The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. — Winston Churchill
Hopefully even in the present United States education system, by middle school, students learn the old school lesson that the United States though called a democracy is not and was never intended to be a democracy — unless perhaps if by “democracy” one means its old school classical definition that includes a republic such as the Spartan and Roman Republics. What it was intended to be are open questions. The best description of the present reality of United States political culture and of its foreseeable future in Technological Society is to call it a “capitalist anarchy”. In United States Technological Society, the political culture consists of two systems: 1) the economic and technological system operated by CEOs, CFOs, other corporate officers, corporate boards, investment bankers, and their politicians, lawyers, propagandists, bankers, and academics using plantations of wage slaves through quantitative methods to generate monetary material power and then 2) there are a bunch of politicians and their technocrats, lawyers, propagandists, and academics that are jealous of the capitalist powers but too mathematically incompetent to join them so they achieve power by acting as overseers keeping peace between the capitalists and their wage slaves. This is analogous to Orwell’s distinction between the Inner and Outer Party and on a more practical level exemplifies Putt’s Law and Putt’s Corollary in action in Technological Society creating a distinction between technicians and the Powers and technocrats that rule them. The holistic whole of this capitalist anarchy is supposed to result in achieving the actual technical work of human physical survival while allowing for the qualitative human freedom to seek meaning in life. At present the politicians are in denial as to their purpose in Technological Society and are in anarchy with almost none of them having a clue as to what they are doing or supposed to be doing; they know only that they need to stay in power regardless of what they do with that power and thus are full-time running around trying to win elections from voters who have even less of a clue as to what they or the politicians are supposed to be doing or of the substantive results of their votes. However, eventually, this anarchy among the politicians will smooth itself out and the two branches of the Party will learn to work together openly and explicitly — which is not good. An anarchic struggle that causes some difficulty for the Powers is better than no difficulty at all. How would my veils of ignorance work on trying to deal with this present political culture of capitalist anarchy in the United States “democracy”?
The nihilist has no reason to fear capitalism or anarchy. Their only fear or more accurately the only political hate of a nihilist toward capitalist anarchy would be a situation of no struggle between the capitalist and the political anarchy of present capitalist anarchy because the lack of struggle would negate the only check stopping absolute power for the Powers. Nihilism knows that struggle is life. As I have written many times, there are plenty of concepts and techniques by which knowledgeable politicians can deal with capitalism so as to achieve a viable society that maximizes both material prosperity and individual freedom with capitalism or with any such technocratic system struggling to achieve quantitative power over reality. Examples of such concepts and techniques with some hidden in humor are: The Peter Principle, Parkinson’s Law; Negative Selection in Politics; The Dunning-Kruger Effect; and even the humorous concepts of systems engineering written in books such as The Systems Bible by John Gall. The problem of viability occurs when systems of social power are not in struggle with other equally powerful systems of power thus allowing for the Party’s ultimate secular religion of the law to become our god having a monopoly on violence to achieve power as an end in itself. Anarchy by its anarchic nature acts as a check upon the Powers of capitalism in a capitalist anarchy and thus acts as a means to maintain struggle among the Powers and this in turn allows us to struggle with them. However, this anarchy will disappear as every normative system in Western Civilization either religious (including Christianity) or secular has surrendered itself to the secular religion that is the law and its Powers. We the workers need either anarchy on both sides of our capitalist anarchy — both capitalist and political — or both sides need to have a rational acknowledgment of their purpose to oppose and struggle with the other so as to allow our class struggle to continue with the Powers.
