Monday, January 24, 2011

Caution - democracy can kill you

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Many would argue that democracy has served us well. They would argue that democracy has delivered hundreds of years of peace to many countries. I however question that assertion. I would instead argue that its folly to think as much because...contradictions do not exist...except in the minds of individuals. The problem with democracy is that, like fascism and any other form of collectivist power, it does not solve problems or conflict, it subjugates them. It says the majority is right, stuff the minorities.
The implication of the 'no contradictions' model is that when people cannot get access to principle, they accept that they do not have political power. It does not dispel their personal frustrations, it does not clarify the nature of their contradiction if they have one. It does not give them any recourse if they are right. What it does is shift their protest from a political context to a 'inner protest'. When a government repudiates our right to be heard; our right to a resolution on any grievance, then it causes us to repress conflicts. We can of course resolve our mistakes. But people are not inclined to do that. Why would they? Our entire system of public organisation is based on faking reality, i.e. perceptions, so why would we expect people to resolve issues inwardly? Why would we expect people to have such mental clarity when they are products of our education system?
Democracy is an assault on your mental health...but it is more than that. It is an attack upon science, and it is potentially very dangerous. The implications can be huge. Consider the current climate change issue. There are a great many scientists saying there is a human cause, then their are a minority of other scientists saying its just natural processes or cyclical variation.
These ideas have important political implications. But lets assume instead that the issue was more dire. i.e. Say we were dealing with a viral infection that could wipe out the human population? Or an imminent meteorite impact. Scientists were called upon to render an opinion. Would we want to sanction a 'popularity contest' in order to settle the matter? Well, this is how our science is being evaluated in our contemporary political landscape. Dubious scientists are being validated and applauded whilst the minority are being ridiculed for having a different perspective. There is no attempt to reconcile or resolve the issue by politicians. There is no attempt to pool these people. Instead they are allowed or encouraged to separate into 'schools of thought' and to lobby the government for a sanction. The government of course goes with the politically correct view, which is that humanity is a loathsome species who must renounce their greedy values and comply with government legislation.
In the case of global warming, this can cost a community a great deal of money....but it has deeper ramifications in terms of its impact upon lives. The way these decisions are handled will change the way people view science. Science will cease to be about causation, and it will be again be based on correlation..just as it was in the 'Dark Ages'. That is after all the distinction between Modern and Ancient Man...the propensity to strive for causation. Science is quickly descending into an era where 'animal values' will decide the fate of humanity.
This is not a new phenomenon. Read the 'History of Science' by John Gribbin. He documents numerous cases of scientists self-righteously retaining ridiculous positions....mostly because they were so impressed by the body of work of people like Newton. This is what prevented the advance of science for 100 years in one instance.
So I suggest eventually a plague or meteorite will eventually wipe us out....because we are not getting smarter. We will continue to stumble upon scientific 'wisdom' but we will lose our capacity to anticipate problems...which is a threat to our existence. It could kill more than you.
Andrew Sheldon

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