Modern democracy
                        

A.          Voin                                              

08/13/2010


       A well-known phrase attributed to Churchill, reads something like this: "Democracy - a bad system, but better not come up." That's true, but the question is what exactly bad with democracy,
how we can improve or at least do not deteriorate democracy, and all this in the context of contemporary rapidly changing reality.
    First of all, let me remind some truths are well known, but I need for further analysis. By definition and in a direct translation from Greek democracy is the power of the people. This immediately implies that the quality of democracy depends
on, so to speak, the quality of the people. Democracy to be quality, you need people to be conscious and civic engagement. Conscious here means that one takes care not only about personal benefit, but for the good of society as a whole, as well, and perhaps above all, that means understanding by each one what is good and what is bad for society.
     
Next, note that "people power" - this is some idealized, in practice implemented in a greater or lesser extent depending on many circumstances. The first of them is the aforementioned "quality of people". To sway in fact is not easy, but not all want to be strained. And, if the majority in society does not want to impose the burden of government, even if outwardly democratic form of government is established, to speak about the power of the people have not sense.

No less important, as I said, is understanding by the majority of processes running in a society where they are and where to go. Finally, the important role played by form of organization of power. It is best to provide people the real power of the so-called direct democracy, which existed in the cities - the republics from Athens and ending with the Great Novgorod, where decisions on major issues was carried out by assembly of all the people in the central square (agora in Athens, Veche in Novgorod). But even then there were, to put it in a modern, political strategists, who managed to manipulate the general meeting. In modern countries with many cities and extremely overgrown population, direct democracy is impossible and there is a so-called representative democracy where the people presenting the real power of their elected representatives (and those that share power with appointed officials). For the people directly is a controlling function, which he sells every few years in the elections, when he may refuse to trust first selected and elect new ones. It is clear that in this case, even if the people realize their monitoring function effectively, the real power in their hands less than the elected representatives and appointed officials.
      Now consider what happens to democracy as a result of the tumultuous changes that occur in all spheres of modern humanity. Changing these - very much, they are swift and dramatic (potentially, at least) and their description and analysis can be devoted many volumes (and devoted). I will confine myself to those that are relevant to the functioning of democracy.
     The main one is associated with scientific and technical progress the exponential growth of information,
which complicate, not to say makes it impossible, understanding what is happening not only by the masses but by the elites, including the very scientific elite that this rapid growth and provides. The total amount of knowledge acquired by science which becomes increasingly not embraced not only for ordinary citizens, but for scientists themselves, resulting in a widening gap between the theoretical baggage of people with secondary and even tertiary education and the front edge of science. On the other hand specialize themselves scientists is becoming narrower. As a result, discussion of critical issues for society, not only in endless interactive broadcasts on radio and television, creating the illusion of popular participation in governance, but the discussion in the corridors of power, with the participation of scientists consultants, develops usually in conversation with the deaf blind, in the profanation. It is clear to any quality of governance this leads.
     I understand that,
taking in account the endless flattery all populists to people, this my statement sounds shocking not only for the academic elite, and in general all kinds of power, but for the masses. Especially for many participants interactive programs, with stunning aplomb resolved in a nutshell (more than two words the transfer format does not allow - the leading abort) any problems: "We should do like them," You can not do anything, they have ", "You should prohibit all ", " We must all resolve, "We must all arrest", We must all let go", "We have to disband the current government (no matter what), and does not matter what will be after that", etc. So, first of all, I will try to explain this my statement and illustrate it with examples.
     In the ideal
the task of management of society is to care about the economy and culture of this society. Any policy, internal and external is a function of this care. In this sense, nothing has changed since Athens, and even earlier. But the content itself "care", as well as the content of the economy and culture have changed tremendously since then. Dwell on the economy.
     Economy of Athens rested on independent farmers - farmers, leading
practically self-sufficient farming. Their needs in the state and the power was almost exclusively in defense against an external enemy (combined with the opportunity through this external enemy, or just a neighbor, to receive profit). To meet the needs of this, state maintain an army of those same farmers and they also paid a tax on its content.

