I think most criticism of the democratic process is misplaced criticism of lack of political freedom. If multiple groups of people wish to share a political agency, democracy is a practical way of operating it, but problems can arise from those groups not being able to leave if they decide at some point in the future that the cost of compromise is no longer justified by the benefits of unity. The problem with modern states isn't that they let us vote on which politicians come into power, but that they force people with radically different interests to share the same politicians.

But what's the point of making decisions democratically if they can opt out of the conclusion at any time?

Their joining the organization to begin with tells us unity has at least some benefits, and there's no reason to assume they would surrender those benefits wherever disagreements arise. For a simple metaphor, consider that a husband and wife don't file for divorce whenever they get into an argument about something.

But market failure prevents voters from being rational because they know there's no way a single vote will change anything. This means democracy will always make bad decisions.

Our culture tends to accept political abstinence, which stems from people feeling the options presented to them are too similar for the choice to be meaningful and that there are too many people in the voting pool for theirs to be significant. These aren't unchanging conditions innate to the concept of democracy itself but restrictions produced by our current political system which could therefore be eliminated through reform. We could imagine a society with a freer and more diverse political system and whose agencies exist on scale so small that their people don't feel disconnected from or powerless to control them.

The idea that the time spent determining which candidate is most desirable could be spent more productively elsewhere and that people will therefore not spend their time learning about politics assumes that people don't value political knowledge or participation in its own right, comparing the nonexistent financial gains of casting a ballot to the potential financial gains that could have been realized in that same time, ignoring altogether the human element. Political participation is in reasoning similar to a sporting event, being fueled by passion and tribalism rather than by a desire to spend their time in a way that produces the most valuable goods and services for others.

Okay, but I'm still not satisfied. I don't think 51 percent of people should be able to shoot the other 49 percent just because they voted for it.

This objection assumes the existence of an institution powerful enough to kill nearly half the population and questions not the existence of the institution but the means by which it's controlled. But if not the 51 percent killing the 49, should we instead endorse the 49 killing the 51? If a means to rule is present and the majority does not rule, the minority will.

But I'm not endorsing oligarchy. I'm just against that powerful institution and I don't think democracy is sufficient to justify it.

But if nothing else is sufficient to justify it either, democracy need not be focused. That is, you'd be against it whether it's democratic or not. Criticizing modern states by attacking democracy is sort of like criticizing monarchistic states by attacking the concept of inheritance, despite not believing inheritance problematic in any other context and despite being against even non-monarchistic states. It serves only to mislead your audience and give to your critics the impression that you're not actually against the institution so much as you are against letting people vote on it.

/r/6j4stuff Thread