Friday, February 27, 2009

Why Democracy does not work- Idea cellular advertisement on TV

Idea sells it's mobile service using democracy as a recurring theme in a series of ads being shown on TV in India. It shows people in certain situations not being able to decide what to do and taking an instant sms poll using their cellphones. The final decision is whatever the majority decides.

One advt. has a pretty girl who is bumped by a street hooligan and when she objects, he says he can do whatever because this is a democracy. Then she polls using her cell (I assume her friends) giving commando or Gandhi (show the other cheek) as options and when majority says commando -she gives him a commando style kick.

Now the problem with this is the same as problem with democracy- what if their was a third option- lets say slit his throat. Would she have done it just because the majority decided that it was what the hooligan deserved?

Instead wouldn't it be better to have a system where the mob or the majority does not have the power to decide the fate of the individual (the smallest minority) and instead certain principles governed the interaction between individuals. Situations like the one in the ad and in a democracy where individual rights are crushed by the majority should not be allowed to take place. Such a system to prevent these from happening does exist- it is called a republic.

Read the following definition from Ayn Rand Lexicon- The American system is not a democracy. It is a constitutional republic. A democracy, if you attach meaning to terms, is a system of unlimited majority rule . . . a form of collectivism, which denies individual rights . . . . The American system is a constitutionally limited republic, restricted to the protection of individual rights. In such a system, majority rule is applicable only to lesser details, such as the selection of certain personnel. But the majority has no say over the basic principles governing the government. It has no power to ask for or gain the infringement of individual rights.
Leonard Peikoff, “The Philosophy of Objectivism” lecture series (1976), Lecture 9.

Click here to hear Yaron Brook talk about democracy. (via rationalpassion)