by Brandon Smith
The question of whether or not “democracy” works is always being studied, by proponents of freedom as well as by proponents of authoritarianism. The founding fathers of the sovereign American experiment were far more intelligent than some critics today give them credit for – they knew full well that democracy does NOT work, not without some rules which make certain rights inalienable. This is why they modeled the original American system as a Republic, not a democracy.
Today, there are many people (primarily in academia) that seem to think they are gifted with more insight into our political and social systems than the founders of old, and are constantly trying to sell a myriad of concepts for improving our existing structure. Some of these people are well meaning, and some of them are not, but their ideas for “fixing” the problems of our political and social systems almost universally ignore or overlook the root causes of those problems. They try to cure the symptoms rather than the disease.
It should also be noted that many academics live much of their lives separate from the real world, and so their views on what ails society and how it should be fixed are rather naive, or at least highly biased. Many behave as though they sit somewhere on the autistic scale; others have made a career out of going to school for far too long and have no interest in learning to survive in the private sector.
My point is, these are not the kinds of people that are going to solve the world’s malfunctions – they can’t even solve their own malfunctions. In fact, they are often the kinds of people that make the world worse. Unfortunately, in the universe of academia there is a propensity for arrogance, elitism, and also rampant exploitation by powerful groups seeking to turn academics to the dark side.
Keep all of this in mind as we explore this next issue, because I believe it comes into play in a very insidious manner…
Voting As A Game
Americans are indelibly passionate about the voting process, even those who don’t often vote. We like to have the option to vote, even when we see the system as broken or corrupt. The one-person-one-vote dynamic is seen as sacred, though it does have some failings.
For example, votes are often manipulated according to regions of influence and peer pressure. Metropolitan areas with large populations reliant on welfare initiatives and socialist policies are predictably leftist, and vote majority Democrat. Rural areas where populations are spread more thin tend to be more self reliant, individualistic and traditional, so they vote on the conservative side of the spectrum. The problem is that leftist regions tend to have greater populations, meaning the left has greater influence through collectivist peer pressure over a greater number of voters.
The founders sought to solve the problem of regional manipulation in Presidential elections through the Electoral College, which assigned “points” (electoral college votes) to each state according to population levels. This turned voting for presidents into a kind of game, whereby candidates could use strategy to campaign in certain states to effectively secure more points than their opponents. It removed the dominance of major population centers as a factor and made it possible for rural voters to gain an upper hand over metropolitan voters.
In other words, the Electoral College makes the issue of “majority rule” obsolete when choosing a president. When this works in one side’s favor, they love the electoral college and will defend it proudly. When it doesn’t work in their favor, they usually want to abolish the Electoral College completely. This is when suggestions of “news systems” tend to arise.
Regardless of who they end up benefiting, current voting structures are rather brilliantly devised as long as the political system is operating free from corrupt influences. Of course, as many of us in the liberty movement are well aware, there is very little in politics that is untouched by evil intent.
When it comes to voting for political candidates, the system can and is controlled in a multitude of ways. For example, elitist groups can use their vast financial resources to support the candidates they prefer, thereby giving them an overt advantage. By controlling party primaries they can dictate who becomes the primary candidate and who gets snubbed (as we saw with candidates like Ron Paul or more recently Bernie Sanders). No candidate gets through the primaries unless the party leaders allow them to get through the primaries, and these leaders will break their own stated rules in order to ensure their preferred candidate wins.
They can also buy candidates on both sides of the aisle (sometimes far in advance of their candidacy, as with both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump), thus ensuring that no matter who wins the most votes, the elites will have one of their puppets in office. In the liberty movement we refer to this as the “false left/right paradigm”.
In my view, the illusion that there is a choice in voting is more dangerous than living in a society where you are told you have no right to vote. At least in the latter situation you are not participating in your own enslavement.
The illusion of choice is a powerful weapon for the elitist class; it gives the populace false hope and a false sense that they have a say in their own futures. The theater of participation tricks the populace into sitting idle and not taking any real actions that could actually change things for the better; as long as they vote, they feel they have fulfilled their duty as citizens. When they vote, they put their fate in the hands of a political figure, instead of taking control of their own lives. This is why it is likely that even in the event that the elites gain the complete totalitarian centralization they ultimately want, they will still allow voting to continue in one form or another, as long as they are certain they can control the outcome.
The question is, how do they plan to do this? For a presidential election in which there are usually only two candidates given mainstream coverage and party resources, control is much easier. But, what about in the legislative process? Or voting at the local and state level? It’s very difficult to control every participant within the system – people with conscience might slip through the cracks and wreak havoc, or sovereignty movements might gain the upper hand over time. Current methods of manipulating the process are rather crude, and are becoming more evident to more and more people…
Enter “Quadratic Voting”…
Quadratic Voting is the creation of a former professor from the University of Chicago and a current senior researcher at Microsoft Research in New York by the name of Glen Weyl. Weyl is yet another “rising star” in elitist academic circles being increasingly promoted within the mainstream. He is a person they will probably one day be describing as a “genius of our time” in the next 5-10 years, which is a dubious distinction these day given that the mainstream also props up painful fakes like Elon Musk and Neil deGrasse Tyson as “geniuses”.
Weyl’s public exposure began after co-writing a book entitled ‘Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism And Democracy For A Just Society’; a treatise which desperately tries to present itself as almost “libertarian” and championing free markets, while at the same time declaring private property a “monopolistic” injustice (private property being a key pillar of free markets) that should be dissolved into a communistic public commons. The book also contains Weyl’s explanation of Quadratic Voting and why he believes the system of one-person-one-vote must be changed.
