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Why do people think democracy or consensus in any form gives people freedom?

+1 vote
Doesn't democracy release the person ability of choice?  It is flawed in the whole concept of choice.  Choice is not an either or; nor is it that choice cannot have variations and alternatives whether for an individual or for a population.  Democracy is lazy and ineffective as a solution for  determining what is right for any size population greater than two and only would work for two if they would personally choose the same thing.
asked May 31, 2012 by afunctionalworld (2,090 points)
edited May 31, 2012 by afunctionalworld

1 Answer

+1 vote
A quite simplistic answer would be that it is based in the notion that one is never alone. That a choice that does not include every voice affected by said choice would be destructive to every individual.

When you break it down it has everything to do how you define freedom.

If freedom is to be an island and have the possibility to act on all impulses, wishes and thoughts, then democracy in every form is a rather dull blade.

If freedom is the freedom to organize and act according to will and whim, free from any involvement from authorities, the democratic and consensus models are just that: models, ways to arganize.

If we look at OWS as a splendid example I'd say that the slow and grinding process of "everyone in the same boat" is definately the way to go, if the OWS was not a uniform act it would lack all coherency. It is also to my knowledge not a problem to leave said protest if you do not agree with the "consensus"? The choice to walk away is always present in anarchic organization. Walking away is not always a choice in other types of societal ideas.

Saying that democracy is lazy is according to me saying alot about what experiences you personally have had with the concept. To me a direct democratic process requires a high level of energy. It takes a lot of effort both on the intellectual and on the social level.
answered Jun 4, 2012 by utopiaunited (280 points)
That "grinding process" you reference would seem to allude to an unnecessary tendency whereby activist aim to mold minds to mush. Why this tendency to eliminate individual initiatives which were indeed the very social phenomena that initially gave so much power to occupy as a strategy back in 2009/2010 as well as the Arab spring?  

What "coherency" did OWS have? Doesn't it's uniformity seem the slightest bit contrary to what anarchist would otherwise desire as such?

Also "consensus" in and of itself is not necessarily anarchist and neither would an "anarchic organization" be such.
". . . a choice that does not include every voice affected by said choice would be destructive to every individual."    That is exactly the point.  Democracy is not about everyone having a choice, it is about the choice of a majority and the denial of choice of the minority, but really more than that: choice is not an either or proposition, choice is an individual determination.  When asked, what would you life for dinner?  you are given a choice.  When asked, would you like spaghetti or cheese & macaroni?, you have your a choice mostly determined for you.

The word "lazy" is a poor word to have used.  If democracy were to work in a more effective way then it would have to have the choices determined by those voting, by using the top 10 suggestions to vote on, then applying the top three.   Many issues presently voted on have really little to do with a determination of others who are not at all effected.  Abortion and same sex marriages should be decided by the people directly involved.  

Many of the issues of society will never be solved by laws or votes.  Answer are about giving people better choices and in the ability and support to make those choices but not based on what choices others believe they should make.
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