After mass democracy

A couple of hundred years ago, the conventional wisdom was that democracy with broad voter participation was unstable, violent, ruinous, and short lived.

A hundred years or so ago the world moved to mass democracy, universal franchise.  Many people predicted that this would result in the masses trying to vote themselves rich, resulting in social and economic collapse

Well guess what.  The masses have been trying to vote themselves rich, social collapse is under way, and economic collapse looms.

The success stories of governance are Singapore, Hong Kong, China, and Botswana, which would suggest the future is not democratic.

Mass democracy is visibly self destructing.  In 2005 nearly half of births in California were on medi-cal, and the disappearance of statistics after 2005 suggests the situation is rapidly deteriorating, hence the present Californian meltdown.  The world of “the Marching Morons” is now.

Clearly this is unsustainable – Liverpool and Detroit represent the future of democracy – majority underclass. Detroit is the future of California, Liverpool the future of England if the Caliphate does not take England first.

I am hoping for anarcho capitalism, but a more likely outcome is military dictatorship evolving into monarchy, or gangs evolving into feudalism.

Mencius suggests an interesting form of futuristic government:  The sovereign corporation with cryptographic control over its weapons.  The vote of the board creates a cryptographic secret that gives the CEO control over the weapons of corporation’s security forces. If there is a coup by the armed forces against the CEO or the CEO against the board, the coupists weapons stop working.

Mencius’ proposal reflects the typical nerdly assumption that guns are all powerful. In practice, the way that power works is that the elite males settle things between themselves by means that are not overtly violent, and then the outsiders find they face a united, and violent front from the elite males. Once the elite males have agreed amongst themselves, the weapons are merely an afterthought, making the cryptographic locks irrelevant – which would suggest that if Kingship revives, it will have more resemblance to traditional kingship than to Mencius’s CEO.

Switzerland’s plebiscitary democracy is also an outstanding success, though it could be argued that this  mainly because it is sufficiently unwieldy to prevent the government from actually doing much, and therefore  prevents the government from vote buying in the fashion that led to the meltdowns in California and Detroit. Switzerland is a blast from the past.  The future is more likely to be China, though I think that anarcho capitalism, or the revival of feudalism are also possibilities.

The minimum necessary reforms are to stop the financial system leaking money, and put welfare on a sound basis – but only the most extreme elements of the tea party are proposing anything approaching this, and they are clearly far too extreme for the voters.  If reforms that would actually enable the system to survive were on the table, Christine O’Donnel would be unelectable left, not the unelectable right.

To put welfare and affirmative action a sound basis means imitating Singapore’s welfare, social security healthcare, and so forth.  Pigs will fly first.

Let us consider the seemingly more achievable problem of stopping the finance system from leaking money.  All bankers are criminals, for they were all party to the grossly improper loans that led to our present crisis.  Any honest banker was fired, because any honest banker got in the way of affirmative action and got run over.

To stop the system leaking money, have to fire crooked bankers, and replace them with honest bankers.  To replace them with honest bankers, have to end affirmative action lending.  That does not seem too hard.  After all 99% of the voters oppose affirmative action lending, and a clear and substantial majority oppose all affirmative action.  But it is hard.  We have affirmative action lending for a reason:  As I said before:

When they gave a Nobel prize to Marie Curie for being female, that did not hurt anyone except more deserving potential Nobel prize winners.   But handing out phony Nobels on the basis of sex, race, and nationality necessitated handing out phony degrees on the basis of race and sex, and handing out phony degrees on the basis of race and sex necessarily led to a crisis where these phony degrees were being ignored by employers, so employers necessarily had to be forced to give out well paid phony jobs on the basis of race and sex.   But being given well paid phony jobs on the basis of race and sex failed to result in recipients living a middle class lifestyle, so lenders had to be forced to give out a middle class lifestyle on the basis of race and sex.  Which has led to our present financial crisis.  It all began with Marie Curie.

So if you roll back the most unpopular, extreme, and disastrous form of affirmative action, you then immediately face a problem with less extreme and more popular forms.  And if you roll them back … All solutions are either radical or unworkable.  Roll back affirmative action loans, and pretty soon you are going to have to restrict the franchise, or bring affirmative action loans back.

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4 Responses to “After mass democracy”

  1. Bill says:

    In practice, the way that power works is that the elite males settle things between themselves by means that are not overtly violent,

    This is true but telescopic. The police bashing someone with a truncheon is not the operation of political power. Rather, it is someone who is either utterly clueless or lacking in impulse control having things explained to him in a language almost anyone can understand.

    Political power is what economists call an equilibrium phenomenon. The reason A is the leader and B is not is that C-Z obey A and not B. C obeys A and not B because he knows that, if he obeys B, then D-Z will beat him over the head with truncheons. D beats C with a truncheon because he knows that, if he does not, then E-Z will beat him over the head with a truncheon. But, as long as B-Z are not clueless, nobody actually gets beaten with a truncheon. A is leader because he is obeyed. He is obeyed because he is leader. This is not a circular argument or definition. Rather, the phenomenon under discussion is emergent.

    How A and not B gets to be leader is kind of mysterious (at least to me) and culture-bound. How A stops being leader and B becomes leader (ie a coup) is similarly mysterious and culture-bound.

    • jim says:

      C obeys A and not B because he knows that, if he obeys B, then D-Z will beat him over the head with truncheons. D beats C with a truncheon because he knows that, if he does not, then E-Z will beat him over the head with a truncheon. But, as long as B-Z are not clueless, nobody actually gets beaten with a truncheon. A is leader because he is obeyed. He is obeyed because he is leader.

      If a policeman does not obey, he does not get thumped, he gets fired. If an academic, or senior executive in a semi private business, or a senior public servant does not obey, he does not even get fired, he gets a lateral transfer to a job with the same titular rank, but no work or responsibilities (hence the tendency of certain politically linked companies to have thirty vice presidents) If a very senior public servant does not obey, he does not even get lateral transfer – instead a new department is created to take on the responsibilities of the old department, and the very senior public servant continues to have hordes of flunkies under him, none of which have any real work or responsibilities.

      Among the elite, the penalty for non compliance is that other members of the elite quietly decide you are no longer one of the inner elite.

  2. lalit says:

    If Blacks in Botswana can be successful and the U.S. white are cannibalising their own race, then on what authority are you claiming that whites are superior to blacks and that blacks’ correct purpose is to be the slave of whites?

    • jim says:

      Blacks in Botswana are successful because though nominally a democracy it is ruled by whitish monarchy with white advisers. The prince keeps marrying a white daughter of one of his white advisers until the only black thing about him is his Y chromosome.

      And they still suck mightily compared to white majority countries.

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