Because of the nature of capitalism, achieving anarchy on both aspects of our capitalist anarchy is not possible conceptually or practically. The Powers of capitalism do not seek normative evaluation or perspective goals as their primary means for power — these come later as a means to keep power. Their primary goals are quantitative: material wealth and power. They work together using orderly and quantitative techniques to achieve this wealth and power. Any flaws in their techniques do not lead to anarchy but the exact opposite: hierarchical rigidity. At this point, thanks supposedly to competition in a free market, competitors that are less rigid and hierarchical and more creative will take over the market and the cycle continues. Regardless of how practically true this conceptualization of capitalism may be, my point is that even if it is entirely wrong, the end result is not anarchy but a technocracy wasting capital on recycling stagnant projects for the benefit of a few corporations, trusts, or whatever legal entities come to legally dominant the worshiped “market”; if the so-called market does not give power to new competitors, the old remain permanent and we get not anarchy but tyranny.
Our only nihilist option for protecting individual freedom and class struggle in our present capitalist anarchy form of democracy is to try to get the political aspect of our capitalist anarchy out of anarchy and into becoming a formidable equal force and check upon the capitalist aspect in order to avoid their coming together eventually to create a world in their image eliminating class struggle. How would my two veils of ignorance original position technique work on this problem?
My proposed veils of ignorance as an original position for making normative decisions in a capitalist anarchy become an issue on various levels but none of them lead to anarchy in the capitalist aspect of capitalist anarchy. One can argue that present United States capitalism is a dishonest form of capitalism because it is controlled by too many large corporations distorting and controlling market forces. That may be true but, again, regardless, capitalist theory at least acknowledges the soundness and validity of my proposed veils of ignorance as a technique; that is, capitalist theory wants struggle in the form of competition and opposes restricting and distorting struggle for the benefit of a few to create a world in their image as an end in itself. The goal of capitalist theory is descriptive and quantitative: to make money by controlling reality. Thus, from my original position of ignorance, I can choose the options that make the most money and act upon them as a means to control reality for my individual life. It does not matter to the capitalist portion of my our capitalist anarchy nor to the capitalist me whether it or I are making money off of democracy, tyranny, anarchy, or whatever — unless there is evidence one has more economic opportunity for making money from one than the other, they are all equal options.
Such is not true of the political anarchy side of our capitalist anarchy. The goals and political choices marketed in our capitalist anarchy are normative not descriptive nor even quantitative: to foster and spread democracy and equality of opportunity for all — whatever that means. However, the reality of these human constructs and of the Heart of Darkness within all of us that controls these choices is that the real goal is to seek power for ourselves and for the Powers to seek power for themselves. Increasing power for those who seek power to foster and spread democracy in a capitalist anarchy will eventually always reduce and negate the fostering and spreading of democracy. Here, my proposed veil of ignorance would require we act counter to democratic beliefs. It is only by believing in what will achieve democratic power and then by taking the opposite action can we control the Powers that seek and have power even in a democracy solely as an end-in-itself endangering my individual meaning and power for life.
Thus, because at present the Powers advocate and we believe in our capitalist anarchy that in a democracy all voters ought to be equal; all ought to have universal suffrage; and all politicians ought to be elected by majority vote; then we ought to act to achieve the opposite. The opposite acts would be to have required qualifications for both voters and politicians (i.e., education or military service requirements); limit voting to certain classes of voters voting for certain classes of politicians ( i.e., Congress should have a certain number of physicists but only physicists can vote for them); and to have politicians elected based upon diverse voting methods varying from random picks to specifically required qualified politicians ( i.e., science degrees or other specific degrees as needed for the problems of the times at issue.)
The details need to be worked out. The bottomline is that the capitalist anarchy form of democracy we now have in which the only struggle in political culture is between an anarchy of clueless politicians whose only skill is getting elected and a disciplined culture of capitalists is destined to failure and will lead to no struggle and thus tyranny that will then eliminate class struggle. Based on an original position of two veils of ignorance, in order to save democracy, we must be non-democratic at some times. Eventually, the situation will reverse requiring us to go the opposite way. (A possible option is to consider adopting the old school concept of a jubilee year; every 50 years, all laws are abrogated and must be renewed or adopted again.) Nihilists must and can never be static if nihilism is to give meaning to life, it will always be a dynamic struggle.