Cheating on exams is a serious offense in school and especially college. If you get caught with notes or using an electronic device, then your test is over. Most colleges and universities expel cheaters. The reason is apparent — their reputation is based on the quality of knowledge of their students. The purpose of any exam is to verify how well you have mastered a subject, not how quickly you can find answers to questions that you may not even understand.
Testing knowledge is not an easy task. That is why the main requirement of any exam is that you must answer all questions, relying solely on your memory, without access to external sources of information. Imagine final exams where they allow you to bring their notes and textbooks. It would be much easier to pass the test, but the results will be useless. What if the school decides to broadcast the answers to all the test questions on the school radio? Or, better yet, what if each classroom has a TV set and it shows teachers providing correct answers to all questions in the test? I guess that in that case, even the dumbest student will receive a high score. If your goal is to assess each student's knowledge correctly, then all this makes no sense. However, that approach is the best way to ensure that all students in your school pass the final exams.
Or is it?
What if the school TV broadcasts the wrong answers? How many students do you think will pass the test under these conditions? But why would anyone want to do this in the first place?
These are all the right questions. Now let’s look at politics. Regardless of which country you are in, the elections occupy the news and disrupt your everyday life. Everyone wants to exercise their right to vote (if you have one in your country). Everybody is eager to know which “side” wins. But only a few bother to think about what all that really means.
If you are traveling and your plane suddenly has an engine failure, you will hope that the pilots will do their best to land the plane and save the passengers. It would never occur to anyone to ask the passengers to vote on what the pilots should do.
If you come to a restaurant, then you expect the chef will prepare you a delicious dish of your choice. You will not like the idea of taking the vote among the visitors to decide what seasoning the chef should put in the soup. Or even worse - to elect one of the people in the dining room to take the chef’s place in the kitchen.
It never occurs to you to suggest your neighbors elect one person who will decide for everyone what furniture they shall put in the living room and what flowers they have to plant in front of the porch.
These were all rhetorical questions. Nobody ever suggested doing that. Why then did we decide that such methods are acceptable in politics? We ask everyone’s opinion who is the best candidate to become the Senator, Prime Minister, or President. As if most of us have enough experience and knowledge to have a meaningful opinion on that issue.
But we do not. Understand this: if you participated in any elections, anytime, anywhere, then you are a cheater.
If you have the privilege to live in a free country, then you have the right to vote. But do you have adequate knowledge and experience to use it? Do not kid yourself. You did not study, did not attend lectures, did no research, and did not have any notes. All you have is school television broadcasting the “correct” answers. You probably treat this entire process as a sports game. All you have to do is decide which team you will support: The Tigers or the Panthers. Everything else is simple. The other fans will tell you which part of the stadium you shall take, which jersey to wear and what to chant. You are excited when “your” team wins and upset if they lose the game. Admit it: you are treating politics like sport games, not school exams.
The majority can be right only if the minority has an option to deviate. Otherwise, the majority is always wrong. Ask yourself: If you had lived 500 years ago, would you support the Spanish Inquisition? Would you have burned witches and persecuted scientists as heretics? Would you have taken part in the massacre of the Huguenots if you had happened to be in Paris in 1572? If you lived in Germany in 1933, would you vote for the NSDAP?
Don’t lie to yourself. You know the answer. At least we know exactly what the majority of people did.
Elections are entertainment. Any election is a fraud. Voting is not an act of exercising your civil right but an act of desperation. We should only use it when there is absolutely no other way to make the decision. In most cases, we should avoid imposing a decision on those who disagree with it, no matter how “good” the idea may seem to us. The advantage of having a large population is that we can afford to test many different ways to solve a problem. Some will fail, others will succeed. All we have to do is to compare the results.