Day 82: Obedience is not democratic

Scientist David Deutsch, from "Why It's Good to Be Wrong," Nautilus, Issue No. 2:

Our systems of checks and balances are steeped in traditions—such as freedom of speech and of the press, elections, and parliamentary procedures, the values behind concepts of contract and of tort—that survive not because they are deferred to but precisely because they are not: They themselves are continually criticized, and either survive criticism (which allows them to be adopted without deference) or are improved (for example, when the franchise is extended, or slavery abolished). Democracy, in this conception, is not a system for enforcing obedience to the authority of the majority. In the bigger picture, it is a mechanism for promoting the creation of consent, by creating objectively better ideas, by eliminating errors from existing ones.

Deutsch's essay is subtitled, "Nothing obstructs access to the truth like a believe in absolute truthfulness." Amen.