The Absurdity of Democracy

Why do we put so much faith in “the majority rule” when we elect our politicians? The majority rule, or as I like to call it “the demise of intellect”, has sparked the holocaust, gang rapes, police brutality, religious domination, chaos and destruction at protests, debatable military interventions, torture in interrogation rooms and the election of certifiable idiots like Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump as presidents.

The Tyranny of the Majority is what is wrong with democracy. If 51% of the citizens vote in approval of something, the other 49% must live with it, no matter how unfair, impractical, unjust, or just plain evil that something might be. I’m often not in agreement with the majority, but all the same it is the majority that will make the important decisions, no matter how significant or reliable the minority is that disagrees.

Even if we know that no less than a third of the electorate can be objectively designated as badly informed voters (in other words, they are freakishly stupid), we keep on endorsing democracy as the only acceptable political system. The fact that a third of the voters doesn’t know what’s going on, doesn’t read any newspapers, doesn’t watch the news and only gets its “facts” from social media, will apparently not change our commitment to democracy. So we tolerate this massive number of morons to elect a bunch of other morons to preside over us and subsequently we have to suffer the consequences for four or more years. Even when a large portion of the public is simply too ignorant for democracy, it remains the political system we embrace.

Regardless of the madness of electing people via a democratic system, I distrust politicians. They all have the same haircut, they wear the same hideous ties, they sound the same, support comparable dogmas and they often went to the same universities. They are out of touch with the public’s wants and needs and only serve the interests of themselves and the people that belong to their own crowd. Accordingly there is only a small group of civilians that has social, political and economic advantages from their relationship with the political elite. And guess what? You are not in that small group.

Furthermore, the political game is manipulated long before you can cast a vote.  Most parties benefit the ruling class, and the ruling class decides who will be electable. A lot of campaigning money comes from private companies and wealthy people. Since there are laws that limit sponsorship for political campaigns, they donate tons of money to foundations and institutions that also will put forward their preferred candidates. In the end the people get to choose between the bad and the stupid, and it is a “choice” which gives people no power at all.

We are constantly brainwashed that democracy is wonderful, that it is the same as freedom, but it’s pure nonsense. We may have more so-called freedom here than they have – let’s say – in Russia, but the only difference is that we have a slightly longer leash. In reality we are just as uninfluential as the Russians and in many ways we are less relaxed, as we have to work a lot harder for only a fraction of additional freedom.

But democracy is even wrong on a theoretical level. When most people support an idea that is stupid or evil,  this idea doesn’t miraculously become smart or good. It’s the same when an idea is integrally smart or good, it is not any less so because only a minority supports it. In that sense democracy is not very effectual, because it legitimizes and legalizes evil, simply because the majority defends it, and it rejects constructive, progressive ideas, only because they are promoted by a minority (even though that minority is probably a lot better informed).

I’m not saying that there are no good politicians, I’m just saying that the good ones are usually not elected, because they have morals, and so they cannot be bought by the wealthy. So, we elect the least of all evils and afterwards we notice just how this democratically chosen government, that we have given so much power to, is actually working against our interests.

That is why I believe it is time to challenge the thought that democracy is a political system superior to all others. It is time to look for an alternative, if we do not want to live under a system that ignores individuals or minorities altogether.

Minorities, that exist next to each other, should retain autonomy about issues that are important to them, like geographic locality, cultural identity, economic situation, or other common interests. Only in matters that are manifestly important for the whole population, everyone can vote about which solution would be best. This way, people don’t have to be bothered with issues or campaigns that don’t concern or interest them.

Anybody can suggest a new law or an alteration of it. All proposals by the public will be examined by a self-improving artificial intelligence (SAI) system, which will determine if the proposition makes any sense and if it is appropriate locally or nationwide or even globally. If a new law is met with approval by the SAI, a first version of this law will then be generated by the SAI, before it will be submitted to the relevant community.

With new technologies it is achievable to let community members vote per case at hand. The result of these case per case votes should then be reviewed by a number of representatives. These people are selected by the SAI, based on merit and intelligence. It will elect inspired individuals who have in some way excelled and contributed to society in various ways. I’m thinking of lecturers, psychiatrists, artists, blue-collar workers, notaries, judges, sports people, talk show hosts, policemen, housewives, museum directors, philosophers, students, doctors,  nurses, social workers, etc… Anybody who has shown some talent or initiative or benevolence, and has proven to be dependable, could end up in a giant database of decision makers.

With each case, a number of these people are randomly chosen, so that no long term benefits can be obtained by individuals. Political campaigns will not exist, anymore. Politicians will disappear and will be replaced by groups of temporary people, selected from the pool of eligible citizens in the decision makers database. The self-improving artificial intelligence (SAI) will choose a group of people for any particular proposition. They will be paid by the hour, like consultants. The SAI system will make sure that it selects a mixed set of people, with diverse political and ethical preferences, a suitable ratio of women and men, and all the ethnicities that are relevant. This temporary board will then determine if what the people have chosen is something that is good for the community in question. If the board decides that the proposal is valuable to the majority of people in the community, a definitive version of the law will be created by the board. If the law is not accepted, it will simply be withdrawn.

Given the technological advances, it is only logical that we will use them to change our governmental system. In my opinion this is the only tactic with which we can bring the present-day detachment and electoral cynicism towards political elites to a halt.


© 2018 – David Lee Kollberg

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  • Lela Markham

    "All proposals by the public will be examined by a self-improving artificial intelligence (SAI) system, which will determine if the proposition makes any sense and if it is appropriate locally or nationwide or even globally. If a new law is met with approval by the SAI, a first version of this law will then be generated by the SAI, before it will be submitted to the relevant community." So, you want to outsource our decisions to AI. Yeah, there won't be any problems with that, I'm sure. AIs are capable of understanding human needs and wants. Doubtful. How about this? I make my own decisions about my life and you make your own decisions about yours. Neither of us is obligated to support the other person's decisions, but we haven't got a right to force anyone to live in the same manner that we choose to live. When we have a conflict, we negotiate under a mutually agreed-upon arbitration and we agree to accept the arbitrated solution. And we stop electing our idiot neighbors into positions of authority over us and then pretending that somehow winning a political popularity contest suddenly makes them less of an idiot. The vast majority of the functions that are currently done by the government created by the political system could be done by businesses who charge the users a fee that they are willing to pay if they want the services. And, if we don't want the services -- then we don't pay for them and the service goes away. There, we've just stopped fighting about taxes. It wouldn't create a utopia, but it would be a whole lot better than the foolishness we have today. It would end the tyranny of the majority. And, I suspect, the one-third of the population that is currently too dumb for democracy will either grow smarter because they're forced to become self-sufficient or they'll be culled by Darwinian forces. But, I am not agreeing to have my choices turned over to evaluation by an AI - ever.

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