Democracy’s vicious cycle
A friend asked me a few days ago, why does Plato have so little faith in Democracy in the Republic, why does he believe it fails eventually ?
It’s PoSM (proof of social media) and narratives (demagoguery=coercing the population= populism) that destroys any reason and logic in Democracy and give rise to some form of Tyranny eventually.
That was the original tyranny of the majority, a democracy without constraint against the worst impulses of the majority, that is without timocracy, Honor being the compass of the hearts of people, in any political system.
Plato further states:
“The excess of liberty, whether in States or individuals, seems only to pass into excess of slavery.
Yes, the natural order.
And so tyranny naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme form of liberty? “
By heaven, he said, then the parent will discover what a monster he has been fostering in his bosom; and, when he wants to drive him out, he will find that he is weak and his son strong.
Why, you do not mean to say that the tyrant will use violence? What! beat his father if he opposes him?
Yes, he will, having first disarmed him.
Then he is a patricide, and a cruel guardian of an aged parent; and this is real tyranny, about which there can be no longer a mistake: as the saying is, the people who would escape the smoke which is the slavery of freemen, has fallen into the fire which is the tyranny of slaves. Thus liberty, getting out of all order and reason, passes into the harshest and bitterest form of slavery.
The cycle of autocracy, oligarchy, democracy back to autocratic tyranny can only be broken with Honor, and those are either cultural and traditional obligations upon the populace and its mode of conduct, or they are instilled in other ways we’ve yet to find.
Enter Bitcoin’s Blockchain
While just a bit more than a decade has transpired from its creation, the totality of its expected influence in society is discussed to be no less than that of the internet. As its usefulness and scale increases beyond monetary transactions, in tokenization and sovereign currencies, the vast array of IOT, supply chain, generalized record keeping, computation and even replacing TCP/IP as a safer substrate layer of the internet, uses and the data it harbors should explode. When that happens, it will progressively start to look less than an accounting ledger, and more like the ledger of the sum of humanity’s activity, interactions, challenges and triumphs, recorded for all future to study.
As such an immense scale and scope, as a tool, it harkens back to a Panopticon, with several metaphorical underpinnings relevant even for today, but with a few important twists. The twists and implications will be a part of later posts on this month’s challenge.
The crux of the matter is this :
If we eventually get the blockchain to be an objective historical record for all humanity, maybe It will become a tangible manifestation of Karma(1), and maybe people will see the practical need in applying Honor to their lives, or suffer because of the bad Karma of their ancestors.
If anything, possessing the wisdom to plant trees that will benefit only future generations isn’t the hallmark of modern generations. My sincere hope here is that people will understand, that especially, Honor has objective, tangible and measurable benefits to offer, not only to the life of one person, but also, impact the lives of every generation that may spring after them. If we have a next-to-perfect record of the past, and our connection to it is visible globally, would we not be burdened by the sins of our ancestors, would we not be appreciated for the good deeds of them ?
Thank you for your time.
(1) Karma is used here, more like an oscillation between intergenerational cause and effect, not in any mystical or transcendental implication. Same as any sufficiently advanced technology could appear as magic, sufficiently removed (in generations) causality could appear as a mystical Karmic effect.