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Are people too stupid for democracy to work?

Are people too stupid for democracy to work>

  • Yes

    Votes: 24 57.1%
  • No

    Votes: 18 42.9%

  • Total voters
    42

Viking11

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The democratic process relies on the assumption that citizens (the majority of them, at least) can recognize the best political candidate, or best policy idea, when they see it. But a growing body of research has revealed an unfortunate aspect of the human psyche that would seem to disprove this notion, and imply instead that democratic elections produce mediocre leadership and policies.

Read more: People Aren't Smart Enough for Democracy to Flourish, Scientists Say | Why the Best Candidate Never Wins | Psychology
 

Paleocon

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The democratic process relies on the assumption that citizens (the majority of them, at least) can recognize the best political candidate, or best policy idea, when they see it. But a growing body of research has revealed an unfortunate aspect of the human psyche that would seem to disprove this notion, and imply instead that democratic elections produce mediocre leadership and policies.

Read more: People Aren't Smart Enough for Democracy to Flourish, Scientists Say | Why the Best Candidate Never Wins | Psychology

Um, duh.
 

Gathomas88

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I'd like to say no, but....

Yeah. Looking at things historically, Democracies tend to fare rather poorly. Either people vote for something stupid that brings about their downfall, some particular voting block gains too much power, and basically uses it to turn the whole system into a self-serving tool aimed at forwarding their own interests and oppressing all others, or corruption and the accumulation of power in certain hands basically turns the whole thing into a de facto oligarchy.

I really don't see our own society bucking this trend. If anything, we're proving the rule.

The only major upside to Democracy is that feeling like they have a say tends to keeps people happy, and therefore minimizes conflict and frees up resources - that more authoritarian governments typically have to devote to keeping people in line - towards other, more productive, uses. However, if civil society breaks down due out of control factionalism, demographic rivalry, or irreconcilable ideological differences, that benefit kind of goes right out the window.

More indirect Republican systems of government were meant to keep such problems in check, by redirecting public sentiment towards productive ends, and limiting the amount of damage populist direct democracy can do. Unfortunately though, democratic pressure tends to slowly but surely erode such counter-measures over time, making the issues mentioned above more or less inevitable in the long run.
 
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Paleocon

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The only major upside of Democracy is that feeling they have a say keeps people happy

People in democracies tend to be much more dissatisfied with the government then those in monarchies.
 

German guy

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As for democracy, the people deciding over all kind of complex questions, I'd say yes, they are "too stupid".

But in a republic, all the people has to do is choosing the best representative, who then takes the decisions. People just vote for particular candidates and their general philosophy (in two-party systems, these philosophies are even broken down into a binary choice). I guess people are just competent enough to be able to do that.
 

Chomsky

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The democratic process relies on the assumption that citizens (the majority of them, at least) can recognize the best political candidate, or best policy idea, when they see it. But a growing body of research has revealed an unfortunate aspect of the human psyche that would seem to disprove this notion, and imply instead that democratic elections produce mediocre leadership and policies.

Read more: People Aren't Smart Enough for Democracy to Flourish, Scientists Say | Why the Best Candidate Never Wins | Psychology
I've often been told this is one of the reasons the framer's of the Constitution chose a representative republic form of government with an electoral college, rather than a direct democracy -though I can't speak to the voracity of this line of thought.
 

Henrin

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No, they're too power hungry.
 

Risky Thicket

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It drives me nuts when everyone says they want term limits for Congress but complain and say that Congress would never pass a term limits bill. Vote the bastards out. Simple solution. After two terms vote the bastards out. Term limits come from the people in a democracy. People are too stupid, too lazy or willfully ignorant to vote the bastards out! Congress knows this and it is why Congress continues to rape the Constitution and the People. Because they can. Who is going to stop them? The voting public? :lamo

Survey after survey continues to report that Americans fed the hell up with Congress. Americans do not trust Congress. Americans give Congress a very unfavorable rating. However, we all know that most Americans will send the same bastards they don't like, the same bastards they don't trust back to Congress whenever their Congress people are up for re-election!
 

