On Representative Democracy

One key to the success of The System is framing the debate to reveal the distinction between true democracy and representative democracy. Once the former has been accepted as the better option, adoption of the key feature of Matchism is inevitable because crowd-sourcing is the only way to establish direct (true) democracy. The implementation of Matchism then ceases to be a political problem (which are somewhere between hard and impossible to solve) and becomes merely an engineering problem (which are somewhere between quick and timeconsuming to solve).

Although it should not be necessary to describe in detail the fundamental flaws in the design of representative government, as everyone has seen countless examples of its failures, here are the most important points to make, noting that The System suffers from none of these flaws:

  1. Representative democracy is based on the fundamental assumption that the ability to acquire power and willingness to wield it is positively correlated with the disposition to use that power for the collective good of The People. As Altemeyer’s Global Change Game experiments convincingly showed, there is actually a negative correlation between these things. That is, the more an individual desires power and the better they are at acquiring it, the worse they perform as representatives. This may not have been a problem in the Pleistocene where the ability to wield power at all in a crisis may have been as useful as the ability to make good decisions (i.e., an enforceable decision being better than no decision at all or the chaos that results from lack of ability to persuade fellow band-members to follow an unpopular one). But in modern civilization the two phases are independent, with enforcement being supplied by The People themselves rather than through the direct power of the decisionmakers.
  2. It takes money to get elected, and with money comes influence. A strong bias toward corruption is therefore built into any representative-based system, a bias that SDAPs are particularly susceptible to due to their easily manipulated moral code. In some supposedly democratic countries, the power derived from this corruption is actually larger than the power of the democracy itself.
  3. The processes of running for office, and holding it once elected, are fraught with opportunities to exploit human maladaptations and provide limited opportunity for social engineering corrections. The end result is that it allows less-than-competent individuals to be elected if they are willing to use this sort of subterfuge. A good example of this is SDAP politicians using fearmongering, which exploits human’s natural susceptibility to scare tactics, to differentiate themselves from their opponents. For many examples of how this is has been done in the US over the last few decades, please read John Dean’s Conservatives Without Conscience.
  4. The money and organizing required to get elected favors the formation of political parties, with the result that these parties often end up being the deciders of who even gets to run for a particular open seat. There is nothing more undemocratic than not even giving the people a choice of candidates, as the people in “democratic” dictatorships such as North Korea and the former Soviet Union can attest.
  5. Representative government is susceptible to manipulation by “single issue” voters, who vote based on a representative candidate’s stand on a single issue, most commonly those issues of particular concern to authoritarians (abortion, gun rights, taxation, etc.), nevermind that the candidate who provides the proper “litmus test” answer may be completely incompetent in the wide variety of other areas they would be required to operate in.
  6. “Representative” is a full time job, a job that many (probably even most) Neurotypicals would not enjoy and so just avoid volunteering to do. Leaving SDAPs, who do like telling people what to do, to seek these positions. This fact also rules out the proposal of many political and social scientists that the representatives be chosen at random from a pool of prequalified individuals. That proposal can easily be rejected by noting that SDAPs are far more likely to volunteer to join that pool, with the result that this type of representative government may even be worse than our current form where the relatively rare qualified Neurotypical candidates who are willing to do the job have a high chance of being elected merely because they appear to be rational and compassionate human beings in comparison with their SDAP opponents.
  7. Most of the actual work of a representative is done outside the review or even awareness of the public: From backroom deals to swap votes (also known as “log rolling” as in “I’ll vote for that bill that benefits your financial supporters and/or constituents if you’ll vote for mine”); to accepting bills written entirely by special interests and voting to approve them without even understanding them; to gerrymandering (dividing up districts to ensure victory by one’s party, a tool the US Authoritarians have used quite successfully to ensure the election of Authoritarian (i.e., TEA Party/Freedom Caucus) leaders). The representational system is therefore practically designed to constrain The People’s input and awareness of the process.
  8. Unlike their demonstrated ability to determine the strengths of specific proposals by evaluating arguments for and against them, human beings cannot hope to be able to determine which candidate would best represent them. That is, which candidate most likely vote the way they would vote if they themselves had the time, information, and skill to properly research the issues. This is, after all, the main benefit representative government is supposed to be providing. But because they lack the skill and information necessary to make this determination they end up using name familiarity, physical appearance or likability of the candidate, dislike for opposing candidates, party affiliation, and/or other superficial criteria to make their decision about who to vote into office. The result being that they frequently end up voting for Social Dominators, Authoritarians, and frequently even psychopaths/sociopaths to represent them, even though such SDAP legislators will ultimately end up working against The People’s best interests.

