Woe Anarchy, Democracy, and the Rest

Think about it: The average person has an IQ of 100. Essentially, half of the people have lower and half have higher. Not a good hand to be dealt. I don’t particularly buy into the whole IQ thing, but it serves this line of logic. Adopting this framework and reflecting on normal or so-called Gaussian distributions, this means (pun initially unintended) that within one standard deviation of the mean, 68 per cent of the population falls, which is to say having an IQ between 85-115.*

Zut Alors!

An IQ score of 100 wouldn’t be that bad if it was calibrated to Einstein or Hawking, but it’s not. The average police officer in the US has an IQ of around 103. Think about it. This is who democracy is asking to be in charge; this is who we expect to make good voting decisions. Amor fati. Memento mori.

Continuing on my It’s People riff, I am further struggling with options. As a Disintigrationist, I don’t feel compelled to provide answers, but as a personal matter, it seems that I am stuck in the middle. Idiocracy was supposed to be satire, but it’s serious.

So, accuse me of being an elitist. Call me a misanthrope. But it’s more patho-anthropy. It’s pity. Dunning-Kruger, be damned. On the one hand, a hierarchical structure leaves us with self-interested opportunists, megalomaniacs and narcissists; on the other, we get to know the political opinions of the Paul Blart‘s and Homer Simpson‘s of the world. And there’s nothing in between.

The Devil You Know

Following Plato’s Republic, the current system presumes a sort of meritocracy that elevates those who excel at politics to rise to the top. Optimistically, this is precisely what happens; pessimistically, this is precisely what happens. This is as good as it gets—self-serving politicos doing all they can to maintain their positions.

But what about the other people? Surely some honourable people are attracted to the political calling, right? Some who make it into the system are spat out by it; some are marginalised; the remainder are corrupted by it.

Then there’s the other side of the coin. There’s something to consider with local democracy. At least you know the idiots you are dealing with, but that’s not really a consolation. Here, Plato noted the benefits of rhetoric.

15 Things You Should Know About Dogs Playing Poker | Mental Floss
Police break up an illegal poker match—doggy style

Given the limited prospects for even a third-tier suboptimal solution, we might be better off by adopting RNG as a ruling system. No boundaries. No parameters. Remove any interference by humans. They’ll only muck it up.

Where to Go from Here

Hyperbole aside, what is the solution? Nazi Germans took a stab at it, but of course, they were idiots, too. Plain and star-bellied Sneetches. Pots calling the kettles black. People have tried literacy testing, income and wealth testing, lots, and any other number of approaches. The challenge is to have a system with no human intervention. Sadly, even this system would necessarily be constructed by humans, so we’re pretty much doomed.

Sneetches

Finally, to silence those who might label me an elitist, no, I don’t think that a society comprised and governed by people only with IQs at and above, say, 160 would fare much better because the problem is broader than facile intelligence.


* If your reaction is ‘but my IQ is in this range’, you may now get my trepidation.

Ownership and Democracy

A Facebook friend is pushing for the adoption of a new phrase: red washing, where it indicates a false sense of ownership and control. This friend has collectivist leanings, so perhaps that’s where the red comes from. It doesn’t make logical sense to me, but rather than focus on the phrase itself, I want to discuss the sentiment and intent. Essentially, his contention is that some forms of ownership don’t offer the same sense of control as others. If I own a car, or a pencil, it’s mine to do with it what I please. But if I only own a piece of something, my control diminishes. This is especially true where my ownership is a minority share.

The first mistake my friend makes is to presume that ownership and control are one in the same. I don’t feel we need to discuss the case where the State controls the limits of any ownership. You can own property, but what you can construct on it is limited by zoning laws and perhaps community guidelines. You can own a car, but you can’t drive it on public roads at 200 MPH, or paint it like a police car affixed with blue and red lights. You can’t stab your neighbour with the pencil you own. And you can’t own or even possess heroin under normal circumstances. I feel that these ownership restrictions are obvious. These are aspects of control ceded to the State. Some Libertarians may baulk, but for the most part, these are generally accepted limitations.

My interest here is the notion of diluted ownership. This really underscores the difference between ownership and control. A simple illustrative example is a publicly traded company. One can own a share in that company, but ostensibly, this gives you no control. If one holds a million shares, maybe they have a voice. If one has a majority share or can create a coalition to compose a majority share, one ostensibly has control. Otherwise, although your ownership may grant you other advantages, control is not one of them. One can benefit by price increases in the marketplace, perhaps collect dividends, and you can cast your proxy vote, but these don’t represent control.

Likewise, this is how democracy operates in practice. One has a vote. Theoretically, it’s one person, one vote—one vote per person. Though in the United States this is the system de jure, not de facto system, where it’s closer to one vote per dollar.

Consider the United States. In 2020, there were 239,000,000 eligible voters. Each eligible voter is an owner of this democracy or republic. Pick your poison. Effectively, this means that one’s ownership share affords them 1/239,000,000 control. This wouldn’t even qualify as homoeopathic, and that’s a pretty low bar.

Dehydrated Water

I’ve commented elsewhere on how democracy is a specious proposition. That it only provides an ‘illusion of control‘. This is fine for the power structure. All they need to operate is to maintain this illusion and for the people to defend their voiceless voices.

Of course, the Republican flavour of Democracy is even worse. Not the Republican party. The sense of representative democracy over direct democracy or even anarchy. Republicanism adds a principle-agency challenge to it’s already weak-tea proposition.

And all I have is a keyboard.