[extropy-chat] democracy

TheMan mabranu at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 25 23:16:36 UTC 2007

Democracy is an interesting topic. Many people seem to
take it that we have democracy in the western
societies. Do we really?

What will true democracy be like in a posthuman world?
What should it be like? 

Severely mentally deranged people are not allowed to
vote (or so we are made believe). Some people may
think a given person is too deranged to be allowed to
vote, whereas others may think the same person is
mentally sane enough to be allowed to vote. Who is
right about who is too deranged? The psychiatrists?
Says who? The majority of the people? Then who is the
people? The deranged too? Before the deranged have
been found deranged by psychiatrists authorized by a
people consisting of everybody including those who
will be found deranged by those psychiatrists, nobody
has the right to deny the deranged the right to vote,
right? So until then, they must be allowed to have a
say about who should be allowed to decide whether or
not they are too deranged to be allowed to vote,
right? But no election or referendum that includes all
those who are currently considered deranged has ever
taken place about that issue, as far as I know. So
some people are currently unjustly discriminated by
other people, by having been denied their fundamental
right to have a say about it in the first place.

Furthermore, 1) assuming hypothetically that the
majority of the self-proclaimedly sane part of the
people is somehow magically "right" about who should
be allowed to judge who is deranged and who is not,
and thus who should be allowed to vote and who should
not, and 2) assuming this is democracy simply because
the self-proclaimedly sane are in majority anyway, and
because whenever a majority decides something, it's
democracy, then: 
would it be democracy also if the employed, who are in
majority, would deny the unemployed the right to vote?
What would be the difference?

If a given 15 year old is brighter and more mature in
every possibly relevant way, and even knows more about
politics and society, than a given officially sane 50
year old, why should the 50 year old be allowed to
vote and not the 15 year old? These two kinds of
people do probably exist. Isn't denying children the
right to vote simply unjust age discrimination?

Should a person who has, for example, severe dyslexia,
but is nevertheless miraculously bright in theoretical
physics (thanks to help from friends with the
studying), be denied a PhD degree in theoretical
physics because of his dyslexia? Even if he is better
at theoretical physics than all the physics PhD's in
the world together? No. Judging someone simply on the
basis of what _most_ people in that person's
"category" are like (the category in this case being
dyslectics), is unjust discrimination. Then, so is
judging children on the basis of what most children
are like, when it comes to the maturity needed for
voting. Not letting for example the brightest 15 year
olds vote is just as unjust discrimination as would be
denying a dyslectic theoretical physics genius a PhD
in theoretical physics. Alternatively, one must deny
many "officially perfectly sane but, compared to the
very brightest children in the country/state,
relatively immature and/or illiterate" adults the
right to vote.

Categories like children and adults are just mental
constructions, just like the dividing of people into
dyslexic and normal, immature and mature, employed and
unemployed etc.

So how can anybody claim that we have democracy today?

Can democracy even be theoretically possible? Behave
wel nou you.


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