At 12:09 PM 28/06/99 -0700 Richard Brodie wrote:
>"For every human problem, there is a neat, simple solution; and it is
> always wrong"
> -- Mencken's Metalaw
Yes, I understand the wisdom embodied in this quote, and agree it has a lot of merit, born as it is from a condensation of human history itself. On the other hand, If you listen closely enough, you can still hear the faint echoes of statements like this, reverberating up through the ages, as the cognescenti of the day wail and lament the naivete of people who thought that the serfs could "rule themselves" with something called "democracy". Sometimes, simple solutions aren't always wrong. The real trick is knowing why it is the right solution beforehand.
As with free markets and communism, why one works and another doesn't seems mired in hindsight, but I say we now have the tools to make a much better guess than our predecessors. To assert otherwise would suggest that we have gained nothing from advances in the fields of evolutionary systems, complexity theory and chaos, behaviourial psychology, cognitive science, communications theory, linguistics and cellular automata.
The trick, in my estimation, is that when attempting to evaluate the probable social dynamics of democratic principles, you don't just plug these ideas into the model of serfdom that has been ground into your head through a lifetime of conditioning. Democracy will change how the serfs behave, which will change how they look at things, which will change how they react, which will change how they think.......in short, it will change them.