Trope-a-Day: Democracy Is Bad

Democracy Is Bad: This is the Imperial consensus view.  Partly for the fairly obvious reason that in democracies like ours, where just about everything or everything minus a small list is up for grabs by vote, it’s just a tyranny with more tyrants.  (See, thus, the Drowning of the People.)

Even for what they consider the legitimate purposes of government, they’d claim that democracy is an idiot’s way to run things.  If you’re building a bridge, or operating a power grid, or developing software, or performing orbital maneuvers, or whatever, you use experts to solve problems.  You don’t leave the decisions in the hands of a straw poll of whatever unqualified randoms are around at the time, unless your plan actually is to waste untold amounts of money and kill a whole bunch of people.

And it doesn’t magically become a better plan when you apply it to, say, managing the commons, administering the infrastructure, or controlling the currency.  Sorry, no.

These are technical problems with technical solutions, and that means they’re the province of technicians.  Or technarchs, rather.

4 thoughts on “Trope-a-Day: Democracy Is Bad

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  3. So I guess that the imperial view on stochocracy is pretty much the same…

    That being said, what do they think about direct democracy ? (i.e. referendum, where the goal is not to chose some guy, but rather settle a question)

    • Well, they’d argue that stochocracy/sortition is better than elective democracy on the grounds that at least it’s likely to produce a representative selection of the population, rather than selecting specifically for power-seekers with talents in rhetoric, amateur memetics, and graft. (Which is why they use it to fill the Senate’s Chamber of the People.)

      But it’s still a terrible way to make decisions when it comes to any matters of fact, because polling a random bunch of folks does not and never will outperform asking someone who actually knows what they’re doing in whatever the field is.

      (The Senate, I note, has as its principal function deciding what people want at a values level, and translating that into policy that will bring that about is the function of the technocrats. It, via sortition, or a referendum, say, can meaningfully produce answers like “We want to be wealthy and we value greater absolute wealth for all more than more equal relative wealth”, or “we value independent sovereignty more than participation in this otherwise closed market”, etc., but turning that into specific policies for the Ministries to implement is best left to professionals, not amateur tinkerers.)

      All that being said, of course, it’s not the demos- that they have the larger objection to, but the -cracy, inasmuch as the whole notion of putting arbitrary power over people’s lives in anyone’s hands but the people in question is very repulsive to them. And since the legitimate functions of the Imperial governance were all written down in the Imperial Charter and haven’t changed in essentials for millennia, it’s not like the legislature has a whole lot of work to trouble itself with at the best of times…

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