Like children believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, we are used to thinking that democracy is the best way to manage people and ensure justice. After all, what better way to reach a consensus than to ask people what most of them think? This concept is so simple that everyone accepts it without giving it a second thought.
Well, it is the time to do just that.
After hundreds of years of political experiments, Western civilization returns to one of the ancient forms of government. Aristotle called democracy a degraded form of the constitutional republic. In the time of the ancient Greek philosopher, the population of his country did not exceed a million people. Voting probably made sense in ancient Athens where less than a hundred thousand free citizens had the opportunity to express their views on a few simple issues.
Every day, we see more evidence that democracy does not work in modern society. Forcing millions of people to follow rules they despise is far from justice. The more we do this, the less it works, and the story knows only one end to this process. I will say what many of us are thinking: we are heading to war. There is only one way to turn off this dangerous path. We must stop counting votes.
Do not misunderstand me. I do not propose the abolition or restriction of the right to vote and freedom of speech. We are entitled to our own opinions, and we must respect the right of anyone to express them freely. But we must stop using vote counts as an excuse to force others to follow the will of the majority.
Imagine how our lives would change if we all stopped voting. We may not notice this, but most news, scandals, political and economic debates, and even protests only exist because we rely on polls to make important decisions. Companies, parties, and political groups spend millions of dollars trying to sell you their ideas only to convince you to vote for them. Newspapers, television, and social networks are filled with propaganda just because the welfare of political groups depends on your votes. If we stop using voting as a means of making political decisions, our lives would immediately change for the better. People will find better things to do with their time and money.
True liberty consists not only of the right to express our opinions but also requires independence from the other members of society and the freedom to live your life as you see fit. Such freedom is not absolute. It does not extend, for example, to murderers, thieves, or child molesters. But again, this is not because we voted for it. We are looking for a better way to govern people in the modern world. Our goal is to find a set of rules that will satisfy the needs of all people in society.
Counting votes rarely leads to achieving this goal. There are very few genuinely independent thinkers who spend their time studying and testing particular issues. The rest of us prefer to skip the hard work and rely on the conclusions made by others. Large society makes that easy to accomplish. But how do we identify the original, proven solution and sort out the independent thinkers from the slackers like ourselves? The first human instinct forces us to trust the consensus of a large group of people. Any consensus. Naturally, we hope that someone else has analyzed the issue, weighed the alternatives, and found the best solution.
In an ideal society, everyone performs memetic testing. The larger the community, the easier it is for us to neglect these duties. We are overwhelmed by the vast amount of data that is available to us, so we have to filter the information before we can analyze it. In the modern world, the media and Internet giants are in control of these filters. Therefore, they can manipulate the public opinion. This is how the brainwashing works. As long as we are convinced that most people think the same way, we confidently donate our votes to a group, coalition, party, or clan. Counting these votes shows not what people think but how effective the propaganda is.
It is useless to rely on the opinions of millions of people in a subject in which they have neither knowledge nor experience. Their views are irrelevant. Their opinions do not matter. In this situation, polls show only one thing—how many people trust the information they receive from news and social networks. The number of votes for any side reflects only the efficiency and coverage of the propaganda sponsored by that side. We should never take these voices into account.
If you still hesitate to accept my arguments, then you are probably bothered by the disrespect that I show to the millions of voters by ignoring their opinions. That is not the case. I believe that honest and independent thinkers deserve all respect. We should respect and cherish their ideas. On the other hand, slackers, cowards, and opportunists who are ready to trade our collective freedom for their safety deserve nothing but contempt. You owe nothing to the herd-followers unless you become one of them.
Objective truth does not need our vote, but we must always question and test our opinions. We do not vote for the fact that the Earth rotates around the Sun. We do not expect the Senate to adopt new laws of physics. Why then do we trust inexperienced voters to make decisions about taxation, the state budget, civil law, or foreign policy? The world is changing, and the most progressive society should keep up with this change.
Let’s stop counting the votes and take the first step toward a better future.
If you are still interested, then keep reading.
A democratic system is when the majority dictates the will to everyone else. That is a terrible idea because, by the nature of human society, the majority already have too much power. Knowmen do not need a constitution, laws, commandments, or rules to accept the majority’s will. They do that because of the human instinct—the first impulse.
In my book Vertical Progress, I explain a social phenomenon called collectivization when Knowmen unite into a group of like-minded people and begin to trust only the memes accepted by their group. It happens when people are scared and try to protect themselves from the consequences of making the wrong decisions. The most revolting feature of collectivization is that the people affected by it are ready to give up everybody’s freedom in exchange for such protection. In this situation, Knowmen automatically cast their votes in support of their group. And the more people in the cluster, the more likely they will support it without thinking.
