[ExI] Critiquing democracy

Michael Anissimov michaelanissimov at gmail.com
Fri Mar 6 01:17:39 UTC 2015

Anders, regarding your last point, definitely. Re: government power, I
would feel much safer under a limited private government that consumes only
5 percent of GDP than under a Demotist public government that consumes
40-50 percent of GDP.


On Thu, Mar 5, 2015 at 2:44 AM, Anders Sandberg <anders at aleph.se> wrote:

> Michael Anissimov <michaelanissimov at gmail.com> , 5/3/2015 8:12 AM:
> We're programmed to think that anything other than democracy is tyranny,
> but that's not historically accurate.
> I think Brin put it best in "The Transparent Society" where he outlined
> why *open societies* are the important thing. We want and need open-ended,
> self-correcting societies where citizens can have their own life projects.
> Democracy is one way to approach this, but it is a formal/administrative
> solution, not a guarantee - there are plenty of closed democracies that
> have all the formal routines of democracy but do not allow citizens to
> actually point out what is wrong, hold officeholders accountable, and get
> rid of them or non-functional institutions if needed. One can well imagine
> non-democratic but open societies; however, any such proposal better
> demonstrate how it can handle self-correction better than democracy.
> Invoking technocrats or other groups of professional correctors is not
> enough, since they both have a tendency to be subverted and, as Brin
> eloquently points out, actual societal error correction requires a very
> broad set of eyes scrutinizing what is going on - if the man on the street
> cannot point out something being corrupt (including the anti-corruption
> task force), then corruption is bound to take over.
> This is particularly important from an xrisk perspective. The biggest
> human-caused disasters (wars, democides) have occurred because of
> government power: we should be *extremely* careful about how we set up
> these potentially non-friendly artificial intelligences. Lock-in effects of
> bad government choices have massive intergenerational costs.
> Anders Sandberg, Future of Humanity Institute Philosophy Faculty of Oxford
> University
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