Friday, September 17, 2004

More On Democracy and Aristocracy

Olen (White Poet Warlord), has posted some more of his thoughts on what I wrote about democracy and aristocracy (read them here), and it's about time for me to take a look at what he had to say.

I actually like much of what he had to say. The only things I have to add would be some clarifications of how I see things. Olen believes that democracy is the 'best alternative' and that it still has an aristocracy, although they are not permanent. I really wasn't concerned with what would be best, just with what is. However, if we are talking about what is best, if democracy is contrary to human nature, as I think it might be, then can we truly say it is best? Perhaps a benevolent, moral aristocracy would be best. I'm just 'thinking out loud' here.

One more thing: Olen talks about a group of people 'decid[ing] upon its initial aristocracy.' In my view it's much more organic. People may set up some form of government or they may just live in community with no clear cut government. Either way, government tend toward aristocracy.


Olen said...

A benevolent, moral aristocracy (bma) sound nice, but may also be as contrary to human nature as a democracy, as Lord Acton warned - "Power tends to corrupt...and absolutely power corrupts absolutely."

I would be interested to flesh out the details of the ingredients of this brew before I render a "thumbs-up" or "thumbs-down" on the form.

As to the statement I posted about folks "deciding" upon a government - that was a poor choice of words, as I agree, initial formations tend to be more organic, with the group leaning on the "best qualified" to lead. It seems that aristocracy within any government is unavoidable. If so, at some point, the governed either cede power to the aristocracy, or the governed retain at least some power in an attempt to control the make-up of the aristocracy.

I think. :)

Joshua_Duncan said...

Even as I was writing about the benevolent aristocracy I thought about adding on, 'like that will ever happen.' Acton is right on that front.