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Tyranny of the Decision?

 
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lpc1998
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Joined: 31 Jul 2005
Posts: 39
Location: Singapore

PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 5:31 pm    Post subject: Tyranny of the Decision? Reply with quote

stevemagruder wrote:


From : http://tdcommunity.org/viewtopic.php?t=9

....

There is always a "tyranny of the decision" that scales up as you add more people to the public policy decision-making process.

When a king or dictator rules, it's a tyranny of one.

When an oligarchy/aristocracy rules, it's a tyranny of a few.

When a strictly republican system rules, it's a tyranny of a group of selected (and in some cases, elected) elites.

When a representative democracy rules, it's a tyranny of elected representatives, with some power ostenibly held by the citizenry, who get to choose their reps every two or more years. Every citizen who chooses to participate influences, rather than controls policy. (Of course, replace 'citizen' with 'corporation' in contemporary U.S. politics)

When a direct democracy rules, it's a tyranny of everyone who chooses to participate. And they would control policy, ideally. Consider if we saw 1,000,000 citizens making federal policy rather than just 535 in the House/Senate. Wow.

Any way you cut it, there's the tyranny of each public decision, and each decision has a casualty. Not all decisions can be win-win. But I'm not saying this is bad. This *is* democracy.

Democracy is messy by nature. Democracy is a pale reflection of the true people's will. However, it is also the best tool for determining the people's will. It will never be perfect, as humankind will never be perfect, but it will have to do.



By the tyranny of the decision, it is implied here that the decision concerned in some way oppresses, hurts or is to the disadvantage of those who have voted against it while it benefits those who are in favour of it.

This is not necessarily true in a number of the situations:


  1. Not all who vote for it are necessarily voting for personal advantages or benefits at the expenses of some minorities. This implication is grossly unfair to those who vote for the greater good of the community at personal expense. History tells us that many such people did exist in the past although they might not be doing so all the time.

  2. Even in cases where the majority benefits from the decision at the expense of the minority, one cannot be with the majority all the time on all issues; one may be with the majority on some issues while in the minority on others. So there is, in fact, a trade-of of the benefits in the majority decisions with the disadvantages when one is with the minority.

  3. In true democracy, the rules (or laws) of the community are set by the majority for the good and the benefits of the community as a whole, where such rules (or laws) are applied equally and fairly to all and sundry and where the dissenting minority agrees antecedently to accept the decision of the majority as their own. Now, if the majority making use of the ballot process to oppress the minority, then the dissenting minority would not agree antecedently to accept the decision of the majority as their own. The community would cease to be a democracy by definition and degenerates into the Tyranny of the Majority. So we have to clarify our definition of true democracy to exclude specifically the Tyranny of the Majority.


Best Regards
Eric Lim (lpc1998)
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