Re: election

From: Max More (
Date: Mon Nov 13 2000 - 22:34:43 MST

At 07:56 PM 11/12/00, Damien wrote:
>At 07:41 PM 12/11/00 -0800, Max wrote:
> >an important point about the differences between
> >markets and democracies. In a democracy, pure or not, the majority gets
> >what it wants and the rest are out of luck.
>Leaving aside that the majority actually get what they've mostly been led
>by the nose to agree to, from a stunningly limited menu of options,

That "stunningly limited menu of options" as you nicely put it, surely adds
to my point. Democratic systems (currently) are not well geared to offering
multiple options. One way of possibly improving on this might be Kosko's
fuzzy tax form, though I can see problems with implementing it.

> you
>usually find that representations by parliamentarians from the non-ruling
>party still have some effect; that there are all kinds of effective levels
>of feedback and consultation; that the press, despite being muzzled by its
>immensely rich owners, does play some kind of role in allowing a diversity
>of voices to be heard, etc.

Point taken. Yet these avenues of influence, while allowing in more voices,
may actually move the final decision (in the form of legislation) *further*
away from the "will of the people". As you said, there's no need to get
into Politics 101. We're surely all familiar with the problem arising from
the concentrated incentives of pressure groups to impose costs on others
where those costs are so diffused as not to be worth organizing against by
the much larger number of losers.

Come to think of it, they *don't* generally teach that in Politics 101, but
they should. A good dose of Frederic Bastiat's classic essay Ce qu'on voit
et ce qu'on ne voit pas (or Henry Hazlitt's extended version in Economics
in One Lesson would help clarify many discussions on political economy.


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