I was politicized early thanks to growing up in a war zone, and such a childhood imposes certain questions on a child's mind. After growing older and nurturing an increasing infatuation with socialism and anarchism, I am now at a new crossroads - totalitarianism.
The reason for this is simple: I have no faith in humanity, nor in the so called 'rationality' of Mankind. In my opinion, people are overwhelmingly ignorant of what is best for them. How can they decide what is best for them without proper education? Furthermore, people are overwhelmingly selfish and short-sighted, how can a society function correctly if the majority of people are unfit to decide for themselves, and when they do so, they do so poorly (see George Bush). Another problem is media. Reading Chomsky's "Manufacturing Consent" in my teens nourished in me a deep hatred of privately-owned media, and as we all know: propaganda is rife in all societies. Finally, we come to the financial crisis. If I have understood it correctly, economic policies of the past decades were hinged on the belief that the economic system would perpetually correct itself thanks to the rationality of the individual financiers and economists, and that now with this new collapse, economists are for the first time dawning to the fact that humans are irrational after all.
So I say unto you, that the representational democratic system, in the US as an example, is in itself largely totalitarian, as the individuals who vote do so rarely and are not told about the changes their representatives enact during their tenures, and that Plato was right all along - that philosophers should be kings. So wouldn't the best method of government be to ask leading people in the society to run for election (ie. no career politicians), and then have them 'train' for this position for 1 year where they live as hobos for 2 months, farmers for 2 months, etc etc, all the time monitored by the society - and finally compete for election (if they accept the offer) through televised debates, each receiving an equal time on all topics.
How can democracy be a better system than this? And how can we reconcile our belief in democracy with the overwhelming evidence of the decrepitude of the stolid majority of humanity?
Read another response by Charles Taliaferro
Read another response about Justice