Democracy

Our analysis suggests that applying that cure at the present time could well be adding
fuel to the flames. Instead, some of the problems of
governance in the United States today stem from an excess of democracy. ….

Needed, instead, is a greater degree of moderation in democracy.
In practice, this moderation has two major areas of application. First, democracy is only one way of constituting
authority, and it is not necessarily a universally applicable one. In many situations the claims of expertise, seniority,
experience, and special talents may override the claims of democracy as a way of constituting authority. ……

The arenas where democratic procedures are appropriate are, in short, limited. ……

Second, the effective operation of a democratic political system usually requires some measure of apathy and
noninvolvement on the part of some individuals and groups.
In the past, every democratic society has had a marginal population, of greater or lesser size, which has not actively
participated in politics. In itself, this marginality on the part of some groups is inherently undemocratic, but it has also
been one of the factors which has enabled democracy to function effectively. Marginal social groups, as in the case of
the blacks, are now becoming full participants in the political system. Yet the danger of overloading the political system
with demands which extend its functions and undermine its authority still remains. Less marginality on the part of some
groups thus needs to be replaced by more self-restraint on the part of all groups.

(Crozier, Huntington, Watanuki, 1975, p. 113-114)

Crozier, M., Huntington, S. P., & Watanuki, J. (1975). The Crisis of Democracy: Report on the Governability of Democracies to the Trilateral Commission. New York University Press.

 

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For Shannon the information is the message and the data is 0 and 1. I have proposed an informatics theory that considers the pieces of news as data and the meaning people make of it as information.

An informatics theory of effective democracy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Median_voter_theorem

 

Early U.S. Majority Rule Problem

In America, when the majority has once irrevocably decided a question, all discussion ceases–Reason f or this–Moral power exercised by the majority upon opinion–Democratic republics have applied despotism to the minds of men.

 

IT is in the examination of the exercise of thought in the United States that we clearly perceive how far the power of the majority surpasses all the powers with which we are acquainted in Europe. Thought is an invisible and subtle power that mocks all the efforts of tyranny. At the present time the most absolute monarchs in Europe cannot prevent certain opinions hostile to their authority from circulating in secret through their dominions and even in their courts. It is not so in America; as long as the majority is still undecided, discussion is carried on; but as soon as its decision is irrevocably pronounced, everyone is silent, and the friends as well as the opponents of the measure unite in assenting to its propriety. The reason for this is perfectly clear: no monarch is so absolute as to combine all the powers of society in his own hands and to conquer all opposition, as a majority is able to do, which has the right both of making and of executing the laws.

The authority of a king is physical and controls the actions of men without subduing their will. But the majority possesses a power that is physical and moral at the same time, which acts upon the will as much as upon the actions and represses not only all contest, but all controversy.

I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America. In any constitutional state in Europe every sort of religious and political theory may be freely preached and disseminated; for there is no country in Europe so subdued by any single authority as not to protect the man who raises his voice in the cause of truth from the consequences of his hardihood. If he is unfortunate enough to live under an absolute government, the people are often on his side; if he inhabits a free country, he can, if necessary, find a shelter behind the throne. The aristocratic part of society supports him in some countries, and the democracy in others. But in a nation where democratic institutions exist, organized like those of the United States, there is but one authority, one element of strength and success, with nothing beyond it.

In America the majority raises formidable barriers around the liberty of opinion; within these barriers an author may write what he pleases, but woe to him if he goes beyond them. Not that he is in danger of an auto-da-f‚, but he is exposed to continued obloquy and persecution. His political career is closed forever, since he has offended the only authority that is able to open it. Every sort of compensation, even that of celebrity, is refused to him. Before making public his opinions he thought he had sympathizers; now it seems to him that he has none any more since he has revealed himself to everyone; then those who blame him criticize loudly and those who think as he does keep quiet and move away without courage. He yields at length, overcome by the daily effort which he has to make, and subsides into silence, as if he felt remorse for having spoken the truth. (Tocqueville,1839, p. 250)

Tocqueville, A. de. (1839). Democracy in America. G. Adlard.

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Investment theory of party competition

Political parties (and the issues they campaign on) are created entirely for business interests—separated by the interests of numerous factors, such as labor-intensive and capital-intensive, and free market and protectionist businesses.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Investment_theory_of_party_competition

 

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http://www.auburn.edu/tann/