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Preliminary differences between IBDD and LD/DD/RD

Except from The Flux Guide.

Most democracy systems judge themselves by a criterion like “how well does this system represent the preference of the people”. We don’t think that’s a very good thing to measure against, though. Sometimes the preference of the people is evil (Hitler was voted in, remember), or maybe it’s just bad for them (even if they think otherwise), or maybe the outcome is very sensitive to change (like Colombia's peace referendum at 50.2% to 49.8%).

A fundamental background assumption is that the best form of democracy is comparatively better to other forms of democracy. This means that two (or two hundred) countries using different forms of democracy can be measured against one another, and the one with the better form of democracy will, over a long period, end up better off economically and socially.

Because we’re talking about long term challenges and improvements we go beyond mere preference. If a democratic society, in 1901, decided to ban electricity and kept that ban up to now, they’d be far behind the rest of the world. In other words: their preference didn’t help them, and accurately reflecting that preference wouldn’t have helped them. What would have helped them is a progress oriented democracy, on that made it untenable to not to adopt electricity. To some degree this goes on today, but we still see social issues taking decades to play out, instead of years or months, precisely because we wait to get ‘over the distribution hump’ of opinion. We take a long time because we try to accurately project the ‘will of the people’ too much!

IBDD solves this issue through the reorganisation of political power. It makes it expensive for people to hold society back, but also makes the political process accessible. This relationship is designed to allow policy improvements to happen as quickly as possible, which is crucial if we want the best democracy possible, and the best life possible - for all of us.

This doesn’t mean that just anyone can do anything - that could never work. It does mean we all have a chance to contribute though.

We use a different measure of democracies. Instead of obsessing over the preference of people, we focus on the progress a democracy provides to its people. Because progress is fundamentally connected to reality and truth we need to look at how and from what policy is formed, instead of who the policy is formed for. This means we need to bias towards good explanations instead of public preference. There are always some members of society years ahead of the curve, and we should focus on empowering them instead of satisfying a relatively non-specialised [1] majority.

  • [1] I say ‘non-specialised’ because ‘uneducated’ sounds condescending. The reality is, though, that all people are uneducated about most things, even if they’re highly educated about certain things. IBDD is concerned with putting the highly specialised and well suited people into a position where they have a real chance to implement policy. The other side of this is we’re all specialised in something, so it’s not that this disenfranchises people, it simply reorganises them. There’s a good analogy in TBOI that involves transitioning from a line, to a square, to a cube, and then to higher dimensions. It’s on page 100 or there about, in the ‘Creation’ chapter. Think about it in terms of dimensions of knowledge. visual analogy of specialization from TBOI