The failure modes of "democracy", from people who actually know what they're talking about.

Monday, 06 April, Year 7 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

That'd be me. First, by way of intro :

mircea_popescu Back to that "you have no rights" Fisher quote for a second : it splendidly illustrates the difference between democracy and republic, and why La Serenissima is not a democracy, and why no democracy can be anything but "a popular democracy", as in the popular democratic republic of .i

decimation "So, what that means is, this is actually terrifying. Democracy is radically indeterminate. The outcome can be manipulated. But that manipulation will not be apparent to people unless they have seen this technical result. Which means that you sort of--you can have shamans, people who know the rules, be in charge in ways that are tantamount to dictatorship. So, we should be very skeptical about claims that 'this is what the people want.'" via http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2015/02/michael_munger_1.html
decimation ^ The 'result' is simply that outcomes are not process-neutral, so manipulation of 'voting rules' manipulates outcomes. thus, dictatorship by process, ie USG.
asciilifeform Manipulation of 'voting rules' manipulates outcomes << this is actually a very undergrad-level game-theoretical result (arrow's theorem & related).
mircea_popescu That's not even the biggest deal. Arguably the biggest deal one outside could ever figure out. But from the inside of a "democracy", I can tell you this : people employing a WoT are so much more successful than people who do not that in short order the WoT is mandatoryii. Then it pierces through. Then representatives of the democracy are shot on xmas day and you can get a beating just by saying you think communism may be a thing.

decimation Certainly anything that destroys 'process' is a good thing.
mircea_popescu The notion that "democracy", ie, an implementation of democracy without a martial population and strict limits on the franchise is even practicable... Seriously, very thin ice sheets to shade you from the Sun. a) they're transparent b) they melt. GLHF.iii

decimation well, Munger comes to the same conclusion as Moldbug, that is USG is highly resistant to voting - because to be otherwise would be terrifying, Because as much as I bitch about it, 'rule by derpy bureaucrat' is 100x better than 'rule by crazy mob'
pete_dushenski Completely. See Italians, Somalis, Jooz, whoever. The rest are but chumps.
mircea_popescu I meant inside the "democracy".

pete_dushenski Uh me too.
mircea_popescu The expression in Romanian was " a face rost" , which meant to procure. Which meant, talk to someone who knows someone. Literally, "n-ai pe cineva... ?" ie , "don't you have someone..."
mircea_popescu ;;google toma caragiu n-ai pe cineva
gribble Toma Caragiu - "N-ai pe cineva?" - YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTILCHYAvfA ; Toma Caragiu : N-ai pe cineva ! - YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESZ4EhwKIlA ; N-ai pe cineva ? - Toma Caragiu - YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQTCyL10vqI

Dear record-listeners, I tell you upfront that I have no one, anywhere. Not at the phone company, not at the gas company, not with O.C.R.iv, not with U.C.F.S.v, nor with any other agency no matter how many letters make up its name, I don't. I don't!

I say this so that my acquaintance Mr. "N-ai Pavi Cineva" also hears it...

Now that we're among ourselves we can speak openlyvii - this man has become an obsession for me. To use more modern parlance, he's the anxietyviii of my life. I hear this soundbite with "don't you have someone" from morn to evening, more often than [refrain random pop song being overplayed that yearix]. Mr. "N-Ai Pe Cineva" insistently attempted to convince me that it is very good to have someone, who in turn has someone with someone else... somewhere... from the very moment you're born. You've barely opened your eyes and the nurse's on your case : why do you bust in like that youngx newborn! Be patient, be patient, the comrade's before you. And after you're born you have to have someone to lift you in his arms - not your mother, not your father, he could even be an adjunct!xi He'd take you in his arms and upsy-daisy! Without the knowledge of the working hands. You don't have that someone - upsy-entrance-examination. The examination is to be held Thursday, and the job's been filled Tuesday.xii

His eminence, Mr. "N-Ai Pe Cineva" argues that in the end even the simplest constituents of matter, viz the egg, have somebody. The antecessors of the contemporaneous egg had Columbus, for otherwise they'd not have entered history but omlette. The phenomena extends to the animal kingdom. As my friend is fluent in canine (writing and reading) he told me what a German Shepherd growled in his ear : "Do you know the problem that besets me ? For years I live in common withxiii a retired Fox Terrier and I'd like to expand. Don't you have someone with the dog pound ?" And similarly in the ornithological sector : "Don't you have someone" asks me a glib sparrow "So I may pass the stewardess examsxiv for a Boeing Stork ? I chirp four European languages, you see, the swallows fly and little old me... still under the tree by the University."

