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Is a Meritocratic Oligarchy Superior to a Democratic Republc?

Opening Argument

xMathFanxxMathFanx 102 Pts
edited January 24 in Politics

Is a Meritocratic Oligarchy Superior to a Democratic Republc?

Consider the case of a Fictional Meritocratic Oligarchy found in Star Wars--The Jedi Council.  The Jedi Order holds the Jedi Council at the top of a pyramid who dictate the rules, course of action, ect. ect. as the primary governing body.  One is only granted a position on the Jedi Council based upon merit, typically (essentially always) after receiving the rank of "Master".

Another example of a Fictional Meritocratic Oligarchy is found in Star Fleet from the Star Trek Universe.

Are these systems superior to the model provided by Democratic Republics?

Thoughts? 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Is a Meritocratic Oligarchy Superior to a Democratic Republic?

See brief video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRZQWBrHnk0

Ultimately, I don't think I should have a "vote" (of any significant weight) on an issue beyond my "expertise"/competence. However, currently, I do. In fact, for example, I have just as much "vote" as Dr. Hensen (who studies Climate Science for a living & holds more advanced degrees specific to this subject area). This should be a debate resolved amongst experts (in conjunction with allied disciplines)--not the general public/"non-experts"/laymen.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now, for this hypothetical model I am outlining, one could argue for a bit more open Oligarchy (not quite as exclusive) also. That is, one way of setting up the Oligarchy would be with a "singular vote" system with "top experts" in the relevant field being the only ones with any sway (i.e. a more exclusive "club"). Or, you could have a "weighted vote" system that is a bit more Democratic than a "strong Oligarchy" however would still rely upon the vote of "experts". Here is a brief outline of what that could potentially look like (which is obviously crude & subject to revision--there would clearly be ways of Mathematically modeling an optimal route/solution of which this is not it):

I. Level of Proficiency Attained (via Degree, Test, or Equivalency): # of votes

A. Top percentile PhD: 10
B. PhD: 7
C. MA/MS: 3
D. BA/BS: 1
E. AS: 1/4

II. Relevance to Discipline: # of votes

A. Direct Concentration in the Area: 10
B. In Discipline: 7
C. Closely Allied Discipline: 3
D. Generally Associated Discipline: 1
E. Loosely Related Discipline: 1/4

Now, this outline is just to provide a visual to such a hypothetical construction for a "weighted vote" system in a Meritocratic Oligarchy (I am not actually promoting this, it is a rough outline). Of course, it would not have to be set up this way, as this is more of a "weak Oligarchy" designed to be more Democratic than a "strong Oligarchy" while still relying upon the views of "experts"

Thoughts?
joecavalryDrCereal
  1. Is a Meritocratic Oligarchy Superior to a Democratic Republc?

    5 votes
    1. Yes
      40.00%
    2. No
      60.00%
    3. Other
        0.00%



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Arguments

  • I will "kick-things-off" a bit more, to give members more to "chew on":

    I think any Meritocratic Oligarchy revolving around a singular/primary concern is highly limiting at best and doomed to fail in a number of areas. An example of an inherently flawed Meritocratic Oligarchy is a Timocracy-Stratocracy. A prime example of this in World History is Sparta. Another example is a Plutocracy as wealth is largely arbitrary and not a proper indicator of true merit.

    Now, as a counter to this, I would point out that Academia is already structured in a strictly hierarchical, Meritocratic Oligarchic manner and has a wide variety of disciplines concerns (i.e. it is not "Centralized" but operates on many, varied de-centralized wings). That is, in Academia being an Albert Einstein level Physicist grants you nothing in the History department, nor even in the Neuroscience (i.e. a distinct Science, separate from Physics) department--although such an individual would have a "vote" in particular areas of the Physics discipline. It is perfectly plausible to have varied sectors of society operate on a similar model.

    The current model grants me (or some other unqualified individual) to have an equivalent vote alongside an Einstein-level Physicists on matters of Physics. Now, the amount of experts in any given field will almost (if not) always be drastically outnumbered by the numbers of non-experts in a given discipline. Thus, the "vote" of an expert will very quickly be drowned out by the masses of non-experts who have a "vote" as well.
  • The phrase "Meritorcratic Oligarchy" might or might not be regarded as a contradiction in terms.