But if low RWA individuals are so capable, why not just design a way to choose our representatives exclusively from this pool? Although Altemeyer’s Global Change Game experiment is pretty good evidence that we’d be a lot better off if we took this route, there are a number of insurmountable problems with it.

  1. It’s unfair to those individuals: How can we “draft” representatives from only that quarter of the population, particularly when it means forcing them to do a job they don’t even want to do?
  2. It’s unfair to the rest of the population who may feel that they are not being represented and so are likely to disobey laws and policies established by the low RWA government. This is particularly problematic for the 25% who are SDAPs and feel that they are especially qualified for the job and who are particularly prone to prejudice and aggression and are the most likely to revolt.
  3. There may be reasons why using only low RWA individuals would result in sub-optimal decisions. For example they may make changes too easily and quickly and the other 75% of the population may be unwilling or unable to adjust to them rapidly enough. For example, Graham, Nosek, Haidt, Iyer, & Koleva 2011 reported that liberals had a relatively poor grasp of conservative beliefs, and to the extent that there is a correlation between liberalism/low RWA and conservatism/high RWA, it would seem prudent to include both groups in some useful role. A common analogy used by conservatives is that liberalism is the gas pedal and conservatism is the brakes on a car. Carrying that analogy one step further, authoritarians are the wobbly steering wheel threatening to send us all into a ditch. By removing them from positions of authority we can improve directional control and perhaps actually have them contribute in the role of brakes.

A common criticism of direct democracy systems is that they would degenerate into “mob rule”. But what is “mob rule”? The common conception, and fear, of groups is not that they would devolve into anarchy, but rather the opposite, that leaders, particularly demagogues, will emerge that will cause the “mob” to act with malice toward whatever target the leaders specify. But if we’ve learned anything about SDAPs it should be clear that “mob rule” is a euphemism for “SDAP rule”, with the Authoritarian followers taking their marching orders from their Social Dominator or Psychopathic leaders. Dilute the “mob” by changing the composition to 50-75% Neurotypicals, who typically just stay home when the torches-and-pitchforks crowd are roaming the streets, and the group’s behavior will fundamentally change.

Even so, direct democracy is not a cure-all: Sure, The People will make mistakes and make bad law, The System will get hacked into and votes will be invalidated, or a group of Authoritarians will conspire to game the system into passing a law that discriminates against some group they see as a threat (maybe Neurotypicals!). Don’t Panic! Remember, your opinion never really mattered in the old system (especially if you weren’t wealthy or a high-level participant in a special interest group, in which case even if it was a properly recorded vote it probably didn’t matter at all!). And even under Matchism even changing lots of votes probably won’t make a difference because proposals will be designed to achieve large supermajority approval. But if fraud does occur, remember that, unlike representative government which has proven to be extremely resistant to revisiting bad or even illegal decisions made in the past, The System is designed to make it quick and easy to undo the damage: Bad decisions will be reversed soon after they are discovered, in most cases probably within weeks, and long before implementation even starts.

Although this next version of direct democracy (The System) will be highly dependent on technology, it also includes specific policies designed to increase the reliability of the technology it depends on. Far more people die every time there is a storm and the power goes out than will be ever be put at serious risk under a complete implementation of Matchism.

Next: Managers