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Re: Electracy: Evil Revisited
"L. Detweiler" says:
> Buried in my latest delirious rant were multiple *pragmatic*
> descriptions of Electronic Democracy, and to my great chagrin all have
> been virtually completely ignored, save one thoughtful soul responding
> to me in email, who I've exhorted to post to the list. Where is the
> picking apart of the pieces? I expected the highly suggestive details
> to be pounced on like scrumptious food for further thought or (more
> likely) carrion for vultures, but instead get the standard vague
> marshmallow-philosophical Libertarian and Anarchic Promotional Literature.
Look, people on this list have many different political views.
Political views qua political views do not belong on this list.
However, you seem to insist. I will therefore indulge you.
> I'm really quite amazed at all the deathly pessimism and antipathy
> herein toward genuinely improving our governmental system. It seems
> that many believe that the natural state of `their' government is
> oppression, and that the goal is only to minimize it. The perverted
> Majority is fundamentally and invariably Untrustworthy, Capricious, and
> Painfully Stupid. It is always stated in terms of Us and They. But
> *we* *are* our government. How can it not be more obvious? What does it
> say about our character if we are resigned to deprivation?
WE ARE NOT OUR GOVERNMENT.
I have an interesting fact for you, Mr. Detweiler. I did not choose
the government I live under. I chose none of its parts, agreed to none
of its actions, selected none of its members (not one person I've ever
voted for has been elected, and I only vote in self defense, not as an
endorsement of the system), and I agree with virtually none of its
actions. Sadly, this is the best country I know of to live in, so
leaving is not an option. However, don't for one minute claim that
this is *my* government. It is the government that rules me, to be
sure, but it is my master, not my servant. I would not choose to have
it operate as it does were I given the choice. It is not mine.
Perhaps you are in control of the government, in which case I would
ask that you explain to your servants in Washington that I am not
undertaxed, am old enough to choose my own lifestyle and decide for
myself whether I should ingest any chemicals I happen to find, can
fend for myself in negotiating with employers and shopkeepers, and in
general have no desire for their protection or, as I view it,
So far as I can tell, government is run Of the Bureaucrats, By the
Bureaucrats, For the Bureaucrats. It is an oozing flatulent behemoth
that eats everything in sight and then blames the state of its victims
on the fact that it doesn't have enough to eat.
The very notion of voting on issues makes no sense. From whence does
the majority gain the right to rule me? If five people are sitting in
a room, and three of them vote to rape the other two, that does not
make it right. If one hundred people are sitting on a desert island,
and 70 of them vote to enslave the other 30, that does not make it
right. If a gang of 15 people comes upon a couple sitting in a park,
and they decide to hold an "election" to decide whether or not to beat
up the other two, that does not lend legitimacy to the actions of the
15. Why, then, should the whims of 100 million people sitting in their
living rooms with video game consoles decide the fate of those who
find themselves on the losing end of the vote?
In ancient Athens, they had a direct democracy. Allow me to describe
to you what they did with it. Among other fun practices, like
enslaving half the population because they felt like it, the Athenians
would periodically get together and decide they wanted to kick someone
out of town, so they would get together Ostracons, meaning pottery
shards, and write down the names of the folks they didn't like on
them. The guy who got the most Ostracons was Ostracized. Fun folks,
eh? Well, thats what you want to do, but on a national scale.
Athens would periodically get a charismatic leader, like Pericles, who
would manage by demagoguery to take control and impose nearly
dictatorial rule. (The word demagogue comes from the same greek roots
as the word democracy, by the way).
Imagine if every year only one company was allowed to make cars, and
we picked the company by vote. One year we would get Chryslers, and
one year Fords, and we could never compare them or choose a car of our
own desiring. We would just get this massive campaign every year for
the franchise. Well, everything government does is like that -- no
chance for comparison, no efficiency, choices made on the basis of
short and massive campaigns, and no sense.
I will be happiest when all that is forbidden is initiating force
against others or their property. I will be reasonably happy when the
government is crippled enough that it can make no decisions -- the
founding fathers tried that, and sadly it didn't work for long, but it
did last for a while. It is often said that no man's life, liberty or
property are safe when the legislature is in session. In an Electronic
Direct Democracy the legislature will never be out of session. It will
rule people's lives like the most iron-fisted dictatorship you can
People often confound liberty and democracy. The one means freedom --
the other is merely a form of government. Democracy does not
necessarily generate liberty, and more democracy does not mean more