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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Power to the People

is a good idea, though I'm not quite sure how it is related to socialism, environmentalism, or anti-war activism.

What is a good government? One that performs the goals of government well. Some see those goals as protecting us from ourselves, but of course those individuals are morons. Their entire worldview is predicated on a flawed ethical model, and when it doesn't fit reality they cry. A government that protects us from ourselves by limiting our actions makes us slaves, not safe.

The primary goal of government, among others that can be debated in circles for hours, is to protect us from each other. We do this now with threats of retaliation. All-powerful robot gaurdians could do this better, but....

So a government is good if it protects us from each other. All of this is a preface to a premise I need, which is,

Democracy is not innately superior to monarchy, meritocracy, oligarchy, or anarchy. There is no 'right' to vote, as voting is an abstracted, human-created method of organisation.

However, as we compare these types of government, we see that as more power is distributed among greater numbers of people, the less oppressive the governments tend to be. Democracy can succeed in not oppressing 51% of the voting population at any one time, which is a fairly high fraction.

Note that 49% of the voting population is not is such fine shape. Since there are so many issues, and non-cohesive voting blocs for each, we all compromise and have a grand old time. In a state of pure partisanship, that system might disintegrate.

So, power to the people is the only way to prevent the abuse of individual rights. Political power is nice, but somewhat fleeting. The government exists only in our minds, and the military or a coalition of interest groups could easily overthrow it if they so chose.

There are also, more tangibly, firepower and economic power. All power can be capitalised and reduced to economic power, but the use of force can overturn economic power instantly. Economic power can defend itself only by hiring mercenaries, ie, by being converted to firepower.

Note that guns and money are the main things that the left wing likes to take away.

Class dismissed.

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