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Mike at NFGeeks discusses an idea for a social system based on Plato's "The Republic." The cardinal values appear to be transposed into the new system by implication.

Educational level is multiplied by age to give voting weighting of different individuals. Educated intellectual people rule.

What are your thoughts?
 

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I really like this.... Though I am of the opinion that the best system (in theory) would be a benevolent dictatorship, where the leader was truly benevolent... If you haven't read "Starship Troopers" by Robert A. Heinlein, I strongly urge you to do so. It is extremely pro military, but the story and the philosophy are excellent.

Thank you for sharing, @Ista.


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Educational level is multiplied by age to give voting weighting of different individuals. Educated intellectual people rule.
If only! I'm not from the US, but I cringe each and every time I see a politician broadcasting his religious views, for votes.

The voters are worse... basing their votes on religious agenda's rather than policies.

I would not agree with education certificates being the platform for judging somebodies intelligence. Some of the most intelligent people that I know aren't educated to a high standard.

I suppose this leads us on to a "What is intelligence" debate, but that's for another time.
 

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One problem I have is the incongruency of width vs. depth. Why should an individual who has three masters in a field such as literature, art, and music be given more weight than someone educated in economics and applied mathematics?

Nepotism would still run rampant. People who are wealthy will be able to inject their agendas into the education system, like they already do, but with more drive and ruthlessness. Those with more income will have an inflated amount of education disproportional to their intelligence.
 

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I don't like it. It doesn't do a good job of escaping the main concern he has with democracy, the mob mentality. All it does is reapportion control from one mob to a smarter mob. Also he makes no mention of who would be carrying out these decrees.
Do you have any thoughts on how the idea might be improved, or do you think it has little or no merit at all?
 

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Do you have any thoughts on how the idea might be improved, or do you think it has little or no merit at all?
Well, I like the idea of benevolent dictatorship ala Philosopher-Kings, I just don't think that anyone else should be making decisions on a framework level. I like that there are Guardians to carry out the ruler's decrees with their own knowhow, but I do think that more than one person should have input on the issues. Perhaps hold forums that attempt to sum up the best points according to the most educated, and have them sort of do a mock vote purely for the benefit of the Philosopher-King's decision making.

I kind of balk at the requirement that the P-K be reluctant, it seems like an arbitrary and counter-productive requirement given that to make the best and wisest decisions, the P-K's going to want to have the "most" and "best" of life at his disposal, in order to create his characteristic wisdom. So I would say, make each of the Guardians very educated and then elect a P-K from the wisest, and therefore possibly most reluctant one of them. I think that the reluctance should be a side-effect and not something shifted to the fore.
 

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I don't like it. It doesn't do a good job of escaping the main concern he has with democracy, the mob mentality. All it does is reapportion control from one mob to a smarter mob. Also he makes no mention of who would be carrying out these decrees.
His main concern was escaping the mob mentality of the uneducated, believing that they are not actually fit to make decisions on a general basis, and believing that the mob mentality of the educated would be a better system. It was merely a base, a skeleton though, that could be edited in countless ways to be an actual system. So as it is presented it is too simple to be a real system, but that is ok because it's purpose is to bring to light an idea, and to have people expand on it with their own ideas.

I think that it is a very intriguing idea, and that it is worth experimenting with, after a proper blueprint is drafted of course. We will never know if it will work unless it is tried in the real world, and I am fairly certain that our current system is failing.
 

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One problem I have is the incongruency of width vs. depth. Why should an individual who has three masters in a field such as literature, art, and music be given more weight than someone educated in economics and applied mathematics?

Nepotism would still run rampant. People who are wealthy will be able to inject their agendas into the education system, like they already do, but with more drive and ruthlessness. Those with more income will have an inflated amount of education disproportional to their intelligence.
I believe you may be taking the system he presented to literally. What he presented would have to be changed to fit into application, and it could very easily be made so that the persons with the economic degrees actually have more the most votes, or the only votes, on economic issues, etc etc.

