Scientific Study Says People Are Too Stupid for Democracy

Discussion in 'The Study' started by Makalakumu, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Serious question. Does that include anyone not a member of the landed gentry? Slaves, native Americans, other minorities?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  2. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    It did not include slaves, but if you were free, you were literate. A good read is Alexis De Tocqueville, a Frenchman who traveled around America and marveled at how literate even the basest farmers were. One quote that sticks in my head is something like, "We work hard during the day and at night we read to cultivate our minds."

    I'll have to look for it because I think it demonstrates a completely different attitude toward education as it existed in the colonies. Education was the responsibility of the individual in order to cultivate the self, rather than something that is done to you, as it is viewed now.
     
  3. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    chances are the cultivation was restricted to the bible....
     
  4. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    You'd be surprised. De Tocqueville noted extensive libraries in sod houses. Americans were a different sort then he was used to.

    The same happened to my Polish ancestors. As soon as they had a little freedom, the educated themselves as much as possible.
     
  5. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    As I don't consider myself European I can't see where you think I'm playing the victim here. You wrote a long post expressing your opinion which you then weakened considerably with a comment made in ignorance, tell me where that isn't relevant.
    I'm only responsible for what I write not the way you read it.

    As someone who also has a degree in psychology I do urge people not to listen to psychologists!

    What people aren't taking into consideration here is that the general population is weary of the constant media and progaganda effots of political parties so they zone out politics, it's not as though they are ever going to be allowed to have a say anyway. Life in the current economic climate is hard enough as it is without being called stupid because they have to concentrate on earning a wage and keeping a roof over their family's head as well as food on the table. There's the worry of unemployment, medical care etc etc so are you surprised that only the most strident and deeply misguided are into politicking. I'm not sure you can tar the millions of people that are in America with the same brush. As is always the case you only hear about those who are ignorant, violent or stupid you don't here about the millions who are getting on with their lives, educationg their children, bringing them up properly etc. Yes you hear about the shooters, but what about the millions who don't kill people? You hear about the student who thinks Iraq is in Australia because that's funny, you don't hear about the millions who have good educations and use them well. You hear about the ones boasting they never read a book but who are all the books in America being sold to then? In this day and age we have the biggest and fastest media there has ever been, we have the biggest and slickest advertising agencies there has ever been and both are contriving to make sure we see the world as they want us to, couple this with the politicians then you have a very skewed idea of the world if you beleive what they all say and many here do for all their smartness.

    A political partt wants you to think that education is pants, the economy is about to fail, crime is rising and the medical services are falling apart but if only you would vote for them it would all be alright again. Do most people see through this absolutely, that's why they turn from being buffeted by the politicians and they appear ignorant of the situation. It's alway a fact that each generation thinks the upcoming generation is lazier, less educated and more wilful than they were... kids weren't like that in my day..... and it's never true it's just a sign of impending old age. Young people today are as they've always been, you're just looking at them through old eyes.

    Men and women died to bring universal suffrage to the people, so every man and women had the right to vote, taking away that vote so only those you feel worthy of voting is demeaning every deed and sacrifice those people made for you to have the vote, because at some time there were people who thought you weren't worthy to vote either.
     
  6. Instructor

    Instructor Master Black Belt

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    Any society tried this yet?
     
  7. crushing

    crushing Grandmaster

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    Hopefully our Constitutional Republic will help protect us from the whims of the ignorant mob (of which I am a part).
     
  8. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Probably not but we've had plenty of people who have fought and died for the right of people to vote.
    There seems to be plenty of people who want to take the hard won vote off people they consider unworthy but that's the thin edge of the wedge, look at what happened in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, Cambodia etc. etc. when people became 'non people'. If your country is supposed to be a beacon of free thought, speech and a land of equal opportunity you can't then turn it into a place purely for those you deem worthy and no one else can you? If we are talking SciFi scenerios there are plenty of books and short stories that warn what happens when people start thinking they are an elite or above the rest.

    http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/history-right-vote
     
  9. Instructor

    Instructor Master Black Belt

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    Heinlein's work is a bit more than science fiction. Starship Troopers for example is required reading at West Point. It is I think a very important work thinly disquised as a Sci-Fi story.
     
  10. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Really? They have to read it, good grief. Gosh and our officers waste their time with things like 'On War' by Claus von Clausewitz, 'The Ulitility of force. The art of war in the modern world' by Rupert Smith and 'The British Officer; Leading the Army from 1660 to the present' by Anthony Clayton.

    Starship Troopers is a very good example if you are inclined to the fascist type of thought. It's basically a fascist's handbook. It's not without it's critics either. It's the author's political views thinly disguised as a book lol. It's no more important than Frank Herbert's 'Dune' and infinitely less important than anything by Philip K Dick.

    They had a fascist at Sandhurst once, Mosley, came to a bad end.
     
  11. crushing

    crushing Grandmaster

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    That was the movie adaptation.
     
  12. Instructor

    Instructor Master Black Belt

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    The leadership of a nation decided by people who have contributed and sacrificed for that nation....

    Doesn't seem very fascist to me.

    Currently our leadership is getting decided by the handout crowd.
     
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  13. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    That was a major factor that pushed the Roman Republic into dictatorship. The people elected Tribunes that would promise them their hearts desires and eventually society began to crumble. After a series of dictators who attempted to prop up Roman society by killing off the Populari, one came and finally motivated the people to support him.

    Caeser.
     
