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The majority could be wrong

#1 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-December-14, 01:44

It's a rather concerning thing where a global system seems to be based on the assumption that the majority will is "right" or that popularity gets you "the best" or that the big seller should be "most successful"

I know most of them are smeantic and many people do not even discuss or understand the complexities or sophisitcation behind those systems

That in itself is dangerous and can lead to tyranny as someone once wrote

You could think about things like the tyranny of the majority or maybe an equivalent or laterally related concept is the degradation that occurs by always going for the lowest common denominator

But, without having studied it, I have my own theory of democracy, or the way it generally works (with some extreme and terrible exceptions through history). That is it placates and keeps the presently most extreme and obnoxious and dangerous tendency under some sort of control

... or alternatively its this terrible oppressive conservative system used by the powerful elites to keep the disgruntled people under control by making them think anyone cares

The only thing that gives me any comfort speaking out on anything these days is knowing that those in power have the ability to essentially ignore me without those physical cruelties of the past. It doesnt mean the psychological cruelties are still not avaialable but I feel safer knowing they dont need to get their hands as dirty dealing with those of us who speak up

.... EDIT I need to defend myself against any accusations of complacency or ignorance. I know thos forces still have many ways of inflicting their cruelty (physically and mentally) on their targets or undesirables

If indeed there is a system of oppression through some kind of phony debate leads to progress kind of system, that has been around a very long time, how long has it been around. Does it (as I believe) operate among the elites at a global scale over the millenia, to give the people some phony hope of progress while they same powers keep control forever. But when you look at history (from my layperson perspective) the same characters the world over have been in power for ever. The rest is just a big con to make people feel there is a bit of progress from time to time, only to see it knocked back
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#2 User is offline   awm 

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Posted 2020-December-14, 03:21

It's true that in every society some people have more power than others, and the people with more power tend to manipulate the system to be favorable to them (and maintain them in power). But it's a mistake to think that the same characters have been in power forever. Just ask the Russian Tsars (oops, hard to do that) or the descendants of the French monarchs (yes there are a few). Even the British Monarchy doesn't have much real power today.

It seems highly unlikely that the son of a black Kenyan immigrant would've been one of the "same characters" in power throughout US history, yet such a man ran the country for eight years and retains considerable influence today. Nor does it seem likely that a woman with a PhD in chemistry would be the "leader of the free world" fifty years ago, yet here we are.

If we're looking for the "power behind the leadership" instead of the leaders themselves, it's certainly the case that "the wealthy" have a lot of power, but capitalist democracies are not so much about preventing wealthy people from having power (it's very hard to do this, at least under any reasonable definition of wealth) but rather about letting the set of wealthy people change over time. And they have changed -- there are wealthy people like Sergey Brin and Larry Page (children of immigrants), or Oprah Winfrey (born in poverty) and many more.

Should we have more economic mobility than exists at present? Absolutely. And there are some troubling trends about the way wealth is accumulated (it seems to help to be a sociopath, although certainly not all wealthy people are sociopaths). But I don't think it's "the same characters the world over" running things.
Adam W. Meyerson
a.k.a. Appeal Without Merit
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#3 User is online   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-December-14, 08:39

Addressing the thread title: I have never heard anyone suggest that the majority is always right. A more modest assertion is that everyone should have a say in deciding how things will go. Even this much more modest assertion is not a claim that we should put all decisions on all matters to a vote. Our votes, or at least my vote, represent our hopes for a direction that the country should move in and an expression of faith, or at least hope, that the people we vote fr will move in that general direction and do so effectively. And yes, even this could be wrong but decisions have to be made and having voters make choices seems like a decent approach. What else?

As to how to choose, an example from bridge: I was playing in the Saturday Prime tourney with the bots and on the last hand I had a flat 14 count that included a ten. I was impatient and opened it 1NT and was raised to 3NT. ILHB (left-hand bot) had five hearts to theQ and led a heart into my KJx, and I had Axx on the board. In the end game I ducked a could if side suit tricks and brought in nine tricks on a squeeze. My choice of opening bid was flimsy, the resulting heart lead was dumb luck, the end play was based on education. That's the way life works and we should always keep it in mind. Luck, or at least lack of bad luck, always plays a role. But educarion is useful in making the most of good luck or minimizing the bad effects of bad luck. We are not always right, we are sometimes careless, sometimes lucky, sometimes unlucky, all of this is true. But education and thought are still useful.

The majority is not always right, I am not always right, you are not always right, but choices must be made. Everyone should have a say in how we address our problems. It would be nice if we all thought about their choices, at least thought a bit about the options.
Ken
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#4 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-December-14, 13:03

View Postawm, on 2020-December-14, 03:21, said:

It's true that in every society some people have more power than others, and the people with more power tend to manipulate the system to be favorable to them (and maintain them in power). But it's a mistake to think that the same characters have been in power forever. Just ask the Russian Tsars (oops, hard to do that) or the descendants of the French monarchs (yes there are a few). Even the British Monarchy doesn't have much real power today.

It seems highly unlikely that the son of a black Kenyan immigrant would've been one of the "same characters" in power throughout US history, yet such a man ran the country for eight years and retains considerable influence today. Nor does it seem likely that a woman with a PhD in chemistry would be the "leader of the free world" fifty years ago, yet here we are.

If we're looking for the "power behind the leadership" instead of the leaders themselves, it's certainly the case that "the wealthy" have a lot of power, but capitalist democracies are not so much about preventing wealthy people from having power (it's very hard to do this, at least under any reasonable definition of wealth) but rather about letting the set of wealthy people change over time. And they have changed -- there are wealthy people like Sergey Brin and Larry Page (children of immigrants), or Oprah Winfrey (born in poverty) and many more.

Should we have more economic mobility than exists at present? Absolutely. And there are some troubling trends about the way wealth is accumulated (it seems to help to be a sociopath, although certainly not all wealthy people are sociopaths). But I don't think it's "the same characters the world over" running things.


The best trend for accumulating wealth is to be born into wealth. Power can also mold the capitalistic system to favor the wealthy by way of policies. (see IRS collections).
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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