Is a Meritocratic Oligarchy Superior to a Democratic Republic?

Is a Meritocratic Oligarchy Superior to a Democratic Republic?

  • Yes

    Votes: 18 26.9%
  • No

    Votes: 41 61.2%
  • Other

    Votes: 8 11.9%

  • Total voters
    67
Oct 2013
1,329
Monza, Italy
Although I think that going beyond the democratic model is very tempting in these days, Churchill's quotes about democracy are still the best...
 
Jan 2017
1,309
Durham
All things being equal, and over the long run, I say no. While appealing at first glance, a meritocratic oligarchy is ripe for corruption and abuse. Machiavelli's adage , "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" is a truth for almost every person. It takes a most unique and special person to not become full of himself and drunk with power. Even with its flaws, a democratic republic, with the proper checks and balances, is superior when a vested constituency exercises its right to vote and influence.
If we take the adage 'power corrupts', which history has shown to hold true, it would apply to any system with a government.

There is a much better argument for democracy, that being: whatever the outcome it really matters for everyone to have a stake/voice - just as a point of principle. Even when democracy goes wrong, which it always does because there isn't a nation on this earth that holds to the democratic ideal and there never has been, then it's better to try and fail.

Democracy is an ideal that assumes we all care about the nation and we all have a voice that carries weight. This hasn't been realised to date, but the OP's proposal would be a nail in the coffin of enfranchisement.
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,733
Florania
In my ideal system, Peter Singer's opinions concerning ethics will be as important as any other persons, while all to be reviewed by scientists who understand data. Ethics is normal, many people have ethics, but they don't consider themselves "academic philosophers", unless a vast majority of the world are "philosophers", and that's the problem with philosophy. Then just normal ethics.

Altruism is a social science term anyway, in the context of science that is, as studied in the sciences, obviously originated from philosophy, though the term in philosophy is made obsolete.
Altruism - Wikipedia

Sure, the biologies definitely seem significantly weaker as a science, but they merge much, much quicker than philosophy, philosophy never merges.

As Peter has a TED talk on altruism.
I am currently reading One World Now by Peter Singer.
 
Jan 2012
449
South Midlands in Britain
Meritocracy is a bad joke. Every elite considers it merits its position. This is how elites define themselves. They even create systems and methodologies to legitimise their merit.
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,733
Florania
Meritocracy is a bad joke. Every elite considers it merits its position. This is how elites define themselves. They even create systems and methodologies to legitimise their merit.
This is exactly how the Chinese scholarly class became corrupted and reactionary; initially, civil exams were advanced and fair for the time; later, it drained all talents for civil exams, and technologies and other fields of humanities stagnated.
 
Jan 2012
449
South Midlands in Britain
This is exactly how the Chinese scholarly class became corrupted and reactionary; initially, civil exams were advanced and fair for the time; later, it drained all talents for civil exams, and technologies and other fields of humanities stagnated.
I think the same will happen in the West given the absurd explosion in academic qualifications. Despite the huge amount of qualified people around nothing works properly any more.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,609
Las Vegas, NV USA
Most countries today style themselves as "democratic republics" whether they are democratic or not. In addition the remaining constitutional monarchies are democracies with elected parliaments. There are still a few absolute monarchies in the Mideast.

Within true democracies there are meritocratic civil service structures designed to function apolitically although they are overseen by political appointees. If government services are politicized there is a weakening of democracy. This is one way a democracy can fail. Another is the restriction by the political class of rights expected in democracy.

The only "meritocratic" government I know of is Singapore. It is a one one party state with a self sustaining government that has governed in the interest of its citizens for over 50 years. Its success is the exception, not the rule. One party states are not democracies unless the party leaders are chosen by elections open to all citizens. This is not the case in Singapore.
 
Oct 2013
1,329
Monza, Italy
Tocqueville would have said that the Jedi like system was good at the beginning, but in the end democracy (like that which he witnessed in the young United States) is still better; remember that power corrupts anyone, even a Jedi can pass to the Dark side….Oligarchic meritocracy is a contradiction in terms, even Plato wanted something similar and Karl Popper considered him as a proto-totalitarian thinker.