    Or similarly, meritocracy and oligarchy might or might not be regarded as the same thing.

    Or similarly again, meritocracy, oligarchy and democracy might or might not be regarded as the same thing.

    It's all a matter of definition. 

    Very ambiguous definition.

    xMathFanx
  • MikeMike 86 Pts

    “Hierarchies” exist throughout nature and hard to efface (constructal law). A republic form of government is the best innovation in political science thus far (Montesquieu), example, the US Constitution.

    However, relative to today’s US government, “the vote of an expert” is embedded in the 400 plus administration departments employing hundreds of thousands of non-elected government officials, the “experts,” writing thousands of regulations each year having the same weight and penalty as law. Also, those departments fall under the Executive Branch; hence, the unconstitutional procedure known as “executive orders” also referred to as, “a pen and phone.”

    I regret to say, over the last hundred years starting with Woodrow Wilson (“the living and breathing constitution”) the US government slowly morphed off the US Constitution in the direction of a “Meritocratic Oligarchy.”

  • Mike said:


    I regret to say, over the last hundred years starting with Woodrow Wilson (“the living and breathing constitution”) the US government slowly morphed off the US Constitution in the direction of a “Meritocratic Oligarchy.”

    No--the current system is fundamentally at odds with the model of Academia (for instance).

    Here is some more "food-for-thought" on this topic:

    There are many different forms a Meritocracy could potentially assume. The hypothetical model I am suggesting would take a form similar to Academia however generalized across the board. There would be no one Prime Minister/President. Rather, there would be a smaller group of experts in their given niche with a "vote" in that area, many such varied de-centralized Wings. Individuals in society would be given an opportunity to earn a "vote" in as many such Wings as they prove their proficiency in. If a member of society is too lazy to train for & earn proficiency in any area, then they will correspondingly not be given a "vote" in the workings of the society they inhabit (as it works in Academia)

    It has proven itself to be a "Superior" model (based upon the criteria for "Superior" I provided in a previous post). Also, note, the type of Meritocratic Oligarchic system employed by Academia (and particularly the Scientific Community) is fundamentally Quasi-Democratic in nature--it is just that one must earn their vote rather than simply being afforded it by birthright.

    Imagine if everyone were given a vote in the discipline of Physics simply due to being born, now expand that out across all disciplines, and this is the nature of our current open Democracy model. Does anyone else see a problem with that?
  • Mike said:


    I regret to say, over the last hundred years starting with Woodrow Wilson (“the living and breathing constitution”) the US government slowly morphed off the US Constitution in the direction of a “Meritocratic Oligarchy.”

    No--the current system is fundamentally at odds with the model of Academia (for instance).

    Here is some more "food-for-thought" on this topic:

    There are many different forms a Meritocracy could potentially assume. The hypothetical model I am suggesting would take a form similar to Academia however generalized across the board. There would be no one Prime Minister/President. Rather, there would be a smaller group of experts in their given niche with a "vote" in that area, many such varied de-centralized Wings. Individuals in society would be given an opportunity to earn a "vote" in as many such Wings as they prove their proficiency in. If a member of society is too lazy to train for & earn proficiency in any area, then they will correspondingly not be given a "vote" in the workings of the society they inhabit (as it works in Academia)

    It has proven itself to be a "Superior" model (based upon the criteria for "Superior" I provided in a previous post). Also, note, the type of Meritocratic Oligarchic system employed by Academia (and particularly the Scientific Community) is fundamentally Quasi-Democratic in nature--it is just that one must earn their vote rather than simply being afforded it by birthright.

    Imagine if everyone were given a vote in the discipline of Physics simply due to being born, now expand that out across all disciplines, and this is the nature of our current open Democracy model. Does anyone else see a problem with that?
  • MikeMike 86 Pts
    edited January 18

    xMathFanx

    Like you said, “There are many different forms a Meritocracy.”

    From your description of a “Meritocracy,” it would seem the US is going in that direction compared to a republic form of governance. In the US those who are part of “Academia” are associated with a university. All universities have a President, where most universities are associated with, or under the influence and control of the Department of Education; a department under the US Executive Branch. There are over 250 programs and grants, funded by the US government to farm the next generation of “Academia” needed to farm future generations of scientists, physicists, and other extraordinaires, some of those become non-elected government officials, the “experts” writing regulations (aka, they “earn their vote”) for you to follow by the decree of government tyranny.  

