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.

As the world is now a village, any subdistrict of the village living under dictatorship is bad for the rest of the village.

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 those in power keeping their power… And sometimes they will do anything not just to keep that power, but to exact vengeance on all others alive, in the name of their reduced fate.

We are a world village. 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.

Some will say that democracy rests on fairness, a deep property of primates’ ethology, their natural behavior. This is correct. Yet, even deeper than that, fairness, by giving every mind a chance to explore with maximum freedom, is what enables primates’ societies to find out how to exploit reality better. In other words, to find out truth. So once again, truth itself is revealed to be a soul which animated us all along.

Patrice Ayme

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