Thursday, February 22, 2007

It's NOT democracy!

I am very, very tired of hearing people say that something is a democracy because it lets people express themselves, or because it is more egalitarian. Please stop this statist nonsense!

A democratic system must have the following:
* A centralized authority which has all the power to decide what is permissible and what is not, and the election of that authority based on popularity, OR
* A centralized authority which directly enforces decisions based on popularity.

Unless it is one of these two, it is not a democracy. So please stop saying the following:

"The Internet is democratic"- no it isn't. The Internet does not have a central authority to begin with.
"Wikipedia is democratic"- nope. It does have a hierarchy, but it is appointed, not elected, and people have a lot of leeway in resolving their own disputes.
"YouTube is democratic"- although it does have a central authority, it is not elected.

If you mean "populist," "egalitarian" or "new media", then SAY "populist, "egalitarian" or "new media"- don't say "democratic" when there's no democracy there.


Jose Benegas said...

And democracy is not freedom! In the best case democracy would be a consecuence of freedom.

In fact I think the people who say things like wikipedia is democratic, percive the colectivist spirit behind the idea of unlimited democracy. And they like it.

Zhwazi said...


Everything which is free is democratic. Everything which is democratic is free. You cannot have one without the other.

X is free.
Freedom = Democracy
Therefore X is democratic.