Thus, simplifying, we can say that all the governance reduces to the questions: how to take tax from the peasants on the state apparatus and army, and start or not start a war with a particular neighbor. There was no industry, which would produce a tractor and binder, the fuel for these tractors and fertilizers, without which it would be impossible to provide population with food. There was not a sophisticated financial system, with banks, stock markets, insurance, forex and God knows what, without which it can not operate a modern industry. It was not complicated international, in particular, financial relations with the IMF, with multinational companies, the diversion of capital into offshore accounts, with the rate of national currency against the dollar, which is somewhere beyond the ends of the earth may fall for reasons unknown and seemingly not pertaining thereto economics of modern Greece or Ukraine, there may collapse. Therefore, although in the agora in Athens or in the assembly of Novgorod there were parties, the speakers for these or other taxes, for the war or against it, and was Black PR ("This politician wants war, because conjugal infidelity of his wife", etc.), but at least people understand the essence of discussion. But today, as shown by the global financial crisis, not only people but also government and relevant scientists do not understand that.
     Here offended entrepreneurs and just the shareholders, which
are the majority (or near-majority) in developed countries, may argue that they understand the economy because they are aware of exchange rates and stock quotes, and through that they have increase in their wages. To this I answer that, of course, compared to Athens or Novgorod peasant, the average citizen in modern developed countries knows a lot of things, about which they have never heared, as nothing like that had not existed than. But if we talk about the relationship between his knowledge and that is required for a citizen of a modern democratic state, he knows far less than the ancient Athenians, or Novgorod. At best, the modern shareholder understands microeconomics, ie, more or less guidance on where to invest savings in prosperous times. But he does not understand macroeconomics and therefore do not know when the crisis occurred and all of his success so far invested savings turn to ashes. He does not understand what in the long term is this or that economic strategy of his government (and those who create the strategy and explain to people that also do not understand, otherwise there would not be a global crisis, defaults on national economies, etc.) and therefore can not consciously choose the power. Therefore, it is easy to the demagogues and populists to manipulate people.

     But confusion is not limited to mere economics. The modern economy has become such as it is thanks to scientific and technological progress and without it not only can continue to develop successfully, it can not even maintain its current level. That's not to mention the fact that population growth of the world requires and economic growth to feed this population. But long ago it became clear that science and technology, creating new wealth, creates new problems. And these problems are more complex than the economy for understanding not only the masses but also by scientists themselves. The fact is that rational science, by its very nature, goes from peculiar to general. In this way it is much easier to find a practical application of its theories than to assess long-term consequences of such use. In order to build an combustion engine, humanity needed to develop the theoretical mechanics, theory of heat and may be a couple else theories. But in order to assess the impact of mass burning of fuel in these engines, it is not enough an enormous amount of theoretical knowledge accumulated since then. As a result, not only ordinary people do not know whether climate change is a result of atmospheric pollution by exhaust gases or as a result of processes on the Sun, but scientists can not agree among themselves on this occasion. For the same reason it is easier to deal with the micro than the macro-economy, which is the result of the practical application of microeconomic theory. The situation is similar to the peaceful use of nuclear energy (not to mention the military), GMOs, cloning, etc. In order to understand, say, in regard to the consequences of the massive use of GMOs, it is necessary, first, get on the cutting edge of modern genetics and a number of related disciplines that are inaccessible to the average citizen with not only a secondary or even tertiary education, but to the average scientist not busy specially in genetics. And secondly, knowledge of genetics scientist for this also is not enough. To create a new GMO scientist genetics enough of his special knowledge. But in order to assess the long-term effects of mass use of GMOs, this knowledge is not enough, because the required knowledge to a much wider area, and our scientist, as I said, as a rule, is a narrow specialist. Moreover, in order to assess these effects, such knowledge is required that modern science, in general, does not yet possess. Therefore, all claims of geneticists like: "Guys, do not worry, each new type of GMFs before they run it in production, is thoroughly tested and we guarantee their safety" or "We are long time ating at genetically modified food as a result of mutations in the process of natural evolution, and nothing happened. " These declarations not worth a damn.

For example, we will believe a word of the geneticists about integrity of GMFs checking. But let us imagine that after the invention of the combustion engine, scientists were also obsessed with the desire to test it for safety. But is it with all sincerity of their desire they might then have thought check the effect of exhaust gases to climate change on a planetary scale, in a situation where cars (and thermal power plants) will be much like today? And even if they had come to this thought, whether they would able to check it, if even today we still can not understand what is real reason of the climate change?