I barely escaped Mr. "N-Ai Pe Cineva" to be accosted by the Mrs. "Don't you have someone at The Nameless Starxv and if not at least a car mechanic working for Ciclopxvi because these guys have a lot of connections.xvii You know... we'd like to make our grandkids pop stars, especially if my daughter in law has twins." Or wait a second! Maybe you have someone for Bats ? You know, Stevie Bats, he has that seawolf degree from Constanta. Don't you have someone that'd name him in the port of Cismigiu corner with Atlantic Bar ?xviii

Don't you have someone who has someone with someone else ... somewhere... Enough, enough! Big hit this, good lord, huge hit. Maybe I sing it at some International festival and get the grand prize! The golden carrot...xix

Enough, enough, I'm headed home because... well I sit and chat with the wife, we talk of this, of that. Like we talked last night of our happy marriage and I asked her at some point if it wouldn't be an idea to have a child. And she said yes, Toma, yes. Do you have someone ?...xx

There was some discussion earlier about rank nonsense like

Why does that matter? Because people have a right to democratic institutions. People have a right to vote on or have a say in matters that govern their lives. Bitcoin, as it exists now, takes that away from people.

But the fact of the matter is that "people" have no such right. Bitcoin isn't here to take anything from them but their delusions, a topic otherwise amply covered here over the years.

———
  1. Generally, the Congo, whether that Congo's on the Rhine or not.

    In short : you can either have a republic, or a banana republic. Pick one. []

  2. If you want to survive, at least. []
  3. Good luck, have fun. []
  4. Meanwhile I have forgotten what this was. If the esteemed readership might be as kind as to jog my memory... []
  5. The UCFS was the main sports steering committee in Romania under Nicolae Ceausescu. []
  6. Bucharest accent. Because SCS, ie Southerners Can't Speak. []
  7. This is a major meme of the Romanian '80s, and it suffered a fate much akin to NEDM or FYIAD - intertextualized to the point most common speakers encountering it don't even recognise they're interacting with a manifestation of metatextuality. []
  8. "Angoasa" literally means anxiety, but in the article form it'd be... The Trigger or something. Most usage would be in the fixed form "angoasa vietii mele", a direct mirror of "iubirea vietii mele" ie love of my life, constructing the term on that opposition : just as specific, and just as central as one's soulmate, except... anxiety-driving. []
  9. "Porumbita", sung by Mihai Constantinescu on words by Ovidiu Dumitru and the music (stolen negative!) of Colombe Ivre (Serge Prisset). Very typical for the commie-pop of the period, just as bad as burgeois-pop except in a vaguely different color scheme. []
  10. The "young" must be in there even if it leads to pleonasm because it carries a particular social signal, more important than its actual meaning - the expectation on the part of the speaker that the other party must defer. []
  11. Yes, he means exactly the French implication there. []
  12. As in that excellent Monty Python sketch with the Silly Job Interview. []
  13. The Romanian Communist living arrangements were a horror unspeakable. Nor is there much need to utter it, for the United Soviet States are meticulously rebuilding it, so give the matter a decade and then look around. []
  14. Notorious couch examinations in the time and place, these. []
  15. Steaua Fara Nume, Romanian communist-era "Britain's got talent". Because, ye verily, the only new thing in the world is the history you didn't know. Of course socialist states Popular Democracies have talent! []
  16. The central car mechanic place. []
  17. As per Seinfeld's "you know how hard it is to find a honest mechanic ?" []
  18. Cismigiu is a park in Bucharest, for a long time related to the unemployed to the degree that a joke in current use throughout the 1800s was that someone was "delegated to kicking the flies out of Cismigiu" ie canned. For a while there was a run down bar by that name nearby. []
  19. This is certainly a reference but it escapes me. Might be to fear, seeing how the common expression at the time for being worried was "having a carrot" [up the ass]. []
  20. This is a much bigger deal than you readily imagine. Let us quote directly from source material :

    Cum resursele erau puţine, iar cu banii nu prea aveai ce face, femeile atrăgătoare, mai ales cele căsătorite, aflate în curtea responsabilităţii nataliste a altui bărbat, erau mereu asaltate să devină amante. Mai mult, cum şefii şi, în genere, posesorii resurselor erau mai toţi bărbaţi, ele luau repede cunoştinţă cu presiunile numite „plată în natură“. Doar că, în cazul lor, această plată la care se supuneau bărbaţii subalterni şi femeile neatrăgătoare nu consta în damigene cu ţuică, porc de Crăciun, miel de Paşte sau, mai sofisticat, whisky, Kent, parfumuri străine, ci în altceva.

    Mihaela Miroiu's testimony comes in English to

    As resources were scarce and money useless, attractive women, and especially attractive married women, safely placed as they were on another man's back as far as natalist responsibilities were concerned, were constantly under assault to become mistresses. And moreover, as the bosses and generally speaking the resource owners were mostly male, they quickly learned of the underhand pressures known as "payment in nature". Except that in their case, this feudal prestation burdening inferior men and unattractive women did not consist of barrels of tuica, Christmans pork, Easter lamb or, more sophisticatedly, Kent, imported perfumes, but... something else.

    Yes, inferiors raised the children of their bosses, all through the Warsaw Pact. And yes you will raise your bosses' children, especially if you marry pretty. Give it a few years. []

Comments feed : RSS 2.0. Leave your own comment below, or send a trackback.

One Response

  1. [...] The failure modes of "democracy", from people who actually know what they're talking about. [...]

Add your cents! »
    If this is your first comment, it will wait to be approved. This usually takes a few hours. Subsequent comments are not delayed.