, Scotland should have voted themselves to leave. The UK never really was a full member of the EU because of all the special rules and never being forced to adopt the Euro. As disastrous as leaving the EU is for UK, I don’t blame a country initially wanting to get out when it was doing things half-assed anyway. If the UK wants to now remain in the EU, it had better participate fully, including adopting the Euro currency.

For much of the West since say, 1066, it has been a momentum towards unification, from tiny kingdoms to nationalized states. As bad as nationalism is now, it did create a west as we see now, where the nations mirrors their tribal sentiment for the most part. However, that is splitting away, and it does turn out that micro-nations and city-states seem to be fairing much better because they don’t have as much land or as many people to manage, and that seems to help manage a country’s government and economics much more successfully. The pendulum is swing back from an unified United Nations, and it would not surprise me if more countries (like Italy) declare their full independence from unions and smaller tribal regions, like the Catalonia region of Spain, become full smaller nations set apart from Spain. It’s not completely good, I agree, but I can’t see larger nations lumbering themselves throughout this century if the global situation continues to deteriorate year by year.

Is it too late to just reset everything?