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2
6
Oligarchy Democracy
Debate Score:8
Arguments:12
Total Votes:8
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 Oligarchy (2)
 
 Democracy (6)

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Harvard(666) pic



Oligarchy vs. Democracy


Should America be run by a group of individuals such as Benjamin Franklin, Plato, Issac Newton etc. Or is the system in place contributing to general content?
 

Oligarchy

Side Score: 2
VS.

Democracy

Side Score: 6

Well I am assuming, as you have, that there exists some non-democratic mechanism for reliably selecting the greatest minds in history as our leaders. In that case, it seems obvious to me that we should have the best people in charge. We only need now to elucidate this selection mechanism.

We have been stuck at this part at this part since Plato, over 2000 years.

Side: Oligarchy
Jace(5149) Disputed
1 point

That is a rather large assumption. We may as well also assume that the critical device for democracy (i.e. an informed, engaged electorate) exists too, as long as we are making illogical claims along those lines.

Side: Democracy
instig8or(3308) Disputed
1 point

There isn't some existent mechanism for that because geniuses make psychopathic leaders who want their populace to be only sufficient to caring for their emotional wellbeing. We don't want genius isn charge we want empathetic individuals in charge who know who to emotionally appease their populace.

Side: Democracy
1 point

The fact that most Americans are simply not intellectually, much less, educationally qualified to make extensive decision-making concerning politics seems to be an inevitable factor within our country. Unless some form of eugenics is implemented in order to increase average intellect of general Americans, I don't see how this problem will ever cease to persist. In the case of an Oligarchy system, where few intellectuals would be in charge, I imagine there would be much less room for error in decision making for the population as a whole for a country. With modern day philosophers, those who might possess similar attributes to Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Confucius, Aquinas and so on, there would be an immense amount of thought and discussion going into every important decision, thus ensuring the greatest benefit for those under its' govern. The problem, however, would lie in the proper selection of those who would take positions of leadership in this system. These people would likely need to undergo intensive, life-long training in which they would need to be constantly practicing Socratic questioning as well as finding solutions to possible, problematic scenarios that may occur. They would need to be disciplined enough to defy acts of corruption as well as necessitate fluency in many aspects of education, and they would need to have some bondage in order to keep one another in line with their duties. I feel this would make for an ideal civilization concerning the well-being and quality of human life, although this is still just a thought.

Side: Oligarchy
Jace(5149) Disputed
1 point

Given our dearth of knowledge in the field of practical, applied eugenics that proposition is considerably more outlandish then, say, actually instituting a legitimate educational system. Not that I am overly optimistic about the practicality of that either, but it would certainly be more effective since we at least know what needs to be done even if we struggle to do it.

There is absolutely no guarantee that the greatest minds would be benevolent minds, nor even that the masses would tolerate them if they were. You seem overly confident in the feasibility of your vaguely elaborated plan for educating and binding such an elite, to say the least. By what specific means would you propose to implement a system that would not be corrupted by its antecedent? In essence, your suggestion is a system which would be afflicted by the same systemic abuses but without any majoritarian check whatsoever.

As long as we are being idealistic, why not simply imagine a better education system that actually teaches more people how to think? If we are going to make large assumptions, why not assume we could make democracy work?

Side: Democracy
arteaga34(130) Clarified
1 point

I'll start by saying that I hope you're not taking my post too serious. As you mentioned, it is a vaguely elaborated plan; it was just something I came up with during a few minutes mostly to make for good discussion rather than a debate itself to be honest. The post would have been better suited in another website concerning idealistic discourse, however, I am rather ignorant in any good sites concerning this, and so this is much more convenient for me.

How exactly would you go about making a legitimate education system or one that teaches people how to think, as you stated? It seems as though we would have founded an ideal systematic educational system by now, especially if we had the blueprint for doing so. My more honest opinion is that it seems evident that some form of eugenics would need to be implemented in order to reach this somewhat ideal society, the problem of course being enforcing it on the already simple-minded masses. Then again, there is the option of regulating the electorate in such a way that only the intellectually qualified would be granted eligibility to cast their vote. Although, this might suggest being essentially just be another oligarchy type system anyways.

Side: Oligarchy
Harvard(666) Clarified
1 point

"As long as we are being idealistic, why not simply imagine a better education system that actually teaches more people how to think? If we are going to make large assumptions, why not assume we could make democracy work?"

This proposition requires a populace with the intellectual capacity to process the plethora of information needed for evaluating and constructing certain policies. Given that there is not a course for IQ, and that the average IQ is 100 -- not high enough to process the data compressed in, for example, 'tax policies' -- then the idea of 'educating the public' is also a slightly outlandish one. There's also the disinterest in politics, which leads to accepting dubious claims spewed by exceptional orators, which cannot be fixed.

Side: Oligarchy
1 point

Democracy is little more than an oligarchy with the addition of an external, populist check against extreme malevolence or benevolent misstep. The electoral instrument should not be regarded as a perfect mechanism, but merely as an adequate one.

Idealism has no place in serious consideration of the best system of governance, and this is as true of democracy as it is of oligarchy. The same people who so readily dismiss the naivety of faith in the democratic electorate seemingly lose their senses when thinking about oligarchy, somehow becoming comfortable in the assumption that a benevolent oligarchy is possible and even likely. But that does not follow; from whence comes the check? Internal checks are notoriously corruptible; hence the need for external checks, which in this case is the electorate.

Side: Democracy
1 point

Democracy lasts, dictatorship and oligarchy eventually get overthrown it's just a waiting game.

Side: Democracy