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Can Democracy Succeed?

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Note from the author: This article is not meant as a defense of anti-democratic ideas. Rather, its aim is to point out the obvious disadvantages to a system that is incredibly susceptible to manipulation. This article is meant to generate discussion and debate.

Imagine a corporation where rank and file workers making up 90% of the organization are able to vote democratically for the best candidate to become CEO. Ridiculous and absurd? Yes, but this is precisely what we do when choosing a president.

The architects of modern society would have us believe this is a progressive method that respects the “will of the people”. But do “the people” deserve such respect? And are voters really choosing candidates based on a rational analysis of the issues of the day?

Psychological studies have shown that human beings do not regularly engage in logical cost-benefits analysis. People – for the most part – are irrational. Any cognitive psychologist will tell you that the area of the brain responsible for decision-making is the “Limbic” where emotions rule.

Our life-changing decisions when voting for a candidate, then, are at the mercy of irrational factors such as:

  1. Appearance. Is the candidate attractive?

  2. Voice. Is it soothing with a reassuring tone? Is it passionate? Or is the voice harsh, grating and strident?

  3. Charisma. Does the candidate have an aura? Does he or she seem to radiate some indefinable energy that dazzles the crowd and draws you to them?

  4. Race. Is the candidate of a particular ethnic group “not to your taste”? Or is the candidate perhaps from your ethnic group?

  5. Religious views. Does the candidate belong to any religious group? Is it a religion that you support? Or is it a religion that you find unacceptable and strange? What if the candidate is – heaven forbid - an atheist?

  6. Likability. Is the candidate someone you would "like to have a beer with"? Or a latte? Or does the candidate seem arrogant and aloof? Are they a person of “character”?

  7. Believability. Does the candidate come across as honest? Is he or she direct? Do they sound too much like a lawyer engaging in slick rhetoric and double-talk?

  8. Age. Is the candidate too young for such an important position? Or is the candidate maybe a bit too old. Will he fall asleep on the job?

  9. Intelligence. Is your candidate able to cogitate and chew gum at the same time? Or are they only capable of chewing gum?

And let's remember that in the United States, the Exceptional Democracy, 1 in 4 Americans believe that the sun revolves around the Earth, and 50% of American adults can't read a book written at an eighth grade level.

So…these are “the people” we trust with our future - our very lives!

And just what has "democracy" given us, anyway? Only the most voracious Empire since Rome; an imperial power bent on world domination through a succession of brutal wars resulting in massive death and destruction.

That’s right. All roads lead to Washington D.C.—via Wall Street, of course.

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