If it is so, then we could have a system where the economics will be controlled by economists, and the literature majors have no say. Or the biologists and ecologists would have a say on the environmental issues, and not the businessman. On policies that would affect the economy and environment, they could be made to have an equal say. It is a very flexible system if we devise the blueprint from just what he presented.
 

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First mistake is this shit of "philosopher KING"...as it gives the impression of being above and being "powerful". The word should be something more like "servant" linked with the proper mentality that they are there to serve and guide and it should be presented as below everyone and be more like a pillar than being some shit head sitting on top. This is not Egypt and you are not a fucking pharaoh and I'm not some enslaved Jew who is going to be lugging around your blocks and building your stupid shit head ego superstructures. Given that the "unintelligent" tend to outnumber the "intelligent" I just don't see how it could become widely accepted and thats the view from which I'm arguing this. There is also no reliable way to make tests properly to measure suitability to ascertain their true value and I think aging will stop being so much of a problem. We might be the last generation that has to die of old age....otherwise, I don't know. Brain too lazy to properly focus the nonsense so I need more time to think.

tangosthenes said:
I kind of balk at the requirement that the P-K be reluctant, it seems like an arbitrary and counter-productive requirement given that to make the best and wisest decisions, the P-K's going to want to have the "most" and "best" of life at his disposal, in order to create his characteristic wisdom. So I would say, make each of the Guardians very educated and then elect a P-K from the wisest, and therefore possibly most reluctant one of them. I think that the reluctance should be a side-effect and not something shifted to the fore.
That is part of why there should be a reluctance as people who seek power are acting out of ego desires and if you are power hungry and drunk on some idea of being above me than you are unsuitable. There is a whole mentality required to "lead" people though the term should be more "support" or "protect".
 

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First mistake is this shit of "philosopher KING"...as it gives the impression of being above and being "powerful". The word should be something more like "servant" linked with the proper mentality that they are there to serve and guide and it should be presented as below everyone and be more like a pillar than being some shit head sitting on top. This is not Egypt and you are not a fucking pharaoh and I'm not some enslaved Jew who is going to be lugging around your blocks and building your stupid shit head ego superstructures. Given that the "unintelligent" tend to outnumber the "intelligent" I just don't see how it could become widely accepted and thats the view from which I'm arguing this. There is also no reliable way to make tests properly to measure suitability to ascertain their true value and I think aging will stop being so much of a problem. We might be the last generation that has to die of old age....otherwise, I don't know. Brain too lazy to properly focus the nonsense so I need more time to think.
Proper use of propaganda is what would be needed to make it widely accepted. This would be difficult because the ones with the most money run that arena.

Otherwise, you'd need a coup d'etat, and just throw it on the unsuspecting population.
 

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This system is beyond broken. I hope this NEVER happens. First of all, you can't just not allow people without diplomas to vote. Someone could be well versed in politics and not have a qualification of any kind, yet there could also be someone who has a PhD in god knows what and have absolutely no idea how politics works. Not only is the guy on the left incredibly patronising and clearly using this system to boost his own ego, he fails to notice one GIANT flaw in this...

He considers himself smart, it's pretty obvious (and he probably is), thus he assumes that his stance when he votes is correct (it might be), but by doing this he also assumes that everyone who doesn't vote his way is wrong. Now that's not terrible, but what is terrible is that he fails to really recognize that people who lead those parties that he won't vote for are considered "educated" in his system and might have PhD's etc. He believes this system would turn the tide in a political war to what he believes in "correct", when in fact there are people out there that are (according to his system and therefore him) more educated than he is that also support the opposite ideals to him. Exactly how does that work? Surely there's a contradiction there in terms of who is considered "intelligent" as far as voting goes, which is more or less an objective topic. If there are an equal number of people on all sides of the debate that have roughly the same amount of power as each other, how would that lead to a more concise system?

