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government by experts

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libertygrl
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Posted 09/29/11 - 10:53 PM:
Subject: government by experts
a friend of mine suggested today that rather than having a democracy in which ignorant and uneducated people are electing government officials, we should have a form of government comprised of panels of experts - economic experts, scientific experts, etc. they would take into consideration the people's wants and needs, and then make decisions on how best to achieve them.

any thoughts on whether this sounds like a good idea to you?

and on that note, from a utilitarian point of view, is democracy really our best option? or is there some better way of achieving a utilitarian objective?
Thinker13
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Posted 09/30/11 - 12:56 AM:

Rather than trying to put your faith into one body for choosing government, it's much better to make everyone highly educated and let democracy be. There is no guarantee that 'experts' will not be corrupt. History has taught us that power corrupts.

thedoc
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Posted 09/30/11 - 10:30 PM:

That sounds like the original US concept of the 'Landed Aristocracy' having a vote in the government, which echoed the Greek idea of the 'Citizen' having a say in the governing of the state. In each case it was assumed that someone who owned property or was a citizen was more informed and better able to make decisions on the course of the country. This would leave out vagrants, homeless people, possably renters, or anyone who does not own property. The possible validation is that those who do not own property have less interest in the course of events that effect the wealth and health of the nation.
Thinker13
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Posted 10/01/11 - 12:19 PM:

This also reminds me of a great Philosopher ( I do not remember if it was Nietzsche or Russel or Aristotle !)---who suggested that only Philosophers should be authorized to elect government as they are the wisest.

I personally think that it's not persons who are corrupt but rather memes associated with power; that is, no matter how wise, persons with power tend to get corrupted!
libertygrl
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Posted 10/04/11 - 12:53 PM:

Thinker wrote:
no matter how wise, persons with power tend to get corrupted!

it seems to be the case, but i wonder if it only seems that way because the corrupted leaders from history stand out in our mind, more so than the good ones? i mean, surely there have been many leaders throughout history who have governed nations for long periods and left in good standing? can anyone think of any examples? i can't, haha. but i wonder if that illustrates my point rather than disproves it. i mean, i do think people have a general tendency to remember the bad more than the good.

doc wrote:
That sounds like the original US concept of the 'Landed Aristocracy' having a vote in the government, which echoed the Greek idea of the 'Citizen' having a say in the governing of the state. In each case it was assumed that someone who owned property or was a citizen was more informed and better able to make decisions on the course of the country. This would leave out vagrants, homeless people, possably renters, or anyone who does not own property. The possible validation is that those who do not own property have less interest in the course of events that effect the wealth and health of the nation.

interesting, i didn't know about that.

well, my thoughts on the matter is that the people need to feel like their needs are being met, and without that, they will eventually revolt. i'm for any kind of government that actually keeps people happy, whether it is a democracy, dictatorship, panel of experts or whatever. what my friend had in mind is that this "panel" would take into consideration the people's wants and needs and try to figure out the best way to go about achieving them. i'm not sure though that this process would make people feel like they have a voice. but maybe that's not a need everyone has, i'm not sure.
Thinker13
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Posted 10/05/11 - 11:43 AM:

libertygrl wrote:

it seems to be the case, but i wonder if it only seems that way because the corrupted leaders from history stand out in our mind, more so than the good ones? i mean, surely there have been many leaders throughout history who have governed nations for long periods and left in good standing? can anyone think of any examples? i can't, haha. but i wonder if that illustrates my point rather than disproves it. i mean, i do think people have a general tendency to remember the bad more than the good.




If you extrapolate it slightly, even Gods ( inventions of 'power meme' of human mind) are so corrupt, all through the mythologies across all the religions. I have to admit that I have witnessed more sane human beings than most powerful Gods. Power and corruption somehow come together IMO.

[ I so miss Monk2400 when it is about Theology or politics or conspiracy theory!----when is he due to be back on-board? any guess? sticking out tongue]
thedoc
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Posted 10/05/11 - 7:24 PM:

Thinker13 wrote:

This also reminds me of a great Philosopher ( I do not remember if it was Nietzsche or Russel or Aristotle !)---who suggested that only Philosophers should be authorized to elect government as they are the wisest.