  14. WC_lun

    WC_lun Senior Master

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    "Also, at one time, only those “People” with something to lose; with “skin in the game”, were allowed to vote. But, that was considered unfair and over time everyone who lives here over the age of 18 can now vote; regardless of how ignorant they are."

    So are you saying that only people with "skin in the game" should be able to vote? If so, this is ridiculous, because every American has "skin in the game." We are all effected by our government and the decisions that come from it. This was actually a big discussion by our founding fathers. Some wanted only the educated and well to do to have voting rights because they believed only those people would have the intteligence to vote responsibly. Others believed everyone should have the right to vote, since it is everyone's country. What we have now is a compromise as sorts, with the electorate college.

    Yes there are makers and takers in the world. Sometimes a person is both. They do not vote for one party or another as some politicians and news outlets would like you to believe. Take a look at the states that give out the most money for "entitlement" programs. The states that give the most are pretty reliably republican voting states, which would seem to contradict the opinions that makers and takers are seperated by political idealogy. This false seperation is more of the attempt to seperate people into us and them. Then making them something less than us. This leads to a very bad place, yet more and more we as a people let it happen. Get it straight. There are no us and them, there is just "we the people."

    It is true that ignorance abounds, in my opinion. Too many people want to take the latest biased sound bite and use it as base for thier decisions instead of really looking at the issues and doing a little research. The problem is, what would you do differently? Create a class of people that get to vote and therefore hold the power, while others effected by the vote do not get to voice thier opinion through vote? In part, our revolution was to remove ourselves from that type of government. Like it or not, democracy is not perfect, but it is the best we have.

    I would also like to point out how discussions on limiting the vote on people for one reason or another seems to happen a lot after major election cycles. A few of those that do not like the results of the election want to invalidate those results by blaming an ethnic group, the stupid, the takers, or the ignorant for the outcome. In some cases recently, they then want to change the voting requirements so those groups cannot vote in the future. This goes against democracy itself. It should be fought against as it truly is an attack on the principles our country is founded upon.
     
  15. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    I honestly don't think it matters how well people were educated in the past or present. The issues that people are voting on are too complex. Take Global Warming, for example. How many posters here think that they have enough technical background knowledge to actually take one position or another when casting a vote? My undergraduate is in biology, earth sciences, and physics and I struggle through the topic when I attempt to engage my critical faculties to it.

    Most people simply accept the position of the majority and make appeals to authority on the matter. There is no possible way for the general public to actually understand what they are voting for. This is what allows the public to be bamboozzled by the brightest, shiniest, loudest, and most official looking ********.
     
  16. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    It was the book. I first read it not long after it had been published, we even discussed it at school. It's definitely the book, critics at the time suggested he'd left the story out of it and there was far too much talking in it. There was also a lot of criticism because of the perceived fascism projected by the writer.

    The leadership of a country is decided now by those that have contributed and sacrificed for that nation. Those that have given their lives and have sacrificed for that country do so, so that others don't have to and all can benefit.

    If the quality of a nation is judged on the basis of how it treats it's weakest members how do you think your country will be rated?
     
  17. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Here it's called climate change something that people do understand and they understand that we may or may not be contributing to it but whether we are or not, we also understand that clogging up the earth with chemicals, pollution etc is not a good thing, do you actually need to understand more?
    We understand our politicians are actually buffoons, we have one off to prison shortly, and that if we shout at them loud enough and for long enough they do rather nice little U Turns. You may want to laugh at your politicians more, it does them good, lampoon them, belittle them, don't kowtow to them.
     
  18. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    For those of you who would like to shift this into an economic discussion, I think there is a principle here that is directly related to the underlying principle of this thread.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_calculation_problem

    This strikes me as just another form of Hayek's Knowledge Problem. In any centrally planned system, there is no way for the planners to know all of the relevant information for economic exchange. Thus, centrally planned systems are always inefficient, dare I say stupid, when it comes to the allocation of resources. Couldn't the same be said of large governments and law makers? The average voter is voting on a platform of laws of which they have no understanding. Even the lawmakers don't understand them, they don't even read them! Thus the Law of Unintended Consequences is always present negative for some group.

    Even in a large, well intended democracy, this knowledge problem predicts failure. In a fascist corporate state, where information is doled out by talking heads and the people have been conditioned to lap up the words of authority, it predicts catastrophic failure.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2013
  19. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    Yes, it is imperative to understand more in order to understand Climate change, global warming, AGW, ACC, they are all way more complex then simply putting chemicals up into the atmosphere. Most people are handed a gross simplification and compelled to accept it as true.

    Five minutes on an American's facebook feed will tell you that we make fun of our politicians savagely. LOL!
     
  20. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Personally, I like the idea of people contributing to society. I would, however, be inclined to make it mandatory, but also recognize that there are other important, valuable ways to contribute to society than just military service.

    We've discussed this in passing in other threads. I'd love to see 2 years of compulsory public service after high school, where upon graduation, kids could choose to serve their country in one of a few different ways. Off the top of my head, I think that military service, something like the peace corps for foreign service, and some domestic equivalent, such as Americorps are all great ways in which kids can truly do some good for their country. And by offering a few choices, it allows kids to serve their country without compromising their own principles.

    In addition to helping instill a sense of service, it would also create a venue for pulling kids out of the nest and establishing themselves as functioning adults. Other possible benefits would include job training for the kids, potential tuition assistance, and an opportunity to live outside of their childhood homes for a while before making any long term career decisions.123
     

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