Oh yeah, and not to mention that although he thinks he's taking money out of the equation, he's not. It takes money to get qualifications. Certain geniuses go undiscovered because they happened to grow up in poor areas, while some hard workers with the IQ of a gnat end up getting more influence. I think it's already been discussed several times on this forum how official qualifications don't mean shit about intelligence.

So yeah, I fail to understand how someone who was a genius in their youth and has a million qualifications but is now in their 90's with dementia has more voting power than I do just because they have a 9 at the beginning of their age. This is the first thing I thought of and yet it wasn't covered in a 15 minute video.
 

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This system is beyond broken. I hope this NEVER happens. First of all, you can't just not allow people without diplomas to vote. Someone could be well versed in politics and not have a qualification of any kind, yet there could also be someone who has a PhD in god knows what and have absolutely no idea how politics works. Not only is the guy on the left incredibly patronising and clearly using this system to boost his own ego, he fails to notice one GIANT flaw in this...

He considers himself smart, it's pretty obvious (and he probably is), thus he assumes that his stance when he votes is correct (it might be), but by doing this he also assumes that everyone who doesn't vote his way is wrong. Now that's not terrible, but what is terrible is that he fails to really recognize that people who lead those parties that he won't vote for are considered "educated" in his system and might have PhD's etc. He believes this system would turn the tide in a political war to what he believes in "correct", when in fact there are people out there that are (according to his system and therefore him) more educated than he is that also support the opposite ideals to him. Exactly how does that work? Surely there's a contradiction there in terms of who is considered "intelligent" as far as voting goes, which is more or less an objective topic. If there are an equal number of people on all sides of the debate that have roughly the same amount of power as each other, how would that lead to a more concise system?

Oh yeah, and not to mention that although he thinks he's taking money out of the equation, he's not. It takes money to get qualifications. Certain geniuses go undiscovered because they happened to grow up in poor areas, while some hard workers with the IQ of a gnat end up getting more influence. I think it's already been discussed several times on this forum how official qualifications don't mean shit about intelligence.

So yeah, I fail to understand how someone who was a genius in their youth and has a million qualifications but is now in their 90's with dementia has more voting power than I do just because they have a 9 at the beginning of their age. This is the first thing I thought of and yet it wasn't covered in a 15 minute video.
I believe you're paying too much attention covering details of a skeleton that can easily be edited. You could easily implement a system where having a mental disorder will nullify your voting weight, you can easily implement a system where a person without a degree has voting rights.

Also, his idea that it's the collective, not the individual, is what goes through, so what he thinks is right does not mean it will go through.

It all depends on your belief that the collective will make a good decision instead of a bad one. He attempts to remedy this by proposing the a well educated class will make a better decision and have the most weight when it comes to voting. Honestly I think this is a nice proposal, considering right now it seems like the ones with the most power (most money) are the policy makers, and pay politicians to set policies that will funnel more money to those that already have the money.

Someone who knows how politics works may not know what's actually good for the country. Knowing how to get ahead in politics does not make you a good policy maker.

I think that in this system, money would have less impact on the political system. However, it could easily be heavily influenced. In this proposed system, the collective of the intellectual class may choose to make education inaccessible, thereby maintaining the power to a smaller and more selective collective. My biggest drawback in this system is if the intellectual class will make good education available to those without money or resources. I personally would want the best education easily accessible, but not forced, for every citizen. That does not mean that the collective will do that. This however can be countered by setting rules that allow education for everyone.
 

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I believe you're paying too much attention covering details of a skeleton that can easily be edited. You could easily implement a system where having a mental disorder will nullify your voting weight, you can easily implement a system where a person without a degree has voting rights.

Also, his idea that it's the collective, not the individual, is what goes through, so what he thinks is right does not mean it will go through.

It all depends on your belief that the collective will make a good decision instead of a bad one. He attempts to remedy this by proposing the a well educated class will make a better decision and have the most weight when it comes to voting. Honestly I think this is a nice proposal, considering right now it seems like the ones with the most power (most money) are the policy makers, and pay politicians to set policies that will funnel more money to those that already have the money.


