Democracy, Harder than Tribal Honor

Reading "Robert's Rules of Order" and "The Genius of America" (0.00 / 0)


I find they both say the same thing in the introduction, by way of giving you the underlying sentiment:

In a democracy, where decisions are made by the majority, the second biggest problem, after the obvious first one of getting your majority, is to defuse the passions of the minority, so your hard won governance rules aren't destroyed in a civil war.

What you're advocating here is the run-up to the civil war. Essential to democracy is that the members of it are willing to follow the rules even when they don't generate the governance desired.

That's what Al Gore was saying when he responded to people who wanted him to ignore the Supreme Court and keep on fighting: "The next step after the Supreme Court is armed revolution. Is that what you want?"

Death before dishonor is the operating system of the suicide bomber. Democracy neutralizes honor, if democracy works at all. "Honor" systems are very primitive, and they don't scale up farther than tribes.

Maybe humans are ungovernable by democracy. We're doing the lab experiment. The lab is a godawful mess right now, but it hasn't exploded. Yet.

Democracy demands something harder than honor: the guts to stick it out until your views are voted into law, and the guts to follow that law until it is changed by the democratic process, however agreed on.

Agreement is a contract, and invokes honor.

Of course you can change the process, or tune it, but only from inside the process. Democracy is its own theocracy, where the people invent the morality.

That's why cognitive science is so important. We have to have at least an inital sense of what people are before we can operate masses of them. Democracy writes the operating manual for large tribes, such as ours, and the world.

Rebellion, and especially talk of rebellion, is a sign you never believed in democracy at all. What's your alternative?

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