While Chrimble and I were down at Corpus last week listening to Joel O’Software, he said to us (as he nobbled us, more due to us hovering around the coffee and biscuits than anything else, as we are non-plussed in the whole geek celeb thang) that you two must be the only two perl programmers left on the planet. So I got to thinking as to how different sets of people see each other, how those outside a clique don’t get the inner workings of cabals, how we don’t exist when you don’t see us. I then resolved to make some pithy weblog post about such inanities, but decided, in the end, not to.

Because time passed, and two other thoughts cropped up in conversations. This is one of them. The other, marginally related, is kept for the next post. Probably.

What is so good about democracy? Why do people keep telling me it is what we should be striving for? Move down a few scales, there buddy. Do you run your household as a democracy? Give every person in there a vote, do you? Oh, you only give it to those who contribute to the financial running of the place? Restricted what democracy is already, have you? How about in your workplace then? Are projects assigned using a vote? Do you have to have a majority decision before you can open Powerpoint to view the latest funny email doing the rounds? What’s that? You don’t? So why do you think the country should be run under some notional interpretation of democracy? (I refer you, gentle reader, to Athens around the third century BC, and the origins of the word. Understand why it was introduced and you will be part of the way along.)

Then we get the nay-sayers, those who say to me (and they say this about lots of concepts) Well, if it is so bad, what would you put in place then? If you disagree with it, what is your solution? sigh This truly misses the artist vs critic point. Do I have to have an alternative if I can see the inherent flaws/mistakes/disasters in the current system? Much as I would love to have one, sorry, I just amn’t that clever. Not big, not clever, me. (Mayhaps it is easier in musical terms. If you don’t like X, does that give me the right to say you have to be able to do better yourself? No, it doesn’t. You can look at something on its merits, then criticise it. Does not mean you have a better way.)

But what would I prefer? Some dictatorship where there is guaranteed small Government (yes, capital g) and true freedoms? Isn’t that some sort of oxymoron? Not so sure it is. How about Government only as market regulator. And regulator in the sense of making sure the markets work as they should, no cartels, no interference. Not regulator in the sense of the interfering as demonstrated by statists all over the world, and closer to home than that.

Lastly, a public service advertisement on behalf of the Ministry Of Aggrandising:

If I forgot to mail you, apologies, you can read the Facebook event notice. You have been (fore)warned. And will be again.

  1. Me thinks you misunderstand, Democracy is about making people think they have enough of a say to think that they can change things “within the system” and they don’t need to get on with all that messy revolting.

    Thu 15 Nov, 7:36PM

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