IDLEMINDSET | THAT DEMOCRATIC FALLACY (AND A BIT OF ASS!)
Here’s the good news: we’re bringing you an Idlemindset article. The bad news? We’re still assholes—and not the good type either. We’re the evil kind of asshole—the ones who just won’t give a fuck. Not even after you’ve set it up all oiled and ready to go, eventually driving you to mocking insanity for your inability to get that anal you’ve always fantasied about…. Wait. How did we get here?
Okay, let’s just focus. Especially on the positive aspects of what you’re doing right now—using your employer’s time to read this absolutely work-unrelated post, and getting paid for it at the end of the month. Think about that. Wow, right? A life of free money.
We’ll that’s why we have unions, democracy and traffic lights: so we can protect the weak elements of society against the caprices of the stronger ones. Especially if by “weak”, you mean “poor, struggling, downtrodden masses” and by “strong” you mean “rich as fuck.” And so today, you can do absolutely nothing at all and still get paid like hell for that nothing. And this works very well, generally, because some people fought for your right to wank during office hours a long time ago. And that recognition of human rights is part of why more countries are shifting towards some form of democratic government.
Democratic ideals are good for political business: you see, when the people are happy with their lives, families and jobs (or at least, when they think they are happy: which is also generally acceptable) then the government is happy. But, democracy can be just as terrible as a dictatorship when mishandled by the people and their government. And more so when the people forget the whole point of the democratic process: freedom. And that’s why Socrates had to call out the fuck-ups of democracy by distinguishing between democracy for the purpose of dealing with “shallow issues” and democracy for the purpose of dealing with “urgent human questions”.
Now, we’re not saying Socrates is the smartest of the bunch—afterall, he chose to die by drinking poison rather than lose what was essentially, a twit-fight—but, the dude had a fair point. You see, democracy as a game of numbers is good for making decisions about the allocation of communal goods and resources: these are, ultimately, “shallow issues”. But when it comes to decisions affecting rights, justice, fairness and equity—aka “urgent human questions”—you just can’t leave it to a game of numbers and the will of the people. Especially when those numbers are out to kill you.
Rights—however defined—transcend numbers. But when some clever politician argues that the “will of the majority” in a democratic setting makes an action okay, then this fallacy is certain to get a fair number of people confused. But anyone who has ever seen a violent “majority” mob knows that the argument is absolute nonsense. A mob, whether legalised or not, doesn’t care about “urgent human issues”.
But by definition, a mob is irrational. Democracy is not—and shouldn’t be—a license for the majority to destroy the opinion of the minority. Or vice-versa. No matter how reprehensible the other side of the argument is to you.
It’s a simple idea, really, but most people fail to see it—because humans are essentially wired to be assholes. And here’s the moral for today: if the discussion is about roads, airports and election timetables, democracy works fine; but when the debate shifts to the repression of the minority, then the fact that the majority are all for it still doesn’t make it right. And if you’re really convinced that everyone has to compulsorily share your opinion—then get an island.