[OPE-L] the wisdom of crowds , was venezuelan referendum

From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK)
Date: Thu Dec 06 2007 - 08:10:53 EST

Gerry, have you read 'The Wisdom of Crowds' by Surowiecki?


Sent: 06 December 2007 12:47
Subject: Re: [OPE-L] Venezuela After the Referendum


Hi Paul C and Dogan:
A process where there is a random selection of administrators/leaders 
is a worthwhile goal.  But - especially in the early period in the
of post-capitalist societies, there may be advantages to forms of direct

democracy whereby administrators/leaders are selected on the basis of 
the program (and possibly other criteria, like experience) which they 
advance.  We should not be so naive, after all, to assume that all 
conflicts and self-interest  will cease with the emergence of
societies and in that context selecting leaders randomly is a bit like
playing Russian roulette.  
In solidarity, Jerry
2.       I think that the institution of the randomly selected assembly
combining legislation with executive function is the key here. So long
as you have a state structure based on an elected or appointed head of
state - the roman dictatorial or imperial model, the role of leadership
and command are combined. In a randomly selected popular assembly, the
working masses will   be in the majority ( except perhaps in a highly
parasitic rentier state).  As Aristotle says, the poor are always many
and the rich are few. This class character of the state then provides a
high probability that it will make decisions in the interests of the
masses, provided that leadership in the original Leninist sense of mass
education is there.


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