    This may not be a “Meritocracy” in the purest sense, but is sure does rhyme.
  • joecavalryjoecavalry 320 Pts
    edited January 19
    A Democratic Government is much better than other forms of government due to it being more fair for people.
    DebateIslander and a DebateIsland.com lover. 
  • MikeMike 86 Pts
    A Democratic Government is much better than other forms of government due to it being more fair for people.

    During the development of the US Constitution, based on the foundation of the US Declaration of Independence, the founding fathers followed the French political philosopher Montesquieu resulting in a REPUBLIC form of government, not a “democracy”; a big difference!

    If one was to read the US Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, and the Fifty States’ Constitutions, you will not find the word “democracy” in any of those documents. Why? The answer is found in Federalist Paper #10 where Madison states: 

     “Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”

    In other words, democracies are mob-rule irrespective of an individual’s “unalienable Rights.”

  • Is a Meritocratic Oligarchy Superior to a Democratic Republic?

    See brief video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRZQWBrHnk0

    Ultimately, I don't think I should have a "vote" (of any significant weight) on an issue beyond my "expertise"/competence. However, currently, I do. In fact, for example, I have just as much "vote" as Dr. Hensen (who studies Climate Science for a living & holds more advanced degrees specific to this subject area). This should be a debate resolved amongst experts (in conjunction with allied disciplines)--not the general public/"non-experts"/laymen.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Now, for this hypothetical model I am outlining, one could argue for a bit more open Oligarchy (not quite as exclusive) also. That is, one way of setting up the Oligarchy would be with a "singular vote" system with "top experts" in the relevant field being the only ones with any sway (i.e. a more exclusive "club"). Or, you could have a "weighted vote" system that is a bit more Democratic than a "strong Oligarchy" however would still rely upon the vote of "experts". Here is a brief outline of what that could potentially look like (which is obviously crude & subject to revision--there would clearly be ways of Mathematically modeling an optimal route/solution of which this is not it):

    I. Level of Proficiency Attained (via Degree, Test, or Equivalency): # of votes

    A. Top percentile PhD: 10
    B. PhD: 7
    C. MA/MS: 3
    D. BA/BS: 1
    E. AS: 1/4

    II. Relevance to Discipline: # of votes

    A. Direct Concentration in the Area: 10
    B. In Discipline: 7
    C. Closely Allied Discipline: 3
    D. Generally Associated Discipline: 1
    E. Loosely Related Discipline: 1/4

    Now, this outline is just to provide a visual to such a hypothetical construction for a "weighted vote" system in a Meritocratic Oligarchy (I am not actually promoting this, it is a rough outline). Of course, it would not have to be set up this way, as this is more of a "weak Oligarchy" designed to be more Democratic than a "strong Oligarchy" while still relying upon the views of "experts"

    Thoughts?
  • xMathFanx said:

    Is a Meritocratic Oligarchy Superior to a Democratic Republic?

    See brief video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRZQWBrHnk0

    Ultimately, I don't think I should have a "vote" (of any significant weight) on an issue beyond my "expertise"/competence. However, currently, I do. In fact, for example, I have just as much "vote" as Dr. Hensen (who studies Climate Science for a living & holds more advanced degrees specific to this subject area). This should be a debate resolved amongst experts (in conjunction with allied disciplines)--not the general public/"non-experts"/laymen.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Now, for this hypothetical model I am outlining, one could argue for a bit more open Oligarchy (not quite as exclusive) also. That is, one way of setting up the Oligarchy would be with a "singular vote" system with "top experts" in the relevant field being the only ones with any sway (i.e. a more exclusive "club"). Or, you could have a "weighted vote" system that is a bit more Democratic than a "strong Oligarchy" however would still rely upon the vote of "experts". Here is a brief outline of what that could potentially look like (which is obviously crude & subject to revision--there would clearly be ways of Mathematically modeling an optimal route/solution of which this is not it):

