No! Secrecy supports hypocrisy; and, it's not democracy to have the secretive privileged elite we have corrupting everything: Hypocritical society thrives on secrecy. Here's an example of suppressed knowledge. Spread the most classic secret, the supreme grand secret of the “lodge”, which, thanks to modern medicine, can be printed on a bumper sticker: VAGAL STIMULATION IS AS EFFECTIVE AS LSD. Behind the old “Iron Curtain” there was a disease recognized that isdeceitfully diagnosed to be schizophrenia in the West. It was called “shamans’disease” and is caused by scar tissue in the parasympathetic (muscarinic)nervous system. This nervous system is called “muscarinic” after the hallucinogenic drugmuscarine, found in the fly aminita mushroom; and, muscarine doesn’t cross theblood brain barrier. It works by exciting the whole muscarinic nervous systemand thereby overriding the inhibitory neurons in the brain. But, it is unpopularin the West due to the way it excites the digestive system.This has been kept secret by those who cash in on this secrecy, occultsecrecy. In yoga, the plexuses of the muscarinic nervous system are calledchakras, presented to the common people as “spiritual wheels of light along thespine”, but they are not in the spine, they are the major plexuses of theparasympathetic nervous system in the body.This muscarinic nervous system stimulation is called “kundalini” in yoga,and when yoga students reach the degree where they are allowed to know the truthabout their own bodies they must sign contracts of secrecy.So, your children may have only acquired scar tissue in theirparasympathetic nervous systems, which can be treated medically other ways, but,there are dopamine blockers to be sold, and, special interests want to keeptheir profitable secrets.Of course one international organization is behind this, a well knownsecret society, whose “temple” represents the human body, and whose “holy ofholies” represents where the largest muscarinic nerve, the vagus nerve, emergesfrom the brain into the body in the nasopharynx.LSD used to be used to carry out a horrible treatment called the“Clockwork Orange” treatment. Here the victim has over 50% of the brain awakenedconsciously for use. It is called by “Grof Transpersonal”, “perinatal matrix three”, andhere the victim experiences all the sufferings of people shown in a film bygoing backward and forward in time to inhabit each and every body shown,experiencing their torments as real as life.Today this is being done by exciting the parasympathetic nervous system by“waterboarding”. It was mentioned in an article about this, in a popular news magazine, that “efforts were made to have the water irritate the nasopharynx”, where the main trunk of thevagus nerve emerges from the brain, proceeding down into the body.Crucifixion also causes so much muscarinic nervous system stimulation thatthe victim will body switch into everyone he knows. God knows everyone, so it isknown that Jesus Christ is in you and I and everyone this way.When a “schizophrenic” patient has more that 50% of the brain consciously awakened (it shows on an MRI) they are catatonic, but they are out body switching into everyone and every character they have seen, even in every movie they ever saw. Less severeschizophrenic symptoms occur with brain use percentages less than 50%.The solution, to establish better treatment for our children, and fellow man, is to spreadthis knowledge to common public knowledge.

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Some of the commenters seem to think that Robin is positing a broad conspiracy. All I saw was him arguing that democracy serves a particular hidden agenda in a way which others haven't pointed out much before. That the very defect which public choice theorists point to (rational ignorance) may be extremely appealing given the particular human desire for signaling values.

It seems obvious that a mechanism which appeals to people in some way is more likely to come into being and survive than one which doesn't. I don't think Robin is claiming this is any kind of complete explanation for the existence or popularity of democracy, merely one novel factor. And one which presumably pleases his subconscious by nicely signaling his cynical rationality, which is a core value of his tribe :).

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Robert, yes politicians get to be hypocritical as well.Bill, yes secret ballots give another excuse. Dre, you explained the idea quickly and easily; how is it complicated?

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direct democracy is the way to go. cezary dont forget the US only has a short history of democracy (1960's).

"Leadership" as ballyhooed by all and sundry has been shown to damage an organization where efficient communications exist. with the web, politicians, ceo's etc should be receiving pink slips.


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interesting issue and very readable comments.

Is agency a cowardice issue? by hiding behind another and in turn the agent hiding behind their electorate all becomes anonymous. there is a strong spirit of demanding authority whilst shirking responsibility. J R Saul termed this a technocrat.

which leads me to the point about voters lack of knowledge. smart people have shown little ability to navigate safely on our behalf (except in respect to their own careers), is ignorance likely to cost more?

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The two problems I have criticizing people for hypocrisy:

1. It's normal, natural human behavior. Accusing someone of hypocrisy is like accusing them of breathing.

2. You can be a hypocrite and still be right.

There's also the misuse of the term. In the immortal words of (I think) Laura Schlessinger, do as I say not as I do is hypocrisy; do as I say not as I did is the voice of experience.

