Wednesday, April 26, 2017

[wuzostlr] Democracy for succession

Perhaps the purpose of democracy is simply to decrease the turmoil and turbulence that occurs in other forms of governments​ when a transition or transfer of power occurs.

Certainly, turbulence can and does occur in democracies, and peaceful and smooth transitions​ of power can and do occur in, for example, monarchies and dictatorships, but we hypothesize that the average rates over time differ.

Perhaps Amartya Sen's observation that democracy seems to avoid famine is only a side-effect of this.  In other forms of government, the government becomes extremely dysfunctional during power struggle turmoil (which might be occurring behind the scenes even before the current leader loses power), allowing things like famine to occur because nobody is minding the store.  (Of course, we can see dysfunction and turmoil in power struggles in a democracy also, so it remains to be identified exactly where the difference is.)

On one hand, this model suggests we ask too much of our democratic government: all we should really ask for are peaceful transitions​ of power, and not, for example, for the government to actually do good - e.g., promote the general welfare - with its power.  On the other hand, because we are avoiding turbulent power transitions and energy wasted on power struggles​, it would be nice if the government could spend its surplus energy on doing good.

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