    I. Level of Proficiency Attained (via Degree, Test, or Equivalency): # of votes

    A. Top percentile PhD: 10
    B. PhD: 7
    C. MA/MS: 3
    D. BA/BS: 1
    E. AS: 1/4

    II. Relevance to Discipline: # of votes

    A. Direct Concentration in the Area: 10
    B. In Discipline: 7
    C. Closely Allied Discipline: 3
    D. Generally Associated Discipline: 1
    E. Loosely Related Discipline: 1/4

    Now, this outline is just to provide a visual to such a hypothetical construction for a "weighted vote" system in a Meritocratic Oligarchy (I am not actually promoting this, it is a rough outline). Of course, it would not have to be set up this way, as this is more of a "weak Oligarchy" designed to be more Democratic than a "strong Oligarchy" while still relying upon the views of "experts"

    Thoughts?
    Good Lord no!!!  That's the last thing we need.  "Experts" like Hansen already hold far too much political weight thru think-tanks and environmental organizations that take up the global warming cause.  Power corrupts, even for academics like Hansen, as was made clear by climategate.  If we just replace the term "Oligarchy" as you used it, with the term Deep State, you should be able to see your error.
    xMathFanx
  • CYDdharta said:
    xMathFanx said:

    Is a Meritocratic Oligarchy Superior to a Democratic Republic?

    See brief video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRZQWBrHnk0

    Ultimately, I don't think I should have a "vote" (of any significant weight) on an issue beyond my "expertise"/competence. However, currently, I do. In fact, for example, I have just as much "vote" as Dr. Hensen (who studies Climate Science for a living & holds more advanced degrees specific to this subject area). This should be a debate resolved amongst experts (in conjunction with allied disciplines)--not the general public/"non-experts"/laymen.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Now, for this hypothetical model I am outlining, one could argue for a bit more open Oligarchy (not quite as exclusive) also. That is, one way of setting up the Oligarchy would be with a "singular vote" system with "top experts" in the relevant field being the only ones with any sway (i.e. a more exclusive "club"). Or, you could have a "weighted vote" system that is a bit more Democratic than a "strong Oligarchy" however would still rely upon the vote of "experts". Here is a brief outline of what that could potentially look like (which is obviously crude & subject to revision--there would clearly be ways of Mathematically modeling an optimal route/solution of which this is not it):

    I. Level of Proficiency Attained (via Degree, Test, or Equivalency): # of votes

    A. Top percentile PhD: 10
    B. PhD: 7
    C. MA/MS: 3
    D. BA/BS: 1
    E. AS: 1/4

    II. Relevance to Discipline: # of votes

    A. Direct Concentration in the Area: 10
    B. In Discipline: 7
    C. Closely Allied Discipline: 3
    D. Generally Associated Discipline: 1
    E. Loosely Related Discipline: 1/4

    Now, this outline is just to provide a visual to such a hypothetical construction for a "weighted vote" system in a Meritocratic Oligarchy (I am not actually promoting this, it is a rough outline). Of course, it would not have to be set up this way, as this is more of a "weak Oligarchy" designed to be more Democratic than a "strong Oligarchy" while still relying upon the views of "experts"

    Thoughts?
    Good Lord no!!!  That's the last thing we need.  "Experts" like Hansen already hold far too much political weight thru think-tanks and environmental organizations that take up the global warming cause.  Power corrupts, even for academics like Hansen, as was made clear by climategate.  If we just replace the term "Oligarchy" as you used it, with the term Deep State, you should be able to see your error.
    If this is an area of high personal interest, than a person would have an opportunity to earn their vote and challenge Hansen's arguments.

    The point isn't to shut-down all Democratic functioning, rather to allow Democratic processes to work inside of certain respectable spheres of influence and to disallow the influence of those who are overtly unqualified in the area under review. 

    In fact, it would encourage citizens such as yourself, who are highly interested in a particular area, to further advance their knowledge and thus sphere of influence in society.

    Note, tests could easily be devised in various areas also as a way to "climb up the ladder". Thus, all one would have to do is the hard work of studying all of the disciplines they were interested in participating with to the best of their ability in order to demonstrate their proficiency in the area to earn their vote.

    That is, one could be an Elementary School teacher by trade, however if they are able to pass "Exams" (to various levels) in Criminal Justice, Physics, Architecture, Nutrition, ect. ect. ect. than they could have a properly "weighted vote" in such diverse disciplines/sectors of society.
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