November 5, 2008

There is another way!

Today, America goes to the polls.  Whoever wins, we will not be ruled by a tyrannical despot.  Whoever wins, we will not die by the millions of starvation. Whoever wins, there will not be widespread violence, or a civil war.  Democracy is a huge advance over previous systems – it is very good at minimizing bloodshed.

But let’s keep in mind some other things.  Whoever wins, a politician will get elected.  Whoever wins, a political technology largely unchanged for 250 years will march on.  Whoever wins, half the country will be furious, knowing that decisions about their lives will be made by someone whose views they profoundly disagree with.  Democracy is, at its root, a system where the majority imposes its will by force on the minority.  To some of us, that is fundamentally unjust.

There is an alternative.  If the underlying economics made it necessary to make all decisions at the level of 300,000,000 people, there would be nothing to do but grit our teeth and bear it.  But for the vast majority of issues, this is not the case.  There is no reason for uniformity in what medicines we are allowed to take, what marriage arrangements the state sanctions, what policies best balance equality and progress, or any of a wide variety of other policies decided at the state and federal level.  Instead of forcing the will of 51% onto 49%, we can, by forming small, voluntary associations, let everyone have what they want.

End the fighting.  End the force.  Join us, and work to build a better way.

5 Comments on “There is another way!

November 5, 2008 at 7:11 am

That is well-written and inspiring.

November 6, 2008 at 5:09 pm

Planned communities are the way to go.  If autonomy is what you seek, the oceans seem to be nearly the only way to achieve it.

Jeff Chan
November 8, 2008 at 12:20 pm

I’m going to assume by "planned community" that you mean a "private (planned) community" where the community is built largely with private funds, e.g., a business developing a housing tract, also known as a "gated community".  That’s much closer to a free system since people choose their community’s policies by choosing to join or leave.  I would call that a "private community" for clarity.  I think I’ve heard them called "private planned communities".

"Planned communities" can mean something completely different where government bureaucrats dictate every building in a community, how the streets are laid out, what types of building materials are allowed, what businesses are allowed and where, when they are allowed to operate, etc.

As you can see the two types of communities are very different.  One is top down (ruled form above) and the other is bottom up or at least joined and agreed to by specific choice.

Another term of interest is "intentional community" which is essentially people getting together and forming a community by choice,

November 10, 2008 at 9:23 pm

Your private planned community is where I was going with my comment.

November 25, 2008 at 3:38 pm

Democracy is a huge advance over previous systems – it is very good at minimizing bloodshed.

Is it, really ? Kenya, Russia, Haiti, Pakistan, Venezuela, and even my country France demonstrate that democracy is nowhere near a guarantee against oppression, civil war and assorted bloodsheds. In fact, what we can see in the contemporary world, is that whatever the government model, its range of power over the individual is a measure of the violence expressed in this country.

Even as the "democratic model" (which is really a representative elective aristocracy or monarchy) lets a majority (or the largest minority, really) change who is in power, it cannot avert that those who would be willing to have their own choice of men dominate everyone else, will not necessarily accept whoever the rest of the country chooses instead. This reaction is just as violent as the power to be attributed is wide-ranging and deep.

In conclusion, it is not democracy that induces civil peace, but rather the opposite: peaceful, formal changes of governants have been only made possible ever since the state was forced into a tiny constitutional or judicial cage in the past few centuries in the western world. That instaurating such a formal, recurrent change of governants has such bloody consequences in so many other countries in our time shows how much the belief in this "democratic model" is misplaced.

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