Thursday, October 06, 2016

Democracy? You know, the "lies, fearmongering and fables."

That's about the size of it.

Lies, fearmongering and fables: that’s our democracy, by George Monbiot (The Guardian)

People power can challenge the status quo, but only if we understand our political system has inherent flaws

... Democracy for Realists, published earlier this year by the social science professors Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels, argues that the “folk theory of democracy” – the idea that citizens make coherent and intelligible policy decisions, on which governments then act – bears no relationship to how it really works. Or could ever work ...

And this:

... In reality, the research summarised by Achen and Bartels suggests, most people possess almost no useful information about policies and their implications, have little desire to improve their state of knowledge, and have a deep aversion to political disagreement. We base our political decisions on who we are rather than what we think. In other words, we act politically – not as individual, rational beings but as members of social groups, expressing a social identity. We seek out the political parties that seem to correspond best to our culture, with little regard to whether their policies support our interests. We remain loyal to political parties long after they have ceased to serve us.

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