I think that in this system, money would have less impact on the political system. However, it could easily be heavily influenced. In this proposed system, the collective of the intellectual class may choose to make education inaccessible, thereby maintaining the power to a smaller and more selective collective. My biggest drawback in this system is if the intellectual class will make good education available to those without money or resources. I personally would want the best education easily accessible, but not forced, for every citizen. That does not mean that the collective will do that. This however can be countered by setting rules that allow education for everyone.
The idea of the "collective" goes down the drain once you start giving certain people more voting rights over others. As has already been said, someone who would be considered "educated" in this system might not know what is best for the nation as much as someone who isn't considered educated. If I know a bunch of shit about gardening and have a piece of paper to show it, how does that make me any more qualified to vote than someone who doesn't?(I'm talking about how much influence I have, not the ability to vote period). As for the not voting if you don't have a high school diploma, I'm basing my opinion off what he said in the video. Of course it could be adjusted, but my last post was based off what he said was his system.

You're right about the money aspect, it would have less impact than it currently does. But the influence is still definitely there as you said with the collective locking people out of the education system.

Someone who knows how politics works may not know what's actually good for the country. Knowing how to get ahead in politics does not make you a good policy maker.
The thing about political knowledge is that knowing about politics is very different from knowing how to get ahead in politics. The former is about knowing how to help run a country, the latter is about kissing public ass.


Don't get me wrong though, I want a voting system based on intelligence too. It's just that it's not possible right now because the only way of showing intelligence is based on something that technically anyone can do given enough time (and that lots of people might have the potential to have but never do because of other reasons). If you apply for a degree in something enough times, you'll eventually get it, but that doesn't make you smarter than someone who got it easily first time and definitely not smart enough to know what's best for a country. I just find it funny how someone who gets a simple qualification in gardening has as much voting power as someone who gets one in actual politics or economics. Once again, the definition and relevance of "intelligence" gets called into question. But this can all be adjusted as you said.

Let's paint a mock scenario here though, I think the point I was trying to make in the bulk of my last post wan't made right. Let's imagine that we have a device that when used on a person will show their intelligence in it's fullest (as in all kinds of intelligence bar chart style). Imagine we have two people with two different views on how a country should be run, yet they both have the same intelligence according to this device. What now? Surely someone is objectively correct, or the entire idea of a system based on intelligence would be undermined by something as trivial and subjective as "preference". My point was that as long as there are intelligent people in all political parties, then the system proposed would fall in on itself and might even balance itself out. Saying otherwise would be like saying everyone who votes liberal is smarter than those who vote conservative (which is what I think the guy in that video even hinted at too).
 

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It is not the perfect system but I guess it is a start. If It was up to me, I'd completely eliminate voting system and choose the rulers with exam(s).
 

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My personal preference is a technocratic dictatorship.
 

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First mistake is this shit of "philosopher KING"...as it gives the impression of being above and being "powerful". The word should be something more like "servant" linked with the proper mentality that they are there to serve and guide and it should be presented as below everyone and be more like a pillar than being some shit head sitting on top. This is not Egypt and you are not a fucking pharaoh and I'm not some enslaved Jew who is going to be lugging around your blocks and building your stupid shit head ego superstructures. Given that the "unintelligent" tend to outnumber the "intelligent" I just don't see how it could become widely accepted and thats the view from which I'm arguing this. There is also no reliable way to make tests properly to measure suitability to ascertain their true value and I think aging will stop being so much of a problem. We might be the last generation that has to die of old age....otherwise, I don't know. Brain too lazy to properly focus the nonsense so I need more time to think.

That is part of why there should be a reluctance as people who seek power are acting out of ego desires and if you are power hungry and drunk on some idea of being above me than you are unsuitable. There is a whole mentality required to "lead" people though the term should be more "support" or "protect".
Yes, but if the whole idea is built on the premise that the Philosopher-King should be reluctant, you're going to have a lot of wolves in sheeps' clothing.
 

