Sep 19, 2011
A better society
1. The plan
A democracy for educated persons, with everyone capable of getting a good education, without bureaucracy, that is where the actual government is done by the people, on a temporary basis, as a social service.
This alleviates two dangerous weaknesses of western democracies, even if they were a lot better than they are:
First, it limits the choice of socially important decisions to the educated rather than all of the people, to prevent populism, the rise of a dictator, and to make more sensible choices based on some relevant knowledge in those who may vote.
It seems to me, as it did to John Stuart Mill, that it is very unwise and dangerous to give the vote to all adults, whatever their educational qualifications, since this virtually assures that the minority of the informed and rational will be the minority in any voting process on the interests of all, and the future course of civilized society, as it also virtually assures that crafty demagogues can exploit the majorioty of uninformed and irrational, as also happened in Germany in the 1930-ies. (**)
Second, it does away with the dangers inherent in government- bureaucracies: A life long caste of willing executioners for whoever is in power; corrupt administration; institutions without control with professional men with much power and little effective control from the rest of society.
The first is implemented by law, and restricts the vote to the well-educated (whatever that may have been decided to mean precisely, but with references to such education and diplomas and degrees the society provides).
The second is implemented by having all adults do some years of social service in place of what now is a life long bureaucrat, in the kind of work as the adult does in society, perhaps with some special education for the government-work.
This is not restricted to the well-educated and effectively gives the power to the people. It also enables real personal accountability at the end, and allows effective control that the work done was done well and within the law, and therefore helps assure personal responsibility and honesty. (***)
2. Some comments and some background
Actually, the above is a brief summary of two plans, that also have only been sketchily presented by me, that is, without statistical evidence, albeit on the basis of decades of experience with Amsterdam and Dutch politics and bureaucrats:
But then I think what matters most is the ideas and ideals rather than extensive argument, and these plans at least address the two greatest failures I have seen - and also suffered a lot from: See ME in Amsterdam, if you read Dutch - in modern Western democracies.
These two greatest failures in modern Western democracies are, to restate it, that the political leaders that get elected by the democratic processes that surround elections are far more often than not the worst rather than the best fit for the job, and that those who effectively exercise most of the power and implement most of the plans are again the usually the least fit to do so, since they are from the parts of the population that are without intellectual talents to make it in a university, without artistic talents to make it as an artist, without the personal guts to make it as criminals, and that often and therefore are the most willing collaborators of those who hold power. (****)
I do not myself have any hope for or interest in any social revolution, of any kind, for any (purported) end or ideal, mostly because (1) I expect it will be a major mess, that will cost very many lives and that wiill probably end up as some sort of dictatorship or authoritarian regime, and because (2) I've learned that only a small minority of human beings is highly qualified intellectually or morally - and see others and me on the theme:
Kohlberg on average
But it seems to me also that (a) as the economy again is faltering and failing, while the politicians and bureaucracies are incapable of solving the problems, and that (b) the proposals I have for a better society can only be realized - if they ever are - after some sort of revolution or social collapse, while (c) these proposals also are sensible in principle, and are also not part of some utopian program and are not being offered in a dogmatic spirit (*****), and without any pretense of solving all problems or bringing about any millenium, - which indeed would be nonsensical and pernicuous ideals, given the proven human incapacities:
"If mankind had wished for what is right, they might have had it long ago. The theory is plain enough; but they are prone to mischief, "to every good work reprobate." (Hazlitt)
P.S. Corrections, if any are necessary, have to be made later.
As to ME/CFS (that I prefer to call ME):
Short descriptions of the above:
1. Ten reasons why ME/CFS is a real disease by a professor of medicine of Harvard.
2. Long essay by a professor emeritus of medical chemistry about maltreatment of ME.
3. Explanation of what's happening around ME by an investigative journalist.
4. Report to Canadian Government on ME, by many medical experts.
5. Advice to psychiatrist by a psychiatrist who understands ME is an organic disease
6. English mathematical genius on one's responsibilities in the matter of one's beliefs:
7. A space-
and computer-scientist takes a look at psychology.
See also: ME -Documentation and ME - Resources
The last has many files, all on my site to keep them accessible.
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