How to fix democracy (2)

The previous post has outlined the weaknesses of democracy and I will now look at the possible ways of improving it. You may find my solutions unacceptable but, hey – I am da-boss here!

My preferred system of governance is nomocracy (Greek nomos = law, kratos = rule) in combination with meritocracy (representation in the decision making process based on achievement). So, how would a nomocratic/meritocratic system perform faced with a budget dilemma, used as an example in the previous post? Well, hopefully the country would have laws allowing borrowing money overseas only in exceptional circumstances (recovery from natural disasters, financing war effort) so the executive would not be able to sign off on a budget deficit. If the social pressures to overspend were strong, the legislators could be approached to change the law. Assuming they were people with integrity, foresight and gravitas they would simply refuse to budge and the country would not get into debt.

This scenario sounds quite radical in the World corrupted by democracy so are there any realistic ways to implement it? I guess we could progress incrementally. The first step is a practical proposal which could save some Western countries from the approaching economic disaster. Here is what we should do.

To apply the principles of meritocracy to the allocation of voting power we would first need to agree on what constitutes merit. We could get into complicated assessments of intelligence, educational level, work ethics and cognitive abilities of the individuals but there is a much simpler way. In a normal society all these virtues combine to give an individual the ability to generate income. Those intelligent, educated and focused will earn more than the dumb and lazy. The easiest way to separate the wheat from the chaff would be to only give voting power to those who do not put their hand out for state support. I will now briefly look at the advantages of this approach.

  • It combines many different types of abilities into one “merit” rating, using financial success in life as a unified metric. This includes the practical life skills which are notoriously hard to gauge in any formal assessments.
  • It is very simple – the information on who earns what and gets what from the state is already collected by the Tax Department and branches of Social Welfare. We would just need to collate it from a few databases into one.
  • It is completely egalitarian in that gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or level of physical ability are not assessed.
  • It weeds out drifters who have no financial stake in the economy.
  • It promotes financial self-reliance of the citizens which will have positive effect on the national balance sheet.
  • It has been successfully used in many clubs and associations where only financial members are allowed to use the facilities, be elected to the board, vote at AGM’s etc.

The objection some people may have to the above proposal is that the non-voters in a meritocratic system would somehow be exploited. As I will now attempt to prove, these fears are completely unfounded.

In the Western democracies there already are groups of citizens who are not allowed to vote – children, criminals and the insane. If majority-vote systems automatically exploited those not represented, these groups would currently be disadvantaged. A cursory analysis reveals that the opposite is true. Children enjoy now more rights than ever, including the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child, Convention on the Right of the Child etc. Useless as they are, these rights were created by the adults – children are not allowed to vote at the UN! Similarly with the criminals – many people would agree that they have too many rights in the West. These rights were acquired without the crims being able to vote on them. Even the insane appear to be well looked after in democracies, despite not having the voting powers.

One would expect that the non-voters in a democratic system would be subjected to forced labour (sweatshops, chain gangs), humiliated, harvested for organs etc but none of this is occurring. The voting population is more inclined to pursue the haves than have-nots or can-nots but this is a different story. I will only briefly repeat in this context that the only group of citizens clearly exploited in the Western democracies are those expected to pay back the loans we have drawn – the future generations.

So, I have done my bit by outlining the first political step which can be taken on the road to sanity. What do you think about it?



2 Responses to “How to fix democracy (2)”

  1. Damian Says:

    I don’t think your example is relevant about the fact that non-voters in a meritocratic system would not be exploited. As an egzample you bring up disadvantaged groups of people that are protected as logic would incourage. This doesn’t give a fair representation of the non-voters who would be exploited otherwise. Humen greed has no boundaries unfortunately. If you give unlimited power to people they will abuse it, don’t you think?

  2. da-boss Says:

    I am for the rule of the Law (nomos), not people (demos). The examples I gave are of the social groups which do not have voting rights but are well looked after by those who do. A similar protection against exploitation would be extended to non-voting free-wheelers in a meritocratic system. This protection/support will not cover social dysfunction which needs to be stamped out. Is this the aspect you are concerned about? 🙂

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