Any specilized group will think that they are the most qualified to rule based on their specilized knowledge. Unfortunately it seems that the politicians are now in control, with the support of big business, certainly not the best combination.
thedoc
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Posted 10/05/11 - 7:30 PM:

libertygrl wrote:

doc wrote:
That sounds like the original US concept of the 'Landed Aristocracy' having a vote in the government, which echoed the Greek idea of the 'Citizen' having a say in the governing of the state. In each case it was assumed that someone who owned property or was a citizen was more informed and better able to make decisions on the course of the country. This would leave out vagrants, homeless people, possably renters, or anyone who does not own property. The possible validation is that those who do not own property have less interest in the course of events that effect the wealth and health of the nation.

interesting, i didn't know about that.


The 'Aristocracy' part might have been a bit off, but it was male property owners who were able to vote in the original US. The expansion of voting rights was a long slow process till now when everyone is supposed to be able to vote if they want.
Thinker13
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Posted 10/05/11 - 11:54 PM:

thedoc wrote:


Any specilized group will think that they are the most qualified to rule based on their specilized knowledge. Unfortunately it seems that the politicians are now in control, with the support of big business, certainly not the best combination.


I concur.
henry quirk
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Posted 10/07/11 - 8:43 AM:

Here's an idea: if we're gonna be stuck with 'governance', the let's hire the dullest, most unimaginative, plodding, un-ambitious men and women we can find. Let's hire folks who can barely take care of themselves. Let's hire folks who will -- through sheer lack of intellect and talent -- do 'nothing' except maintain the esoteric infrastructure.

Experts, the ambitious, the idealistic and on and on, could go and do something, anything, else...let the gray and uninspired 'run' the show.

Certainly: such folks can't muck up things worse than their more colorful and intelligent counterparts, and -- at best -- such drudges would leave you and me and him and her alone.
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Posted 10/08/11 - 1:03 AM:

This also reminds me of a great Philosopher ( I do not remember if it was Nietzsche or Russel or Aristotle !)---who suggested that only Philosophers should be authorized to elect government as they are the wisest.


That was Plato. smiling face

Here's an idea: if we're gonna be stuck with 'governance', the let's hire the dullest, most unimaginative, plodding, un-ambitious men and women we can find. Let's hire folks who can barely take care of themselves. Let's hire folks who will -- through sheer lack of intellect and talent -- do 'nothing' except maintain the esoteric infrastructure.

Experts, the ambitious, the idealistic and on and on, could go and do something, anything, else...let the gray and uninspired 'run' the show.


That might work if we were in a status quo concerning the economical and social circumstances and structures. The thing is that we're being forced to change (all the time, but especially now). The most adaptable societies will win out. You need creative, ambitious, forward-looking people for that.

I imagine you don't like the thought of that, henry. For you this might not be all that, but for the whole of the people, more long term thinking in politics and more adapting to the new circumstances is going to be necessary - so it will happen, some day. On the other hand: The sooner you get change, the least harsh the change will need to be later on. A higher involvement of the state actually diminishes the need for much higher involvement of the state in the long term.
henry quirk
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Posted 10/10/11 - 8:37 AM:

"I imagine you don't like the thought of that, henry."

Nope... wink
thedoc
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Posted 10/10/11 - 3:12 PM:

henry quirk wrote:
Here's an idea: if we're gonna be stuck with 'governance', the let's hire the dullest, most unimaginative, plodding, un-ambitious men and women we can find. Let's hire folks who can barely take care of themselves. Let's hire folks who will -- through sheer lack of intellect and talent -- do 'nothing' except maintain the esoteric infrastructure.

Experts, the ambitious, the idealistic and on and on, could go and do something, anything, else...let the gray and uninspired 'run' the show.

Certainly: such folks can't muck up things worse than their more colorful and intelligent counterparts, and -- at best -- such drudges would leave you and me and him and her alone.


