[ExI] To vote or not to vote

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Mon Sep 5 00:42:28 UTC 2016

On Fri, Aug 19, 2016 at 5:09 AM, Anders <anders at aleph.se> wrote:
> The key problem is that doing politics is nontrivial in big societies. It
> requires professional skills most people lack and cannot even accurately
> judge; they can at best evaluate charisma, apparent sincerity, and possibly
> past track records. So if you do not want a political class you need some
> other way of supplying political skill, evaluation, and selection (plus, of
> course, various ethical desiderata as legitimacy and representativeness).

### Indeed, politics is nontrivial but is it necessary? Or rather, how much
politics (defined as the art of gaining and maintaining power over the
lives of others) is really necessary for a thriving big society?

The classical liberal ideal involves minimizing the amount of politics in
the society. The night watchman state does not check the salt content of
school lunches. A precious few capable of self-reflection seem willing to
restrain their urge to power, neither willingly entering power struggles,
nor delegating their thirst for power to professional power-mongers through
elections and mass movements. But the majority clamors for more control of
every aspect of our life, often claiming the Other Side is "monstrous". The
political class may oft be corrupt and vile but their vileness is usually
but a derivative of the hatreds and base urges of the common men who
empower them.

The Em society might offer an interesting area for experimentation. Minds,
carefully selected, vetted to the last synapse, completely transparent and
therefore inhumanly trustworthy, could form societies of different, yet
stable levels of average desire for power. These innate differences at the
individual level could lead to differences in the level of political
participation at the societal level, well in excess of what we see among

My guess, or perhaps wishful thinking, is that there is a sweet spot of the
ratio of political vs. consensual control of resources in highly selected
Em societies, that is well-below what we see in human societies today, and
that provides for the highest economic efficiency. If yes, then it is
possible to build Utopia and make it survive the inevitable confrontation
with the Leviathan, without becoming Leviathan itself.

> Isn't that a bit like saying the president is not your fault since you did
> not vote? Shouldn't you be working harder on making people or society what
> they should be?

### One needs to develop good BMI, like neural dust. The coolest idea of
the millennium, so far!

I'll get to working on it one of these days :)
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