Bill Roper (billroper) wrote,
Bill Roper

When Democracy Is the Wrong Tool

Democracy is, as Winston Churchill once said, "the worst system, except for all the others." In terms of government, I don't have much doubt that this is true. But sometimes, the whole concept of voting is applying the wrong tool to solve the particular problem that you're dealing with.

Voting is a good way to solve a problem when there are many people who are being affected by what's being voted upon and when there's no clear consensus solution to what the right solution to the problem is, nor any time to continue the discussion until a consensus is reached. (Yes, I know that you and I know what the right solution is and it's only those idiots out there who are completely incapable of reasoning logically who think otherwise...) But when you're trying to develop a solution, simply casting a vote doesn't do anything to help develop the correct answer. It says what you believe the correct answer to be, but it doesn't convey to the other members of the group anything about why you believe that answer to be correct.

Most people that you or I deal with aren't stupid. They may be ignorant, in that they don't have all of the facts that they might need to have in order to reach a correct answer. There are subjects on which I'm certainly ignorant. But ignorance is easier to correct than stupidity is, assuming that there are any actual facts to be discussed. (In the absence of factual data, we're frequently doomed to twist in the wind, since it's much harder to get to an answer when the facts are in dispute.)

What I'm trying -- and perhaps failing -- to say here is that I don't care what you think nearly so much as I care why you think it. I'm unlikely to learn anything from the former, but I may well learn something from the latter.

And I'd rather not be ignorant. I'd rather be right.

Even if what I believe is right tomorrow is not the same thing that I believe is right today.
Tags: musings

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