"Surely you can’t be blamed when wannabe immigrants bodies pile up in the desert"

How is this ever the fault of anyone other than the "wannabe" (are you uncomfortable saying "illegal?) immigrants?

"when your troops slaughter foreigners in their streets"

Guess I'd need a specific example, but in most of the cases I can recall, the majority of the population doesn't claim to have a problem with this except in rare circumstances.

"when police use brutal street justice to keep your peace"

Again, with some exceptions the public generally doesn't claim to have a problem with this sort of thing, though we might be talking about different issues. Could you give an example of "brutal street justice"?

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I agree that principle agent problems do exist, but then this gets a little far fetched.

Through the magic of evolutionary psychology (I presume) the subconscious has created a system in which the subconscious can get what it wants while allowing the conscious to pretend that it wants other things, all while the conscious doesn't notice.

That just sounds really complicated where a simpler explanation would do fine.

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Excuse me, but blaming the voters and claiming that the system actually delivers what voters want is kind of stupid. First off, this article argues that politics distances voters from accountability; we can claim "but we never personally authorized the slaughter of innocents" and piously wash our hands of responsibility.

Second, in reality, the political machinery has long been independent of the voters anyway. Any halfway-responsible political pundit knows about "rational apathy" - it is pointless to waste time becoming fully informed because your influence on the political outcome is minuscule, and you know it.

Likewise, the advantage of special interests over taxpayers is indisputable - people lobby hard for benefits which are worth thousands or millions to them personally, but the costs are distributed widely, so few people lobby to object to the 25 cents or 5 dollars worth of costs which are the flip side of that same benefit.

Americans are catching on. The number who are very dissatisfied with the government, even distrustful of the government, is very high - 4 out of 5, according to a recent Pew Research poll. Pew is far from being a "right wing extremist antigovernment" organ, so perhaps it's time to remove your "government is wonderful" glasses and ask what is really happening in the real world.

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Jayson, I have no need to count the hairs on my head.

I am bald and know the answer.

But, if there were value out there for me to count, then...one little hair, two little hairs...

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How many hairs do you have on your head? Do you lack the means to count them? You could gain such knowledge if you wanted, but you know it wouldn't be a good use of your time (because knowledge of such a thing is mostly useless). You are rationally ignorant about the number of hairs on your head.

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No, they don't check.

"polls show that a majority of Americans cannot name a single branch of government, or explain what the Bill of Rights is. 24% could not name the country America fought in the Revolutionary War. More than two-thirds of Americans don't know what's in Roe v. Wade. Two-thirds don't know what the Food and Drug Administration does. Some of this stuff you should be able to pick up simply by being alive. You know, like the way the Slumdog kid knew about cricket."


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What if instead of a democracy we lived in a monarchy? I mean a true monarchy and not a monarchy pretending to be a democracy. How often is the general public ever blamed for anything that goes wrong with government? How often would a monarch be blamed for something that goes wrong with government? I would think a monarch would be considered much more responsible in quite possibly every reasonable scenario.

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Rational inattention, at least as it is used in marketing, means that it is rational to be inattentive because there is an agent who is attentive and you are relying on that agent or other attentives whom you follow for your action.

Think of it this way in a market context: If you are a grocery store, how many returned products do you accept before you say I will no longer carry this product...just a few attentives swung the decision of the store. Or, put it this way, do you fully read the article on a new speaker system, or do you look at the rating and compare one rating to the other before deciding, without reading all the articles? Rational inattention is rational because there is attention to an agent. There is no rational ignorance, which this post posits in it claim of the hypocrisy of democracy.

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I'm surprised Robin missed that secret ballot provides another layer of defense - "I voted for X" when defending himself against supporting policies of Y, who he actually voted for.

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Another benefit is that politicians who are closest to an unpleasant decision can make the selfish choice and justify it on the principle that it's 'what their constituents want' and it is their sworn duty to follow their constituents (at least this time!). I've seen politicians do this when confronted with the harm of their policies many times.

So in this way both voters and politicians can pass the buck to the other side when needed. Selfish decisions can be made, but nobody needs to feel like it was up to them. And politicians get to make up for the unpleasantness of the decision with the fact that they are obeying some other moral principle.

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Yeah, Moldbug has been on vacation a while.

I always liked Socrates 2 major criticisms of democracry. Mainly, either:

1. People wouldn't know that they wanted; or 2. People WOULD know what they wanted and then VOTE for it.

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