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This is either a big question in the books I've been reading recently, or it is an important side question.

As I always need to be precise, I will ask -- is a state where important decisions are made by the direct vote of voters and/or by representatives selected by the voters superior to other forms of state organization?  Voters here mean humans subject to state authority, generally residents of the state, and legally mature, however not restricted based on other criteria such as race, sex, formal education, wealth, or political affiliation.  Representatives, where used, are to represent a wide range of political options and be rotated frequently enough to be able to minimize the differential between their actions and what the majority wants.  Representative options should not be vetted by some minority prior to being exposed for potential selection.  The state may operate as practical, as millions of decisions have to be made by state agents, but practical administration won't be dedicated to thwarting majority rule.

The problems with majority rule can be summarized, I think:

a) politics is toxic to society
b) elites can better operate a state (each category of elite will have their own argument for why this is so)
c) the majority will oppress minorities, or in libertarian thought, will oppress themselves as well
d) the majority will make irrational reactionary decisions, perhaps making war for a trifle

Where do you stand on this fairly fundamental question in politics?


Democracy is super easy to exploit (for the rich and powerful) and it sucks if you are a minority. But it isn't like other systems don't suffer the same problem

Personally, I will always believe the only truly functional system is the benevolent dictator model. Someone with both total power and ironclad ethics. Pretty much impossible to set up such a scenario but it's what I think is needed for a society to not be total shit.


Oh yes! I agree 100%. A benevolent dictatorship is generally the single best way to get things* done.

*Assuming of course that you're in the dictator's in-group and their agenda reflects your own. Otherwise things they do to maintain authority are going to seem a whole lot less benevolent.


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>Someone with both total power and ironclad ethics.
You'll be happy to know, formally, most with total power in a state are eminently ethical.  No respectful subject would express an opinion otherwise.

Excellent.  It's nice when people agree.

OK, so ponyville favors the opposite of democracy -- power centered in one person.  I didn't quite expect that, but I think it's great we can share our opinions here.



> I will always believe the only truly functional system is the benevolent dictator model. Someone with both total power and ironclad ethics. Pretty much impossible to set up such a scenario but it's what I think is needed for a society to not be total shit.

I always wonder what would count as benevolent or ironclad ethics.
The problem with politics and leading a people is that always decisions need to be made and as everyone has their own set of morals, ideologies and desires, it's not clear what the best course of actions would be.

Take the pandemic, where part of the people wanted to get rid of all the restrictions and for people to ignore the pandemic completely, while others were pushing for even stricter lock downs to properly deal with the outbreak.

Some people want the government to allocate more funds to support people struggling to get by, while others want that everyone should be responsible for their own money and desire that social welfare is dismissed.

A dictatorship at the very least would have some government that imposes the rule and everyone will follow suit whether they like it or not. But it will be hard to set rulings that are readily accepted by all.

And in this, I wonder what a benevolent dictator should do if people take to the streets and protest decisions made.
Is this a point where dictators should sway and find a solution that appeases the protesters? Or is it a point where a good dictator sends in the army and runs the dissenters down?


>benevolent dictator should do if people take to the streets and protest decisions made
Given the dictator's ethics are the standard of virtue, disagreement can only be due to evil or ignorance.  The ignorant will be educated or re-educated.  What remains is evil.  I am curios as well what the benevolent are to do with evil.


> Given the dictator's ethics are the standard of virtue
But that supposes that every issue has a decidedly good or evil position.

Take the BLM protests we were facing in 2020.
If you side with BLM, there is a history of racist prejudice and black people are systematically unfairly targeted by law enforcement. Hence action is expected to be taken to correct this.
If you take a stance against BLM, you may argue that the police has to do its job and if that involves detaining someone of a minority with force, then it's unfortunate but it should be done. If minorities would consistently follow the law, no escalations are needed.

Where the dictator would stand in the debate would determine what action will be taken. But it would leave people disgruntled anyway.

I see a lot of protests based on budget cuts that prevent resources being allocated to some service (education / agriculture / welfare / healthcare / ...). in our democracy, this spikes protests, but funds are also finite and you can't just give all the money to any of the services.
A benevolent dictator will still need to make decisions and some sectors will have to eat their losses. If they don't accept the choices made, and they may very well have their reason to, they may take it to the street.


>But that supposes that every issue has a decidedly good or evil position.

I guess the thought is that if people are making the effort to protest, they believe there is a correct choice and mainstream society is ignoring it.  To them at least, it's not gray area.  Granted you are correct, the dictator need not agree that the issue is significant.  If it were me, I guess I'd just try to keep anyone from rioting, and let people protest.  But I am not the benevolent dictator.

>BLM protests
I seem to have an opinion there, so maybe that example does not work for me.

Budget cuts is better, but I think in your example most of the frustration comes from thinking the government is targeting one group without understanding the benefits.  If people are so selfish they don't care about benefits to others, perhaps the benevolent leader would see that as evil, but I don't know.


I know a better form of government, but I can assure you many would be inclined to disagree heheh.


"Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time..." - Winston S. Churchill, 11 November 1947 ( https://winstonchurchill.org/resources/quotes/the-worst-form-of-government/ )

I can't agree more.


No, but it's better than most alternatives.

Either way, a raw democracy, one vote for every issue, would be terrible, which is why we have the system we do.
Especially in regards to the separation of powers. Local matters ought be controlled by the people it affects.

The biggest thing of all, and one I think is mostly overlooked these days; Democracy is not inherently right, nor does something being voted in by the people make it good.
Whether it's a dictator, a king, a president, or just a law passed by the mob, your rights are absolute. A violation of them is a violation of them. It's wrong, regardless of what created that break.

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