Just who are the 'WE' who will hire these people to run the government and 'do nothing'? These 'Dull, Unimaginative' may already be in place we just need to give them the authority instead of the elected officials. The politicians who are elected are those who 'want' the job, and that does not always mean the person who is most qualified to do the job. Many of those people who would do the best job do not want to be in the 'pressure cooker' that is modern politics. If you haven't guessed who I mean that are already in place, look at the gov. bureaucracy, very good at maintaining the statis quo.
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Posted 10/11/11 - 1:09 AM:

smokinpristiformis wrote:


That was Plato. smiling face

The Republic? I recall only that it was a nightmare.
Thinker13
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Posted 10/11/11 - 9:41 AM:

thedoc wrote:


Just who are the 'WE' who will hire these people to run the government and 'do nothing'? These 'Dull, Unimaginative' may already be in place we just need to give them the authority instead of the elected officials. The politicians who are elected are those who 'want' the job, and that does not always mean the person who is most qualified to do the job. Many of those people who would do the best job do not want to be in the 'pressure cooker' that is modern politics. If you haven't guessed who I mean that are already in place, look at the gov. bureaucracy, very good at maintaining the statis quo.


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henry quirk
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Posted 10/11/11 - 10:12 AM:

Doc,

I didn't expect any one to take my post above seriously.

I'm no more interested in being directed by the dull and stupid than I am the quick and ambitious.

Governance is always about 'governors' and 'governed': I'll have none of it.
Thinker13
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Posted 10/11/11 - 10:55 AM:

henry quirk wrote:
Doc,

I didn't expect any one to take my post above seriously.

I'm no more interested in being directed by the dull and stupid than I am the quick and ambitious.

Governance is always about 'governors' and 'governed': I'll have none of it.

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thedoc
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Posted 10/12/11 - 2:12 PM:

henry quirk wrote:
Doc,

I didn't expect any one to take my post above seriously.

I'm no more interested in being directed by the dull and stupid than I am the quick and ambitious.

Governance is always about 'governors' and 'governed': I'll have none of it.



BTAIM, I have always contended that the less the Gov. does the better. Politicians always seem to do more harm than good when they try to 'fix' something. And who better than a bureaucrat to maintain the 'statis quo' and do nothing. As long as their jobs are secure they will not cause any trouble, and tracking down people who want to fly under the radar is a lot of trouble.
henry quirk
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Posted 10/13/11 - 8:51 AM:

"Politicians always seem to do more harm than good when they try to 'fix' something."

It's that pesky ambition, fueled by an understandable desire to stay in power, executed openly by catering to the squeaky wheels, who 'are' squeaky because some one(s) whispers in their collected ear about 'those folks over there who have more', promoting envy in 'those who have less', making them squeal like neglected piggys, drawing the attention of those in, or who want, power, who feed the piggys, believing that in doing so, they can remain in power, and on and on and on... wink
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Posted 10/13/11 - 11:15 AM:

henry quirk wrote:
"Politicians always seem to do more harm than good when they try to 'fix' something."

It's that pesky ambition, fueled by an understandable desire to stay in power, executed openly by catering to the squeaky wheels, who 'are' squeaky because some one(s) whispers in their collected ear about 'those folks over there who have more', promoting envy in 'those who have less', making them squeal like neglected piggys, drawing the attention of those in, or who want, power, who feed the piggys, believing that in doing so, they can remain in power, and on and on and on... wink



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smokinpristiformis
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Posted 10/14/11 - 2:21 AM:

"Politicians always seem to do more harm than good when they try to 'fix' something."


As much as I don't trust politicians, I will say this: Good policy and good government work is very hard to sell. Also, the media has a pretty perverse role in seeking out the worst in everything and blowing up the smallest thing out of proportion. I often wonder 'is this really newsworthy?'. But apparently scandals do sell the most papers, regardless of their actual value. sticking out tongue
libertygrl
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Posted 10/20/11 - 11:31 AM:

that reminds me of a comic i came across recently:

http://i.imgur.com/lHLo6.jpg
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