How smart is a democracy? It averages the preferences of its citizens, so perhaps it is about as smart as an average citizen. Or smartness may not even be meaningful, a democracy need not be even approximately rational in the way a person is.
Anyway, the next thing they do is send you to school for a decade or so. Similar effect to male genital mutilation. Makes you a good and productive citizen.
Oh, I did it again. Sorry, the next thing we do is send you to school. Because: would an average citizen have the confidence to radically change the system?
And then the next thing we do is take ourselves hostages to the system. Does the average citizen understand the economic system? I certainly don't, fully. But if I had a loan on a house, I would certainly understand how interest rates affect me. Who do low interest rates help the most? And why is it that we tax income but not wealth?
At least this helps the rich. Meanwhile, we demand that our children be allowed to participate in schooling for longer and longer, regardless of their ability. Because having skills slightly better than the next person is what you need in order to even maintain your status. This helps absolutely no one, it's the pure irrationality of a falling crowd fighting against gravity by climbing on each other's shoulders.
Seeing inequality, is it better to take from the rich, or give what you have to those poorer than you? Never mind aid, how about we give them guns and they can take what they need. But mostly we just try to hold on to what we have. Imagine there's no countries. It's a terrifying concept. Because you are a hostage.
Uneasy practical upshot. To a good system, I will get down on my knees and swear fealty, but until that day:
- Unlike socialists, I consider rent seeking a lesser evil to hostage taking, and paying rent a lesser evil than fully throwing in my lot with the system.
- Better to be a mercenary to a bad system than a sworn-in soldier, if one must be either.