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Three Axioms of Democracy

by Raoul Nakhmanson


Logical democracy includes randomization of decisions. Is quantum world an example of such a democracy?

Newspapers, radio, and television inform us frequently about the difficulties to find compromise decisions of disputable issues. Due to the working out a constitution for the European Union (EU) this problem is now very acute for Europe. In the EU there is no consensus relating to the number of representatives in EU Parliament, commissions, and other institutions, and there is no consensus relating to decision procedures as well. "Small countries" prefer the equality of countries (one country — one vote), "big countries" call for privileges, e.g. because they have more people, and because they contribute more money to the common budget. The negotiations are proceedings on all levels (heads of governments, foreign ministers, conferences, commissions, etc.) but the results are disappointing and the agreements do not look solid. This is not surprising because negotiations have not been set up on agreed rules but rather on traditions differing in various countries and societies. The procedures used e.g. "Majority", "Majority as 2/3 or more", "Unanimity", "Veto" lack a clear logical base.

The root of this problem is that the word on duty — "Democracy" — and its derivatives up to now have no axiomatic base and logical structure accepted by all participants of discussions. Each participant treats the notion "Democracy" his own way and for his interest.

Is it possible to improve something here? I think YES. As an example I will try to show what can be done with above mentioned key procedure — the procedure of decision.

1. As the first axiom of "Democracy" we can take equality of all people under the laws. This axiom is in the constitutions of all countries calling themselves as "democratic" ones. That of course does not mean the equality of possibilities.

2. The word "Democracy" was born in ancient Greece and means government by people. As it seems this formula can be taken as the second axiom of "Democracy" if we specify the notion "government by people". In "democratic" countries it is now realized directly by referendums and indirectly by voting of representatives e.g. in parliaments. The accordance with the first axiom is declared through the accordance "one person — one vote". But this is not enough! "Government by people" together with "equality of all people under the laws" demands more: In a referendum each person should have the same opportunity as the others to realize his own decision of the problem being under discussion. The same principle must apply e.g. in parliaments such that each member represents the same number of voters. In such a redaction the formula can be really accepted as a second axiom of "Democracy".

3. Today's existing decision procedures violate our second axiom. For example a decision made following "Majority" is a dictatorship of majority against minority. Majority is conservative and retrograde, it can be manipulated. Majority leads to dictatorship. Decisions always following "Majority" lead to a deadlock. They would bring us quickly on the top of a near hill, but we would stay there forever looking at distant mountains with envy. New ideas (including good ones) are created firstly by a minority, and we have to give the minority (and the rest also) a chance to prove these ideas in practice. But how?

The decision is not far, it is in our environment and in ourselves. It is worked out during the evolution of inanimate and animate matter. We have to include in a competition all alternatives with coefficients reflecting the numbers of their supporters and make a final choice randomly. The evolution has given its creatures — from quantum objects to people — random number generators. In their turn people are trying to endow computers with the ability to evolve by including in their programs trial-and-error methods and random number generators.

Using their random number generators hidden in their subconsciousnesses people search all alternatives including unlikely and dangerous. We sympathize such an irrationality bordering with foolhardiness. Let us remember fairy tales where the hero stands at a crossroad reading a signpost with such a text: "If you go right you will be rich, if you go straight you will marry a princess, if you go left you will be killed". The heroes go left!

"Case is a God of inventions" — Alexander Pushkin.

"Uncertainty is the very essence of romance" — Oscar Wilde.

Many faithful people think toss-up shows them God's will.

Lotteries, sweepstakes, roulette, etc. exist only thanks to the attraction of a "positive" case. Insurance companies exist only thanks to the fear from a "negative" accident.

Therefore the third axiom of "Democracy": If there are different suggestions the decision must be chosen using a random number generator and giving each person (or each representative) a chance. If the suggestions come from representatives e.g. in a parliament then each representative must represent the same number of people.

Let us consider a simple example. Suppose there is the year 3004, the era of Great Democracy and Great Ecology. All machines producing poisons are out of use. Ten strong men from Greenpeace have to transport a heavy log on their shoulders from village A to village B into a nature museum.

Between the villages A and B there is a marsh (ecologists do not drain off marshes, on the contrary, they like and cultivate marshes). The marsh can be sidestepped from right as well as from left. "Who prefers right?" — seven hands go up. Who prefers left?" — three hands go up. The men cannot saw up the log and have to find a decision. To choose "on majority" as in old ages is forbidden. How does it go on?

Each man takes a piece of paper, seven men write on their pieces "RIGHT", three men write "LEFT", respectively. After that all pieces are put into a hat and are mixed. A man pulls at random one piece from the hat and reads the answer, "RIGHT" or "LEFT". The first is most likely but the second is also possible. It is important that each man has the same chance as the others to realize his intention.

Such a practice on all levels, from sport clubs up to parliaments and the United Nations, preserves us not only from dictatorship of majority and stagnation but also from corruption and struggle for a 50 per cent plus 1 vote. At the random choice the small difference is inessential, 49 per cent and 51 per cent are equivalent to each other. Coalitions to have a domination fall off as useless. For example let us imagine a parliament including 100 representatives. 45 of them belong to party ALPHA, 35 belong to party BETA, and the rest of 20 belong to party GAMMA. Nowadays (old "Democracy") the parties BETA (35) and GAMMA (20) can come together in a coalition to have a majority (55) and stop all suggestions of party ALPHA. With the new rules such a coalition is meaningless: The suggestions of the party ALPHA would be accepted in 45 per cent of cases with or without joining of BETA with GAMMA.

Let us return to the third millennium. Even Europe — the inventor of today's Democracy (which, as it is explain above, is not a "governed by people") — is not ready for such new Democracy. This is true for other continents too. I do not wish to speculate there would happen if the new Democracy falls suddenly today on our immature heads. Perhaps there would be a terrible chaos followed by a terrible dictatorship. Therefore the transition to the new Democracy must be smooth with small reversible steps. It is useful to speak about new Democracy since now as a so-called "point Omega" to which we must evolve. This accelerates its coming.

But do we really need such a new Democracy? Let us write our opinions on pieces of paper, put them in a hat, and pull one at random.

Good luck!

© Raoul Nakhmanson 2004

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