As for the fact that genetic changes occurred and are occurring in the process of natural evolution, and nothing happened, we are alive, let us remember that from the stability theory is well known that where small perturbations do not violate the stability of the system, there are more can not only disturb her, but to destroy system. The evolutionary mutations - these are small perturbations, and what we do with genetically modified organisms - it is huge compared to the natural disturbance of the system and therefore the comparison of geneticists does not hold. To complete the picture I will bring a couple of specific examples.
     As part of an international program implemented ICSU (International Council for Science), which involves a lot of research organizations from around the world, was asked to Ukrainian Institute for System Analysis, headed by academician Zgurovskiy, develop the concept of stable development. (In expanded form it is called "Global modeling of stable development in the context of the quality of safety of life). Stable development of society is reflected in this model 3-dimensional vector with components: economics, ecology and social development. Stability is the greater, the more this vector. Reporting to the model, Zgurovskiy outlined the following information, based on solid factual material. As technological development of mankind frequency of interstate, ethnic, etc. conflicts and their destructive power is increasing. This conclusion can be drawn and not
through processing a lot of information with help of systems analysis on a computer. With the help of clubs is impossible to destroy so many people, as with the help of the atomic bomb. And here arises a question. Economic growth, which is one of the components of the vector of sustainable development is closely linked to technological growth. It turns out that in developing the technology, we are increasing the sustainability of development (on the model) and simultaneously increases the frequency and destructive power of conflicts. So, increase in frequency and strength of conflict it is sustainability? So why is it we need this?
    Added to this is that the model Zgurovsky purely static, it is not considered changing the system over time. For any scientist
it is obvious that it is impossible to investigate the stability of the process, without considering the process in time. But Zgurovskiy - narrow system analyst, such narrow that even in our time of narrow specialists in the science his failure to understand simple things like that seems improbable. Even more incredibly, that the development of this model were employed dozens of people and none of them occurred to understand that this concept will not work. Finally, reports on the development of the concept of periodically expelled to ICSU and, judging by the continued funding of the program, it is favored. Now imagine that government of some country would adopt this concept. To which the stability it would have led their country? And what benefit would also be on democracy? Can people today actually take part in choosing the correct path for the country in this context? The people in such cases, spreads his hands and says: "there is no arguing against science".
      Another example, well illustrates the situation, a story with the plan of the former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko to build in Ukraine on 30 not some 50 nuclear power plants to sell electricity to Europe. It would seem that after the Chernobyl disaster is to turn Ukraine into a world leader in nuclear power - the idea of a phantasmagoric. Yushchenko,
nevertheless how we gauge him, could not on his own initiative to make such a plan, not relying on the opinions of reputable in his eyes
scientists
. This authority for Yushchenko became atomist physicist Academician Bar'yakhtar, which in addition to the impact on Yushchenko, promoted this idea, so to speak, among the masses. In his public speeches and in print, he argued that nuclear energy should be developed, despite the fact that there was already Chernobyl. Remarkable, he did not deny that the danger of man-made disaster grows in direct proportion to the amount of energy derived from a unit mass (say, a kilogram of matter). Therefore, the risk of explosion at a nuclear power plant in the thousands or millions of times greater than the risk of an explosion in the heat one. Arises naturally in this issue, why take such risks or how to reduce them, Bar'yakhtar allow by such construction:
     Explosion Chernobyl occurred because the engineers and physicists
worked at this plant were not professional enough and morally, as they were not prepared to KPI or any university in the capital. But all will be well if the training of such specialists will be transferred to the KPI, together with the appropriate addition of salaries to teachers.      
Stunning simplicity of his proposed solution to the problem just smells bad. But its implementation in such a "simple" form can turn into a tragedy far greater than the national scale.
      By the way, on the basis of what kind of moral theory is academic
ian Baryahtar going to raise morality graduates KPI (even one faculty) thousands of times? On the basis of Marxism, which was taught (and now teach) students KPI as just such a theory, and those who did experiments at Chernobyl in violation of the rules before the explosion were "armed" with it? Based on the ideas of nationalism (national excellence), old as the world with its sins? On the basis of Christianity, with its thousands of denominations, each one with own treating of doctrine, and behind which the religious wars, the Inquisition, Domostroy, etc.? Or, on the basis of ideas of the sexual revolution, under the influence of which in Ukraine, like mushrooms after rain, multiplying casinos and brothels stripbary all degrees of obscure?
     Of course, Ukraine - is not the whole world and we can assume that in advanced countries, the debate about nuclear power is a more serious level. But, first, the Chernobyl-type catastrophe cover the whole of mankind, irrespective of the country in which they occur.
