World Democracy, Mob Rule and Decoherence
Are World Democracies Doomed?
In physics photons are considered to be in a state of decoherence until they are measured. Send a photon through two slits and it will interfere with itself as shown on film, in other words it acts just like a wave. Try to detect which slit the photon is traveling through and it acts like a single particle. It ceases to act like a wave.
Can world democracies exhibit the same behavior? Most people are already aware of the flaws in democracy that allow majorities to victimize minorities (two wolves and a sheep voting on what is for dinner). But there may be a second and deeper problem also. Democracies around the world may be ultimately doomed.
Imagine 3 people are in a car going on vacation. One person wants to go to the beach, while the second wants to go to the mountains. It is a hundred miles to the beach and a hundred miles to the mountains. However, there is only enough fuel to travel to one destination and back.
Now imagine they decide to have a mini-election and have a vote for the two possible vacation spots. One person votes for the beach and against the mountains. Another votes for the mountains and against the beach. These first two people realize that they can only vote for one or the other without disaster.
Now the third needs to vote. What if that person doesn't realize the dilemma involved in that there is only enough fuel for both. Both ideas sound great, so they vote for both! We have a state of decoherence in our voter.
Of course, this will result in our little group running out of fuel. The problem was that their choices were improperly defined. A vote should have been set up so that only one destination could be selected. Decoherence has led to incoherence in democracy.
And this is the core problem with democracy around the world. People don't make a true choice and so their logic is incoherent. Many are voting for contradictory decisions simultaneously. We can't have less taxes and more government simultaneously. And once tax revenue is maxed out on the Laffer curve, we can only spend each dollar collected once.
So large groups of people support wars and corporate bailouts, while other large groups support social programs. Everything sounds great, so another group supports it all. Of course, this will just result in endless budget deficits. We can absorb some budget deficits through inflation, but when do they build up to a point where we end up with economic calamity.
Future of Democracy in the World
Ultimately, world democracies have three strikes against them:
- Majorities Victimizing Minorities: An example of this would be minimum wage laws. Since the majority of people have jobs, minimum wage law help them out by raising their pay rates. However, minimum wage laws mean less jobs for the unemployed. So minimum wage laws help out the employed majority while harming the unemployed minority.
- Voting Incoherence: Voting for incompatible results. An example would be voting for both a new school and a new hospital when there is only enough money for one. I lived in a state that voted for longer prison sentences (requiring more prisons), more schools, and less property taxes, simultaneously in the same year.
- Deliberate Sabotage Voting: There are people who actually vote for a higher tax rate with the full knowledge that the higher tax rate will actually produce less revenue due to the fact that taxes are already past the maximum revenue point on the Laffer curve. Some of these people also engage in what appears to be voting incoherence, but are actually attempts to try and collapse the economy. Their overall goal is to destroy capitalism and then create a centralized economy. A great example of this was when politicians raised tax rates in Maryland on millionaires even though it would (and did) result in less revenue after about a third of those millionaires moved out of the state to avoid the excessive taxes.
Are there any solutions to these predicaments? The constitution is suppose to prevent majorities victimizing minorities, but it rarely succeeds (look at slavery).
Voting incoherence might be prevented with a gold based money. This would force government to finance itself without being able to create inflation. Excessive government bonds would just result in bankruptcy and hopefully result in future responsibility. We would still have a degree of voting incoherence, but it would be self-correcting.
Deliberate sabotage voting will always be here, but it can be negated to some degree if people become aware of the true motives of those engaged in it. It is probably a greater danger when used by our representatives when they raise taxes to supposedly bring in more revenue even though they know it will bring in less money. If you are interested in the motives and techniques of those who hate capitalism, then study the writings of the political philosopher Ayn Rand, especially her book "Atlas Shrugged".
The future of democracy in the world is unknown and we might discover that a constitutional monarchy might be a better form of government. The next couple of decades should be exciting as we watch different governments compete around the world. I suspect that only time will show us the truth about which form of government is best.
Hopefully, we will have a better tomorrow.