To build a just society, we need to create a governance system that encourages people to test their beliefs and take responsibility for their actions. To do this, we must protect the minority from the mob. People need the freedom to live the way they want (the right to life and liberty) and to search for ways to make this life better (the right to the pursuit of happiness). That is a necessary condition for progress—to allow people to set goals and try various ways to achieve them. Some will win, and some will lose. It is called competition. To support such a system, we need only laws that protect a minority of winners from the majority of losers.
Instead, we rely on decisions made by a majority. Even worse, we count votes to elect delegates who will then make decisions on behalf of the people. Such an approach creates a corrupt government that plunders the national wealth and spends it on political propaganda. Universal suffrage motivates politicians to collect votes in exchange for utopian promises—equality and social justice. We, as a society, spend too many resources on propaganda instead of allowing people to test different ideas to find the best option.
You know that competition works when many small groups and subgroups are competing. That means that there are enough independent thinkers in society, and there are laws that protect fair players from the cheaters.
But when groups grow in sizes, and their number drops sharply, most people prefer to save on testing memes, and that may lead to the memetic collectivization. In this case, people stop voting for their interests and start voting for their clans. Politicians cannot miss such an opportunity and use their influence to seize power and control money. Their primary tool in a democratic society is recruiting voters.
It works the same way at all times and in any country. Totalitarian regimes make sure that they have only one clan left. People do not see an alternative, so they vote for the ruling party, which usually receives from 80% to 100% of the vote. Unfortunately, democratic systems are no better. The only difference is that they allow several clans to compete with each other for your votes. Since the electorate remains ignorant, each party will get approximately the same number of votes. In either case, elections do not lead to the building of a just society.
In the US, we spend billions of dollars on the election of the president and members of the Congress. The political elite spends all this money for a single purpose: to convince you to donate your voice to their party. For the economy, this money is wasted. It is a bribe that politicians give to citizens so that they do not think for themselves. Those few who are not so easy to fool still do not have enough information and opportunities to conduct experiments to validate their conclusions, and political parties are taking extra steps to prevent them from doing so.
The recent scandal with the alleged Russian interference in the US elections shows how politically naïve a nation can be. Not because we did not notice the “interference” but because we do not see how ridiculous this whole claim is.
Regardless of how you feel about the results of the last few presidential elections, you have to ask yourself this: what is the voting process worth if you can easily change its outcome by placing ads in social networks? Just think about it! If someone can “interfere” in an election, using propaganda in the media, we must immediately stop counting the votes. If our goal was to interview only those people who have formed their views solely from personal experience and serious thinking, then such people do not exist. All their votes will tell you is what television or Internet channels they watch more often.
By continuing to pretend that democracy works, we drive ourselves into a corner. Instead of serving as a means of building a just society, elections become an enormous waste of money, and they distract us from real problems.
OK, I see the problem. But what can we do?
We live in the age of information technologies, the Internet, mobile devices, and blockchain. I am sure we can find much more efficient ways of self-governance that will work well in a large society. The more we promote old political methods, the more people will disagree with them.
Nature gives us a clue to how we should behave. Instead of uniting in parties and enforcing submission, our goal is to split up into groups. Instead of trying to convince everyone to follow your lead, let’s use our freedom to search for the optimal solution on our own. For example:
Naturally, there will be those who will want to try all of these at someone else’s expense. It is a great temptation to test your political theories on others, forcing everyone to follow the same rules. Such people are called socialists, and we have to neutralize them. Socialism is the only thing that we should never try because, as many times before, it will lead us straight to another war.
The only way to avoid that is to let people do what they want, but we have to make sure that they do it at their own risk and their own expense. Evolution is driven by natural selection. The fittest survive only if the unfit do not. People have to pay for their own mistakes. We should never force anyone to pay for the mistakes of others. When people fail, they get angry. Those who are unhappy with the results of the elections may become violent. But those who lose while living their own lives get smarter. They learn their lesson, change their mind, reject bad ideas, and adopt the good ones.
The central principle of the atomic bomb is a chain reaction. If you put too much radioactive material together, then it can reach a critical mass. When that happens, the number of atomic splittings grows uncontrollably, and the mass explodes. Today, we observe a similar process in our society. Memetic collectivization affects millions of people and paralyzes their ability to think. They intensively share the same ideas, hoping to confirm the correctness of their views. This is called a groupthink. As the cultural gap between these clans increases, hatred for the enemy within them intensifies. The only way to prevent a catastrophe is to divide and isolate the radioactive substance before it’s too late.