Secondly, what is, in fact, the situation in advanced countries different from the Ukrainian? Well, there is no such glaring contrast, are not taken immediately after the Chernobyl build 50 new nuclear power plants. But real understanding of the problem, as well as real its discussion, there is no there. There is simply a kind of moderation, a greater caution. This is evident from what is happening. Well, scared after the Chernobyl disaster, and some time not to build new stations. And to the extent that, as Chernobyl thing of the past, the fear is forgotten and little by little, but more and more begin to build. That's the whole depth of understanding and discussion.    However, recently in the world begins to dawn the understanding that for solutions to global problems it is not enough to attract scientists specialized in one field of science and we hear a lot of talk about the need for interdisciplinary research, the need to develop mutual understanding among representatives of various scientific disciplines, finding a common language for all. And there are many interdisciplinary seminars, conducted many interdisciplinary forums, conferences, etc. But what is this abundant interdisciplinary activity, can be seen from the above example with the concept of sustainable development. The creator of the concept Zgurovskiy is also head of the permanent interdisciplinary seminar in the same KPI and he is also the chief adept of idea that a common language for scientists from different disciplines provides a system analysis, a specialist in which he just is. How the system analysis help him in formulating of the "Concept of Stable Development", shown above. Likewise, his interdisciplinary seminar does not helped him to understand that it is impossible to talk about stability, not considering development of process over time.
     In light of the foregoing try again to cover the whole situation and formulate more precisely the problem facing mankind in this context. The rapid and accelerating all the scientific and technical progress and rational nature of science, which consists in the fact that it is easier to come up with practical application of theories, than to provide long-term consequences of this application, resulted, firstly, in the terrible rapidly changing reality in which we live (including ourselves). This very rapid change creates a variety of global problems, to recapitulate that does not make sense (
there are many talking and writing about them), as well as exacerbating old ones, such as ethnic and other conflicts. All this creates high volatility of what is happening on the planet, threatening the very existence of mankind. Secondly, it led to the fact that we have ceased to navigate all of these changes, we no longer understand where we go, where we need to go and what will happen to us tomorrow. And "we" here - is not only the common people and not just rulers, leading him, but also scientists, who by rank, must understand. The consequence of this misunderstanding is the loss of democracy, its effectiveness and advantages over other forms of power. This leads to an increase in the popularity of the idea of a return to totalitarianism in any of his form: the Soviet, Nazi, even monarchist. Especially popular is this idea in Russia, but also in Western Europe the growth of neo-fascism is not neglected. This is else one factor of instability in the world. The growing chaos in the world manifests itself not only in economic crises, persistent armed conflicts, widespread terror, etc., but also in spreading the primitive, akin to the medieval, superstitions, apocalyptic mood (the media and the Internet filled with messages that on the earth flies asteroid, which will destroy it, that it is expected polarity of the magnetic poles of the earth, which will leed to a total disaster, it is expected collision of plates in the earth's crust in Iceland, which will create a wave a la deluge, tomorrow will start nuclear war between America and China, etc. etc.) and in complete apathy and indifference to what is happening. And these sentiments, in turn, increasing instability of the situation.
     To this we must add
what I have described in the article "The global crisis of humanity and scientific and technical progress", distortion of values of Western society and mankind as a result of technological progress. When the lack of understanding and apathy combins with lack of spirituality and immorality of society, including its political and scientific elite, and this is when Humanity continues to increase its transformative (and destructive) power, the situation becomes practically hopeless. Take for example the same nuclear power and GMOs. Government decision-makers in these areas, or people, these decisions are ostensibly discussing, in these matters simply are not competent. Scientific experts, who had chambers in these areas are divided into two categories. Some do not realize that they can not guarantee the safety of nuclear power plants or using of GMOs, and with great aplomb convince the government and people to receive wrong and dangerous decisions. Others understand it, but they do not care about long-term consequences for humanity, they are only interested in their personal career now. And they are even more than the first self-confidence and zeal to convince the government and people to the same bad decisions, because it will help their career and material well-being, will increase funding for relevant scientific fields. And people who are not able to understand all this, or pop their ears, or bad-mouth the authorities and scientists, including those few who genuinely cares about common welfare and is capable of something to understand and explain it to them.
     So
