Billy Beck writes at his blog :
“The Cold War” is not “over”, socialism is not “dead”, and the Democrats will be an unprecedented disaster.
Beck implies that the Democrats will bring some sort of special evil to the table if they get elected. The problem with that idea is that this election, like all before it, will be an “unprecedented disaster” simply because whoever wins will have more power and a more-cowed populance than any of their predecessors, and they will in turn use those things to create more of the same. A majoritarian democratic government is controlled by positive feedback:
In every feedback loop, as the name suggests, information about the result of a transformation or an action is sent back to the input of the system in the form of input data. If these new data facilitate and accelerate the transformation in the same direction as the preceding results, they are positive feedback – their effects are cumulative. If the new data produce a result in the opposite direction to previous results, they are negative feedback – their effects stabilize the system. In the first case there is exponential growth or decline; in the second there is maintenance of the equilibrium.
Positive feedback leads to divergent behavior: indefinite expansion or explosion (a running away toward infinity) or total blocking of activities (a running away toward zero). Each plus involves another plus; there is a snowball effect. The examples are numerous: chain reaction, population explosion, industrial expansion, capital invested at compound interest, inflation, proliferation of cancer cells. However, when minus leads to another minus, events come to a standstill. Typical examples are bankruptcy and economic depression.
In either case a positive feedback loop left to itself can lead only to the destruction of the system, through explosion or through the blocking of all its functions. The wild behavior of positive loops – a veritable death wish – must be controlled by negative loops. This control is essential for a system to maintain itself in the course of time.
More government interference in individuals’ lives leads to more clamoring for interference which leads to more elections won by those who promise government interference which leads to more interference. Repeat enough times, and soon enough, everyone is either a jailer, or in jail.
And we are heading just there. Beck’s implicit claim that the Democrats will be worse is like arguing over which brand of gasoline will make the fire worse – you might be right, but it doesn’t matter in the context. The fire’s going to be plenty bad enough no matter which one gets poured on it.
The problem with pouring gasoline on a fire isn’t making sure that you choose the one with an anti-knock additive, and the problem with this election isn’t the Democrats. The problem with this election is democracy.