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Itís official: democracy has failed so why not try logicracy?

By Mark Manolopoulos - posted Friday, 24 August 2018


One year ago, On Line Opinion kindly (and courageously, I might add) published an article of mine titled "Democracy keeps failing so maybe it's time we try logicracy." The impetus of that article was, of course, the Trump phenomenon. How could Trump become "the leader of the free world"? Quite easily: democracy's fatal flaw (or at least one of them) is that "the people" can choose whoever they like. And given that "the people" are often uneducated, undereducated, or miseducated, it's unsurprising that they'll choose shiny, orange people as their leaders.

Now, I'm not here to mock democracy – well, more accurately: I'm here to criticize it and to also recognize its value (in more ways than one, as I'll duly show). I think it's one of the least worst systems of government. The "ideal" of democracy is certainly a very admirable one: what could be more admirable than "the people" leading "the people"?

But democracy "as we know it" is not only not trying to live up to the ideal but is single-mindedly trying to kill it. "Really existing democracy" is democracy's sworn enemy.

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Now, if you thought my article last year wasn't persuasive enough, then I think the latest Liberal Party debacle should surely sway any rationally-minded person to start considering alternatives to democracy. What I've been doing over the past few years is developing a notion which finds its genesis in Plato's idea of "philosopher-rulers": the ideal State or Republic would be governed by those who think the best, i.e., by the most thoughtful thinkers. I call this form of government "logicracy" – rule by logic/Reason.

I summarised some of the characteristics of logicracy in the previous article, but in this article I wish to focus on how we might get from our present democratic disaster to logicracy. As a peace-lover, I think the most desirable option is to use democracy to get to logicracy. I foresee two pathways according to this scenario. Both involve the establishment of something like a "Logicracy Party."

The first path would proceed in the following way: once voters begin to understand and appreciate what such a Party stands for – i.e., that the ruler of society should be Reason rather than megalomaniacal individuals and elites – then it is hoped that voters would start voting for Logicratic candidates. When the Party gains a majority, then it would seek to implement its policies democratically. We might call this pathway "democratic logicracy."

But I wonder whether this option would be effective enough: given that I suspect that the most rational policies might be quite radical ones – even to the extent that they lead to a fundamental transformation of society – then I wonder whether a democratic-logicratic system could implement such measures. Perhaps, then, what might be required is that the logicratic movement use the democratic process in order to undo it in order to replace it. In that scenario, what we would have is more of a fully-fledged logicracy, unencumbered by so-called "democratic checks and balances." Logicrats would then be free to rationally reconstruct society.

Or perhaps the logicratic movement would be required to try a more radical approach in terms of gaining power. It would be up to the leaders of the logicratic movement would be the most effective.

As radical as all of the above scenarios might appear, aren't they infinitely more attractive than parliamentary leaders idiotically squabbling? Rather than constant in-fighting, logicracy would seek to think through social issues and generate solutions to these problems. We recognize that the solutions won't always be "infallible" but they'll be rationally discerned measures – much more "bang for our buck" than we're currently getting.

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About the Author

Dr Mark Manolopoulos is a philosopher. He is an Adjunct Research Associate with Monash University and he is also undertaking a second PhD (leadership studies) at Charles Darwin University. He is the author of If Creation is a Gift, an edited work (With Gifted Thinkers), several scholarly journal articles, and op-ed pieces.

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