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His main concern was escaping the mob mentality of the uneducated, believing that they are not actually fit to make decisions on a general basis, and believing that the mob mentality of the educated would be a better system. It was merely a base, a skeleton though, that could be edited in countless ways to be an actual system. So as it is presented it is too simple to be a real system, but that is ok because it's purpose is to bring to light an idea, and to have people expand on it with their own ideas.

I think that it is a very intriguing idea, and that it is worth experimenting with, after a proper blueprint is drafted of course. We will never know if it will work unless it is tried in the real world, and I am fairly certain that our current system is failing.
Well, I reject his main concern then. Mob mentality is bad specifically because it creates situations where groupthink is encouraged. That seems obvious, but then you have all the negatives that come with that groupthink. Hell, even NASA is not impervious to groupthink. The Challenger mission is a good display of this. Dissenting opinions are not tolerated in a mob mentality, and hell, you can see what this would be like if you look at today's academia- where the best and brightest go to spit out ideas to society. Well, even there, they majorly tow the party line. So, we'll pretty much end up with the same situation we have in America, today. Where a bunch of intellectuals get together, come up with a system of governance, and 300 years later, you get something massively different and convoluted because people actually stuck to the system and disregard the intent. Because popular opinion and tradition will always win out, no matter how smart the individuals are, the group will always fail in that regard. I don't think having any sort of rule by the many will work out better than democracy has. A truly benevolent dictator would solve these problems, but then again, you're going to have to go into some very unexplored areas to achieve this, such as extremely complex genetic manipulation and strong methods of indoctrination of an entire class-the guardians. Because being selfless is not an inherent human trait.
 

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This system is no less flawed than democracy.

-A self-educated individual is penalized for not making his education formal.
-An individual who obtains a doctorate in art history is given more political power than someone with a master's in a more relevant field such as sociology or economics.
-An individual who obtains a degree at a community college is presumed to have been just as well educated as someone from a top-tier university.

I could go on, but you get the idea...

The solution to mitigating the influence of incompetent voters doesn't rest in stripping them of their power to vote, it rests in encouraging them to educate themselves well enough to make a competent decision.

I'd be in favor of requiring a test designed to ensure that someone understands the basic structure of the governmental system that they are a part of, but that's it.

The central government should be responsible for protecting basic human rights, national defense, and taxation insofar as it relates to those two things. Everything else should be relegated to the state/municipal level. Such a system would allow for a diversity of views/preferences to exist and would also allow for like-minded individuals to live together in the way that they choose.

Anything that doesn't involve either the protection of the personal autonomy of a country's citizens or the sustained economic prosperity of the country shouldn't be the government's concern in the first place.
 

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Well, I reject his main concern then. Mob mentality is bad specifically because it creates situations where groupthink is encouraged. That seems obvious, but then you have all the negatives that come with that groupthink. Hell, even NASA is not impervious to groupthink. The Challenger mission is a good display of this. Dissenting opinions are not tolerated in a mob mentality, and hell, you can see what this would be like if you look at today's academia- where the best and brightest go to spit out ideas to society. Well, even there, they majorly tow the party line. So, we'll pretty much end up with the same situation we have in America, today. Where a bunch of intellectuals get together, come up with a system of governance, and 300 years later, you get something massively different and convoluted because people actually stuck to the system and disregard the intent. Because popular opinion and tradition will always win out, no matter how smart the individuals are, the group will always fail in that regard. I don't think having any sort of rule by the many will work out better than democracy has. A truly benevolent dictator would solve these problems, but then again, you're going to have to go into some very unexplored areas to achieve this, such as extremely complex genetic manipulation and strong methods of indoctrination of an entire class-the guardians. Because being selfless is not an inherent human trait.
I agree with that the only way out of mob mentality is through a dictatorship. Achieving a benevolent dictator is what is unrealistic and why we currently prefer groups of people to make the decision through "rational" analysis. This sounds like something we could do with a program, with a sophisticated AI.

So what of the idea of an AI programmed to be our benevolent dictator?
 
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