This co-option of the libertarian free market image for elitist means reminds me of Cass Sunstein’s “Libertarian Paternalism” which he discusses in his book ‘Nudge’; a book about controlling populations through subversive propaganda methods planted by paid agents in social media and other web venues. Sunstein promotes control through a “hidden hand”; letting the public THINK they are developing their own views and opinions while governments secretly “nudge” them towards the thinking the elites prefer.
These people are clearly globalists that have no respect for the tenets of Libertarianism or sovereignty movements, yet they feel the need to ascribe libertarian values to their globalist projects. This is never explained, but it is perhaps an attempt to undermine the conservative groups that oppose them. A favorite strategy of globalists is to co-opt the ideas and groups that they hate and then sabotage their image over time.
Weyl’s quadratic voting system is also built on the same notion of a “hidden hand”. Bloomberg’s expose on the method even describes it as such, while applauding quadratic voting as a means to prevent “zealotry” among voters.
Weyl is also a proponent of universal basic income, and is a partner with a group called Democracy Earth, which claims to be pursuing “decentralization” while focusing on the erasure of national borders and the “globalization of democratic governance” (the exact opposite of decentralization). Democracy Earth has a rather impressive list of mainstream partners on its website, including The Atlantic, the BBC and the World Economic Forum.
Now that we are privy to the types of groups supporting the quadratic voting idea, it becomes easier to understand the goal behind it.
Quadratic voting is essentially a way to transform the voting process into a game, even more so than it already is. In a recent experiment by the Democrat controlled caucus of the Colorado House of Representatives, Dem. legislators were each assigned 100 voting “tokens”. One token can be used to buy one vote on one issue or one piece of legislation, but two votes can be cast on a single piece of legislation for a cost of four tokens, and ten votes for 100 tokens. Once a legislator runs out of tokens, they run out of votes.
It’s a novel idea, if not rather complex and impractical for making any real progress in politics or government because it fails to address the core problem, which is internal and rampant corruption of the system itself. In fact, quadratic voting could conceivably make it easier to manipulate the voting system by allowing elites to rig the game in favor of a particular outcome at a level we have never seen before.
The quadratic formula is used in the real world as a means to predict certain outcomes within certain systems in which constants are applied. For example, you could use the quadratic formula to predict where an artillery shell or missile was going to land by calculating its arc or parabola. As long as the force of gravity is a constant and the missile travels at the intended velocity and in the intended direction, you can determine exactly where it will hit in the future.
The quadratic formula can also be applied to certain games of contest in order to predetermine a winner. For example, the Japanese game of Go has a system for “handicapping” more advanced players when they are in a tournament against newer or weaker players. The handicap is partially based on quadratics, and allows the weaker player advantages against his more experienced opponent that include starting out with extra moves and pieces. It is noted often by Go players that a handicap can allow a weaker player to win consistently against a stronger player as long as the stronger player makes a minimum number of mistakes.
Now consider quadratic voting for a moment, and how it turns voting into a game. First, it assigns tokens or value to votes; Weyl even muses that these voting tokens could create a vote economy in which votes are bought and sold like a commodity…though he believes enforcing a universal basic income would solve the problem of the rich buying up all the votes. Well, thank goodness for that….
Second, as in the game of Go, a party with a majority in a legislature or forum would have an immediate advantage over the other party, but they could be easily handicapped. How? The elites would merely need to control a few of those legislators (instead of trying to control a majority of them). As in Go, a few minor and deliberately made mistakes by these legislators in how they spend their vote tokens for the stronger party could cripple the ability of their party to successfully defeat an opponent on a new bill or law. By throwing the game, these few puppet legislators could allow the elites to predict the outcome of a vote every single time in such a subtle and nuanced way that the public might never realize what is happening.
There is even a contingent of Go mathematicians that are developing algorithms that they believe can use quadratics to predict the outcome of a handicapped Go game every time. Quadratic methods have also famously been used by mathematicians to cheat at casino blackjack and make likely card draws more predictable. I suspect this is something that would also be done in quadratic voting; if something can be predicted, then it can be controlled.
In other words, under quadratic voting a vast political and legislative machine could be maneuvered with minimal effort and minimal resources.
It should come as no surprise then that the concept of quadratic voting is also being pushed into mainstream consciousness slowly but surely by the globalist controlled press. Vox suggested that the method should be applied to the Supreme Court in situations where the “rights of a group” should be given more weight than the rights of individuals. Bloomberg declared it a “success” as it was applied in Colorado, and gushes over the fact that under the new voting dynamic legislation to solve the Gender Pay Gap received the most tokens.
Considering that the gender pay gap doesn’t exist when one looks at the real math and statistics behind the issue, and considering the fact that the new method was not tested in a system where two sides are actually ideologically opposed to each other, I hardly see how quadratic voting was successful in anything other than creating a more absurdly complex political echo chamber. That said, I can see exactly why globalists are latching onto Weyl’s idea and why Bloomberg is so quick to sing its praises.
The entire system benefits the powers-that-be by creating a complex illusion that convinces the masses that voting is now incorruptible because legislators are psychologically compelled by cost vs. “zealotry”, or the strategy of the competition. But, as noted, by controlling a minority of legislators on either side of the game, the elites can dictate or predict the entire outcome of each vote using tiny and imperceptible “mistakes” to rig the contest. How this would translate to popular voting is not exactly clear, but it certainly changes the face of legislation forever.
In a world where electronic voting is the norm, what level of manipulation could be achieved to an election outcome using quadratic voting and nearly imperceptible rigging of a select and small number of machines in each region…? The con would be untraceable.
Yes, in many ways voting today is already rigged, but not to such a refined degree as this. Quadratic voting is another futurist concept that is intended to assure the public that the problems of our system are being solved through peripheral changes and technological progress while failing to address the age old demons of elitism and globalism that are the true source of our misery.