Red Cliffs Of Dawlish

Red Cliffs Of Dawlish
Red Cliffs Of Dawlish

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Democratic Deficit: Out Of Touch

 Layers of Popularity: Is that Democracy or something else? I think this picture explains the nature of progression of this referendum succinctly

Above is a synthesis of the complete discussion of the subject of this blog. It's an illustration of the low quality arguments and why they appear so much more visible. Starting back to front almost with a conclusion and then proceeding to explain. Let's describe the above:-
  1. Left-Hand Side Columns: X-axis Knowledge 0-5 dominates the debate
  2. If we presume that in the absence of knowledge people resort to what they believe to be "true" or most applicable to them this is based on emotion or personal bias ("what matters to me").
  3. Top Left-Hand Side Row: Y-axis Popularity 10-5: We see that with a leader figurehead our PM holds the most prestige and drives at least 50% of the polling attitudes and all the political infrastructure beneath his office.
  4. Second to him is Boris Johnson, and this is reflected in the Personality Contest that has taken over the Referendum.
  5. Right-Hand Columns: X-axis: I've only added Dr. RAE North. I could have added Andrew Duff floating around a similar area, but wanted to highlight the disparity visually more strikingly so with a single face.
  6. The various ratios are indicative, a general feel, a general impression of the speakers and their coherence and consistency of their arguments vs how regularly they draw attraction from mass media channels of communication.

There was an interesting and I think accurate observation in City AM by Louisa Bojesen:-
"Then an important point was made. Democracy only works when you have a society of smart people. Think about it. [...] Some might argue that, if you can’t have an “intelligent democracy”, then you would be better off with a kind of “benevolent dictator” system."
Now looking at the reaction of a system of government that believes democracy does not work:-
Phillips quotes the Communist party-controlled Global Times: “The rise of a racist in the US political area worries the whole world… He has even been called another Benito Mussolini or Adolf Hitler by some western media... Mussolini and Hitler came to power through elections, a heavy lesson for western democracy.” Phillips writes, “Trump, or ‘Chuanpu' as they call him in China, has been a gift to Communist party spin doctors paid to convince the country’s 1.4bn citizens that rule of the people is a sure path to chaos and destruction.”
Before progressing, retrospectively there's some themes that repeat here: We looked at the absence of intelligence in How To Vote: A Simple Guide to Decision-Making; which as part of a long-standing goal of this blog attempted to provide a simplification for conducive decision-making for the voter. This was off the basis of previous work: Discrīmen: Arguments have their own reasons where the idea of reduction in knowledge per level of dissemination/distribution to more and more people is a natural process of democracy decision-making but still a workable framework for improving national decision-making and I believe do-able/achievable. Then to come back to Democracy directly: Dêmos + Kratos = A Community That Communicates Productively here we looked at a similar theme to this blog but also provided details of successful democracy in Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. The assertion here was that the quality of communication is possibly correlated positively with democracy and by implication a more intelligent decision-making process; achieved.

 Uniting Nations - Out Of Touch: "You're outta touch; I'm outta touch!"

Our older forms of social organization are our family and then tribal forms which probably existed many times longer than all the subsequent forms of human organization put together. thus when dealing with people, the LOCAL SCALE of Democracy is all important.

The Harrogate Agenda2. Real local democracy

"To that effect, our aim must be to invert the entire structure of the British state. Instead of the top-down systems, we need to start locally and create structures built from the bottom-up. [...]

What we are proposing is nothing short of revolution. The fundamental building blocks of our democracy should become independent local units which owe their existence to the people who live within their boundaries. Instead of being statutory bodies – i.e., defined by statute, from which they derive their powers, under the control of central government – they become constitutional entities. Their existence, powers and revenue-raising capabilities are defined by the people via the medium of constitutions, approved by local referendums.
These local authorities – which could be counties, cities or the former county boroughs – become independent legislatures is their own right. Whereas local authorities were once permitted to make by-laws, defined and permitted by central government, true local government makes its own laws in its own name. Each district makes all the laws for matters exclusive to its area, using powers defined by its own constitution, applicable within its own boundary.
Some might think that local authorities are too small to become legislatures, but size is not an issue. Few people for instance, realise that Iceland, with a population of 313,000, boasts fewer people than the London Borough of Croydon (363,000) and very substantially less than the Metropolitan District of Bradford (501,000).

Yet Iceland is a sovereign nation. It has its own government, its own parliament, its own laws, its police and even its own fishing policy and navy to enforce it. Despite its small size, the country does tolerably well, with a GDP of $12.57 billion (146th in the world) and a GDP per capita of $38,500, the 24th highest in the global league (higher than the UK’s $36,600, the 33rd highest).  It also has its own local government, with 59 local municipalities.

In Norway, which has approximately five million inhabitants, there are 428 municipalities and 19 county authorities. More than half the municipalities have less than 5,000 inhabitants and only 14 have more than 50,000. The largest municipality is Oslo, which is also a county. It has approximately 620,000 inhabitants. But the smallest municipality is Utsira with 209 inhabitants.[...]

In some respects, this also solves some of problems we have with MPs. One might expect seats to be apportioned on a county basis, with approximately one per 120,000 head of population. This ratio gives a House of Commons roughly the same size as it is at present. The boundaries would be fixed.  As population varied, so would the number of MPs, keeping constituencies wholly within the bounds of specific local authority areas.

The reckoning should be, incidentally, based on population rather than electorate. Our MPs should be representing the interests of all of their constituents, not just those who can vote.

