Archive for February 26th, 2020


February 26, 2020

It’s never optimal for a society when a small oligarchy is in command, monopolizing power and knowledge. Arguably, it’s even diabolical, and it’s exactly what “plutocracy” means.
Arguably, monopolizing power and knowledge is even diabolical. This is exactly what the concept of “plutocracy” means. Being ruled by such oligarchies is tightly connected to civilization, which provides with the power, and the Dark Side, the evil, self-inflicted divinity, which has always, counterintuitively, keeps humanity in check.

As the world is now a village, a village with many ways and weapons of mass destruction, any subdistrict of the village living under dictatorship is bad for the rest of the village. Evil and incompetence can’t be isolated. Anymore.

A recent example? The Chinese dictatorship delayed the alert on the danger of the coronavirus COVID 19 by at least one month relative to what would have happened if the pandemic had started in an advanced democracy… And Chinese dictatorship employees actively suppressed whistleblowers with advanced medical knowledge, who tried to alert authorities and public about the danger. This certainly caused the death of thousands and impacted severely the world’s economy (causing in turn more death and destruction!)

To defeat the enemy, one has to know the enemy. And a world without enemies can’t exist, because our opportunity creates them, whether we like it, or not.

Ignorance comes from not knowing facts. In the most acute form, ignorance crystallizes itself by clinging to dogma: a rigid set of beliefs is supposed the know-all, be-all, can-all. This is what happens with any tribalism or religion, even when the religion is the cult of a leader… such as Stalin, or Xi… Or G W. Bush, invading Iraq.

Ignorance is never safe. Secrecy can rarely be justified on the part of those entrusted with power. Generally secrecy fosters the grip of those in power helping them to keep their power… And sometimes those who love power so much will do anything not just to keep that power, but to exact vengeance on all others alive, in the name of their reduced fate, should their power wane (Hitler’s obstinacy to kill as many as he could as long as he could is a striking example of such madness).

We are now a world village. Such a village has been increasing enforced since 1945, thanks to the United Nations and its enforcers. We want to keep it that way. Increasing democracy, by sharing knowledge and power is how to do so.

Our primary objective should be to make the world safer and better for all, and that requires debating well, to find better solutions. And debating optimally requires optimal information. Also debating everybody with everybody gives their chance to the most unexpected ideas, the more people take part in it. This capability, getting ideas from all over, to enrich debates maximally is the deepest, most fundamental reason for democracy. The more democracy, the more a people is forced to learn to think by itself, including forced to learn how one suspects, and gathers the most important facts. Once again, it’s not just a matter of choice, national preference, but of safety of spaceship Earth we all live on.

Patrice Ayme