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View Poll Results: Is a Meritocratic Oligarchy Superior to a Democratic Republic?
Yes 1 33.33%
No 2 66.67%
Other 0 0%
Voters: 3. You may not vote on this poll

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Old January 16th, 2018, 05:11 PM   #1
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Is a Meritocratic Oligarchy Superior to a Democratic Republic?

Is a Meritocratic Oligarchy Superior to a Democratic Republic?

Consider the case of a Fictional Meritocratic Oligarchy found in Star Wars--The Jedi Council. The Jedi Order holds the Jedi Council at the top of a pyramid who dictate the rules, course of action, ect. ect. as the primary governing body. One is only granted a position on the Jedi Council based upon merit, typically (essentially always) after receiving the rank of "Master".

Another example of a Fictional Meritocratic Oligarchy is found in Star Fleet from the Star Trek Universe.

Are these systems superior to the model provided by Democratic Republics?

Thoughts?
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Old January 16th, 2018, 05:16 PM   #2
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Almost any dictatorial system will be more efficient than any democratic based system with two very important caveats. First, the dictator, or the council with dictatorial power is wise and benign.

Secondly that there is some guarantee that future dictators/councilors will be equally wise and benign.

You can't, so as a practical safeguard, it's good to have a system that allows the citizens to punt the assholes periodically.

But even there it is hard to come up with the ideal system as we can currently see.
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Old January 16th, 2018, 06:09 PM   #3
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How about government by jury.
We randomly pick a number of people, and pay them well, to decide what to do.
They get sequestered, the sides present the case.
They hear both sides, they ask questions, they decide.
They make a limited number of decisions and we thank them for their service and pick a new jury.

This eliminates money from the process, it eliminates lobbyists, it's just citizens doing their duty.

Politician is the profession with the highest percentage of it's members incarcerated.
You do hear of bad jury decisions, but rarely, you see garbage legislation at every turn.
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Old January 16th, 2018, 06:19 PM   #4
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"Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

Winston Churchill
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Old January 16th, 2018, 07:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RNG View Post
Almost any dictatorial system will be more efficient than any democratic based system with two very important caveats. First, the dictator, or the council with dictatorial power is wise and benign.

Secondly that there is some guarantee that future dictators/councilors will be equally wise and benign.

You can't, so as a practical safeguard, it's good to have a system that allows the citizens to punt the assholes periodically.

But even there it is hard to come up with the ideal system as we can currently see.
An example of an inherently flawed Meritocratic Oligarchy is a Timocracy-Stratocracy. A prime example of this in World History is Sparta. Another example is a Plutocracy as wealth is largely arbitrary and not a proper indicator of true merit. Furthermore, I think any Meritocratic Oligarchy revolving around a singular/primary concern (such as the two models just cited) is highly limiting at best and doomed to fail in a number of areas.

Now, as a counter to this, I would point out that Academia is already structured in a strictly hierarchical, Meritocratic Oligarchic manner and has a wide variety of disciplines concerns (i.e. it is not "Centralized" but operates on many, varied de-centralized wings). That is, in Academia being an Albert Einstein level Physicist grants you nothing in the History department, nor even in the Neuroscience (i.e. a distinct Science, separate from Physics) department--although such an individual would have a "vote" in particular areas of the Physics discipline. It is perfectly plausible to have varied sectors of society operate on a similar model.

