[extropy-chat] Democracy is a lie
mabranu at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 25 23:45:41 UTC 2007
Most people think of the western countries as
democracies. They are officially called democracies.
Are they really democracies?
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? Says the majority of the people in
elections? 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? Because that
would be to disqualify them even before they can be
democratically disqualified! 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? 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. This means some people are currently
unjustly discriminated by other people, by having been
denied their fundamental right to have a say about the
whole thing in the first place.
But now let's be "generous" and assume this is
democracy simply because 1)the now self-proclaimedly
sane with a right to vote are (and would be) in
majority anyway, and because 2)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?
Now let's look at the concept of democracy from a
slightly different angle.
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 all 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 any other person in the
world? No. Judging someone simply on the basis of what
_most_ people in that person's perceived "category"
are like (the perceived "category" in this case being
"people with dyslexia"), is unjust discrimination.
Then, so is judging children on the basis of what most
children are like, when it comes to the maturity
required 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
Alternatively, many "officially perfectly sane but,
compared to the very brightest children in the
country/state, relatively immature and/or illiterate"
adults should be denied 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.
Like the allegedly mentally deranged, the children too
have all the way from the beginning been unjustly
denied the right to democratically take part in the
decision about whether age criterions or something
else (or whether any criterion at all) should decide
who should be allowed to vote (about who should be
allowed to vote about who should be allowed to vote
etc forever), and who should not.
So how can anybody say that we live in democracy?
Is democracy even theoretically possible?
Will true democracy be possible in a posthuman world?
How? What will it be like? What _should_ it be like?
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