However, some might argue that, with a reduced workload, fewer MPs would be needed, with a ratio of perhaps 200,000 or more for each representative, possibly stretching to one per 500,000 head of population. Where the United States House of Representatives manages to make do with 435 voting members, our House of Commons might be able to reduce itself to less than 300, saving expense. We might expect numbers in the House of Lords to be proportionately reduced – with perhaps only a hundred or so working members needed.
 Now we look at China: Demographics of China

"According to the 2010 census, 91.51% of the population was Han Chinese, and 8.49% were minorities."
What we have it appears to me is the transition of Tribal to Institutional/ Centralized Governance which is then dealing with Globalization and Market Forces acting on such institutions. Many people think the solution to this is "The Blob Solution": To increase the size of the units of these institutions to counter-act global forces. I don't think this is a very good solution for the future, it takes power away from people and that usually ends up badly for people. Secondly we can look at the effects of the "Blob Solution" today in the UK and indeed in the EU. Firstly our UK Referendum:-

 Readers can feel "relief" that the result the Legacy News-Media promotes and supports is as banal as they thought it was; and how fortunate to have the Legacy-News Media point it out!

Is it irony or hypocrisy or both? Either way this result is exactly mirrored in the above graph I've provided. The problem is "loss of knowledge" the greater the mass of people the message is communicated to from a Centralized source. Here the Blob Effect exerts it's effects to the detriment of increasing knowledge and making intelligent democratic decision-making. So China may find this supports their own system of governance. But it does in the sense of the scale of people they have to govern and the "homogeneity" of those people (91% self-identifying Han). 

 Legacy News-Media Visualized Accurately: This is really the source of news you're being provided with!!! (packet of BLANK photocopy paper)

Compare to Europe:-


"Ancient Greece was the founding culture of Western civilisation. Western democratic and individualistic culture are often attributed to Ancient Greece. The Greeks city-state, the polis, was the fundamental political unit of classical Greece. In 508 BC, Cleisthenes instituted the world's first democratic system of government in Athens. The Greek political ideals were rediscovered in the late 18th century by European philosophers and idealists. Greece also generated many cultural contributions: in philosophy, humanism and rationalism under Aristotle, Socrates and Plato; in history with Herodotus and Thucydides; in dramatic and narrative verse, starting with the epic poems of Homer; in drama with Sophocles and Euripides, in medicine with Hippocrates and Galen; and in science with Pythagoras, Euclid and Archimedes. In the course of the 5th century BC, several of the Greek city states would ultimately check the Achaemenid Persian advance in Europe through the Greco-Persian Wars, considered a pivotal moment in world history, as the 50 years of peace that followed are known as Golden Age of Athens, the seminal period of ancient Greece that laid many of the foundations of Western civilization."

For whatever reasons, Greece, perhaps it's network of surrounding cultures fed into an increase culturally shared and synthesized knowledge as well as it's own forms of cultural transmission and education? I think this is the measure of success that is worth looking at more than territory size or number of people within a grouping system. If we look at the history of the European Union in The Great Deception (I recently reread it) it shows a lot of attempts to make a big group unit at the same time as not acknowledging a changing world nor the negatives of politicians power mongering more power between themselves as we've seen so often with the outcomes of the European Union. Instead I think the increase in Local Democracy via:-

Curiously I came up with a similar model of understanding to explain the differences between the Middle East and the Western Civilization and where Western Civilization might need to be focusing attention while being overly distracted by the Middle East's transition problems (their problems don't necessarily match our problems: See transitions T->I/M vs I/M->N): a dire shortage of alternative models.

At the same time as the explosion at Globalization, this leaves the present institutions simply failing people and resorting to reversals to Tribalism or else attempting to make democracy work at ever larger groups/blobs of people: The European Union ie Institutional Hierarchies further away from Local Democracy ie Family and Local Ties in touch with their personal experience and relationships.

Looked at via this particular model or perspective, it seems to me to connect a lot of different things that otherwise appear disparate:-
I think it's probably better for anyone interested to read the above articles then start to think in context to the above model how they all are connected; for example "understanding the troubles that afflict the Middle East" may actually improve Foreign Policy along with greater democratic input into our policies by our people. Suffice to say for the purposes of this blog a simple and honest conclusion:-

The result of this referendum does not matter either way. The process of knowledge dissemination via the various channels which will be an indication or measure of the quality of communication via mass media and now electronically see Dr. RAE North's comments EU Referendum: positives and negatives:-

"Interestingly, at the Dawlish meeting, back in September 2014, we predicted that the opposition would be majoring on the idea that leaving the EU would be a "leap in the dark". Here we are now, with the Prime Minister pushing precisely that as a slogan and the "Stronger In" campaign sending out leaflets with that emblazoned on the front.

Countering this meme will be our positive contribution to the campaign, funded largely by the generous contributions of our readers, which are still coming in via the direct route. Nonetheless, we still need additional funds to get the message out, and to support our blogging effort.

Our current plans take account of the Scottish experience where much of the campaigning took place on the internet. The battle was largely out of sight of the legacy media – which made the usual mistake of believing that it was dominating the debate"
this is changing the nature of how we communicate ideas and make decision-making at a political level. The quality of communication is a very strong measure of the underlying deficiencies or deficits in democracy: How open it is, how transparent (not behind closed-doors) and how diverse the ideas input into decision-making are. In answer to the question by Louisa Bojesen above: I'd prefer to live in a politically much more local system such as Norway, Iceland or Switzerland than China: The Blob Solution just increases the exertion of political weight over those below. When we see figures such as Trump or Johnson on our televisions and newspapers, all that's proving is:-

Pigeon-Holing Popularity = '50% Democracy' (at it's maximum)
  • A Democratic Deficit
  • Hierarchical Institutional Redundancy (News-Media, Parliament, Religion, Banks etc)
  • A lack of Alternative Solutions: reverting to old or present solutions to future problems