The current model grants me (or some other unqualified individual) to have an equivalent vote alongside an Einstein-level Physicists on matters of Physics. Now, the amount of experts in any given field will almost (if not) always be drastically outnumbered by the numbers of non-experts in a given discipline. Thus, the "vote" of an expert will very quickly be drowned out by the masses of non-experts who have a "vote" as well.
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Old January 18th, 2018, 09:13 AM   #6
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Here is some more "food-for-thought" on this topic:

There are many different forms a Meritocracy could potentially assume. The hypothetical model I am suggesting would take a form similar to Academia however generalized across the board. There would be no one Prime Minister/President. Rather, there would be a smaller group of experts in their given niche with a "vote" in that area, many such varied de-centralized Wings. Individuals in society would be given an opportunity to earn a "vote" in as many such Wings as they prove their proficiency in. If a member of society is too lazy to train for & earn proficiency in any area, then they will correspondingly not be given a "vote" in the workings of the society they inhabit (as it works in Academia)

It has proven itself to be a "Superior" model (based upon the criteria for "Superior" I provided in a previous post). Also, note, the type of Meritocratic Oligarchic system employed by Academia (and particularly the Scientific Community) is fundamentally Quasi-Democratic in nature--it is just that one must earn their vote rather than simply being afforded it by birthright.

Imagine if everyone were given a vote in the discipline of Physics simply due to being born, now expand that out across all disciplines, and this is the nature of our current open Democracy model. Does anyone else see a problem with that?
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Old January 23rd, 2018, 05:27 PM   #7
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Is a Meritocratic Oligarchy Superior to a Democratic Republic?

See brief video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRZQWBrHnk0

Ultimately, I don't think I should have a "vote" (of any significant weight) on an issue beyond my "expertise"/competence. However, currently, I do. In fact, for example, I have just as much "vote" as Dr. Hensen (who studies Climate Science for a living & holds more advanced degrees specific to this subject area). This should be a debate resolved amongst experts (in conjunction with allied disciplines)--not the general public/"non-experts"/laymen.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now, for this hypothetical model I am outlining, one could argue for a bit more open Oligarchy (not quite as exclusive) also. That is, one way of setting up the Oligarchy would be with a "singular vote" system with "top experts" in the relevant field being the only ones with any sway (i.e. a more exclusive "club"). Or, you could have a "weighted vote" system that is a bit more Democratic than a "strong Oligarchy" however would still rely upon the vote of "experts". Here is a brief outline of what that could potentially look like (which is obviously crude & subject to revision--there would clearly be ways of Mathematically modeling an optimal route/solution of which this is not it):

I. Level of Proficiency Attained (via Degree, Test, or Equivalency): # of votes

A. Top percentile PhD: 10
B. PhD: 7
C. MA/MS: 3
D. BA/BS: 1
E. AS: 1/4

II. Relevance to Discipline: # of votes

A. Direct Concentration in the Area: 10
B. In Discipline: 7
C. Closely Allied Discipline: 3
D. Generally Associated Discipline: 1
E. Loosely Related Discipline: 1/4

Now, this outline is just to provide a visual to such a hypothetical construction for a "weighted vote" system in a Meritocratic Oligarchy (I am not actually promoting this, it is a rough outline). Of course, it would not have to be set up this way, as this is more of a "weak Oligarchy" designed to be more Democratic than a "strong Oligarchy" while still relying upon the views of "experts"

Thoughts?
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Old January 23rd, 2018, 11:35 PM   #8
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If this is an area of high personal interest, than a person would have an opportunity to earn their vote and challenge Hansen's arguments.

The point isn't to shut-down all Democratic functioning, rather to allow Democratic processes to work inside of certain respectable spheres of influence and to disallow the influence of those who are overtly unqualified in the area under review. In fact, it would encourage citizens, who are highly interested in a particular area, to further advance their knowledge and thus sphere of influence in society.

Note, tests could easily be devised in various areas also as a way to "climb up the ladder". Thus, all one would have to do is the hard work of studying all of the disciplines they were interested in participating with to the best of their ability in order to demonstrate their proficiency in the area to earn their vote.

That is, one could be an Elementary School teacher by trade, however if they are able to pass "Exams" (to various levels) in Criminal Justice, Physics, Architecture, Nutrition, ect. ect. ect. than they could have a properly "weighted vote" in such diverse disciplines/sectors of society.

Last edited by xMathFanx; January 23rd, 2018 at 11:38 PM.
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