Grand Mal

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People in democracies tend to be much more dissatisfied with the government then those in monarchies.

Maybe they're just freer to express disatisfaction. The average Saudi citizen is unlikely tobe critical of the monarchy, at least in important matters.
 

SocialD

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I'd like to say no, but....

Yeah. Looking at things historically, Democracies tend to fare rather poorly. Either people vote for something stupid that brings about their downfall, some particular voting block gains too much power, and basically uses it to turn the whole system into a self-serving tool aimed at forwarding their own interests and oppressing all others, or corruption and the accumulation of power in certain hands basically turns the whole thing into a de facto oligarchy.

I really don't see our own society bucking this trend. If anything, we're proving the rule.

The only major upside to Democracy is that feeling like they have a say tends to keeps people happy, and therefore minimizes conflict and frees up resources - that more authoritarian governments typically have to devote to keeping people in line - towards other, more productive, uses. However, if civil society breaks down due out of control factionalism, demographic rivalry, or irreconcilable ideological differences, that benefit kind of goes right out the window.

More indirect Republican systems of government were meant to keep such problems in check, by redirecting public sentiment towards productive ends, and limiting the amount of damage populist direct democracy can do. Unfortunately though, democratic pressure tends to slowly but surely erode such counter-measures over time, making the issues mentioned above more or less inevitable in the long run.

this pretty much echoes my own thoughts.. sure there are a lot of competent people out there.. but the masses unfortunately continue to affirm the idea that they are too stupid to know whats good for them.
 

Thrilla

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no... and i find the notion that" everyone else is stupid" to be extraordinarily hateful and ignorant
 

clownboy

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no... and i find the notion that" everyone else is stupid" to be extraordinarily hateful and ignorant

To be noted, no one ever makes the statement that they themselves are too stupid for a democracy to work, it's always on everyone else.
 

Paleocon

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To be noted, no one ever makes the statement that they themselves are too stupid for a democracy to work, it's always on everyone else.

Everyone is too stupid for democracy to work. Placing responsibility for public decisions with the masses will always end badly, regardless of their intelligence.
 

SDET

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I would say too immoral for representative government to work. Things were fine until about the time prayer was forced out of public schools.
 

Paleocon

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I would say too immoral for representative government to work. Things were fine until about the time prayer was forced out of public schools.

The rot was already set in then, that was a symptom, not the disease.
 

Grand Mal

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I would say too immoral for representative government to work. Things were fine until about the time prayer was forced out of public schools.

You think making kids pray in school was making people more moral?
 

Spartacus FPV

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"Self-government is not possible unless the citizens are educated sufficiently to enable them to exercise oversight." - TJ
 

Grand Mal

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Maybe people aren't too dumb or too immoral, maybe they're just too many.
 

Helix

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Are people too stupid for democracy to work?

in short, no. however, a gerrymandered duopoly system is going to produce bad choices much more often than it produces good ones, especially when money is so big of a factor.
 

Grand Mal

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You just hit the nail right on the head.

Maybe democracy can't work unless it's by a public show of hands. Can't work well, anyway, without being subverted by ill-intended groups of cronies.
 

Fishking

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The democratic process relies on the assumption that citizens (the majority of them, at least) can recognize the best political candidate, or best policy idea, when they see it. But a growing body of research has revealed an unfortunate aspect of the human psyche that would seem to disprove this notion, and imply instead that democratic elections produce mediocre leadership and policies.

Read more: People Aren't Smart Enough for Democracy to Flourish, Scientists Say | Why the Best Candidate Never Wins | Psychology

No system of government will run without issues. Democracy simply gives people a voice in that matter. That aside, I don't think that people are too stupid so much as ill-informed on various subjects or just too lazy to put in much effort.

You don't really have to be smart for a Democracy to work.
 
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