what in this situation can still be done? First of all, you need to make possible the foreseeable picture of modern science, the foreseeable for scientists themselves, for the rulers and the people. Part of this problem is to find a common language between representatives of different disciplines, to find clear criteria for separating science from pseudo-science, which today, almost like at the Middle Ages, takes the mind of the ordinary and not ordinary people, exacerbating an already great chaos in our minds. Also it is to find criteria for separating the theory from the hypothesis (today scientists offen assert us that the science, the theory has proved so-and-so, the safety of nuclear power, GMOs, Hadron Collider, etc., whereas the theory which is referred to is not a theory, but not proven the hypothesis), to find a way to determine the applicability limits of the proven theories. It is also important to distribute it all in the humanitarian sphere, in which thousands of denominations of one religion (and only one God and the truth is common), hundreds of schools of philosophy and dozens of directions in psychology and psychoanalysis, and between them there is no common language (as opposed to the natural sciences, where at least some common ground still exists). Today scientific criteria in the humanitarian field are publications in a respectable scientific journals, which each school has its own and therefore what is science for one school, is not science for another. But criteria for the same respectable journal in the decision to publish or not publish is a number of references to already published work. In this approach, the most outstanding humanitarians, particularly philosophers, to be considered ungifted, because they just links to other little, if any (Nietzsche, Freud, etc.), as new, still does not recognized such philosphers, not to publish and not to recognize . And imitators, endlessly, but useless citing the great and not great predecessors become respectable, published etc. According to the single method of substantiation of scientific theories (of which more below) a new fundamental theory can not be built on axioms and the concepts of previous one, and therefore, such theory does not require references to the predecessors to present the theory itself. (It can do this only to explain why the old theory is not suitable).
    The absence of a common language and scientific criteria (validity) in the humanitarian field
can not hope to end the conflict between supporters of different religions, denominations, secular ideologies and systems of morality and values.
     But can all this be done? I contend that it is possible.
Representatives of natural science have still a common language and sooner or later the world community in this field takes a certain hypothesis as a theory, and the rest discarded. Hence, there is a method by which they do it. This method actually produced by natural science in the process of its development. However, until now this method was not presented explicitly and worked at the stereotype of natural scientific thinking. (The latter is exactly led today to a significant weakening of mutual understanding between scientists and to erosion of borders in the area between science and pseudoscience, between theory and hypothesis, etc.). But if this method is in principle exists, then it is possible to identify it, describe, report explicitly. That's what I did in my work on a general method of substantiation of scientific theories (Philosophical Investigations, 3, 2000; 1, 2001; 2, 2002, and a number of articles on the Internet: www.philprob.narod.ru, etc.), based within my epistemology ("", Kiev, 1992, Part 1). This method provides a common language to natural science scholars: the hypothesis, which eventually gets support from the general method becomes a proven and recognized by the world community of scientists in the relevant field of science theory. This method also gives scientific criteria allowing to separate science from pseudoscience, clarifies the meaning of the truth of scientific theory and allows to determine the minimum limits of its applicability before we encounter the so-called refuting experiment. (In the case of hadron Collaider and others like him a refuting experiment could end by the destruction of humanity).
     This method allows you to do much more
comprehensible modern scientific world view. Primarily it can be done for scientists themselves, but if you enter it into the education system (and it can start to express even in school and in universities can be given in increasing volume), then for the wider masses. Let me explain why and how it can. One of the pillars of a general method of substantiation" is axiomatic building theories. It is known even from a school course of Euclidean geometry, that the system of axioms defines all derived from it in the future of the theorem, the conclusions, including those that have not yet been written. Thus, examining out the system of axioms, you get (with the appropriate skills) view of all the theory. That allows you to quickly enter into any new area of knowledge. Enter, of course, not at a level that will permit you to work in it professionally, but at a level sufficient to specialists, scientists could not hang you noodles on the brain, such as discussed above in the examples. And this is what is necessary for normal functioning of democracy, to demagogues can not easy manipulate the people. Of course, each reader literate in science has long been itching language to say that not all scientific theories, even in physics, presented in an axiomatic form. To this I will explaine that a person, owning a general method of substantiation, can relatively easily distinguish the axiomatic basis in not axiomatic theory. Of course, he can not do it on a strict level (otherwise all still not axiomatic theory long ago would have already been converted into axiomatic). But he can do it on the level sufficient to understand what in principle can be proved in the framework of this theory, and what this theory has no right to claim.
     I also showed the possibility of using this method with appropriate adaptation in the humanitarian sphere. And showed
it in investigation of the Bible (" . ", Kiev, 1999), Marxism (" ", Kiev, 1997), modern bioethics ("Bioethics or optimal Ethics, the Internet), etc.
     Finally, I showed that no system analysis
nor synergetics, let alone the dialectic, claiming to be the common language between scientists from different disciplines, with all due respect for their achievements, can not play this role and only the general method of substantiation of scientific theories can do it. (" ", , - articles on the internet).

      
     

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