One Person, One Vote, One Catch

May 6, 2009

One Person, One Vote, One Catch
with Ken Wilber

Here Ken discusses the dangers of “one person, one vote” approaches to democracy.  If we consider the fact that people grow through three major stages of development—ego-centric, ethno-centric, and world-centric—and then try to get a sense of where the majority of the people current exists, we find that nearly 70% of the world’s population remains at an ethno-centric stage or lower.  Democracy is inherently a world-centric system of governance, and “one person, one vote” an ideal way to enact the democratic process.  But if the majority of the voters have not themselves achieved a world-centric level of consciousness, it begins to fall apart pretty quickly, with effects as broad as Kansas banning the teaching of evolution to the democratic election of Hamas in Palestine—even the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (aka the Nazis) came into power through a plurality election in 1933.

Although one does not garner a tremendous amount of popularity criticizing the “one person, one vote” ethic, without a sophisticated understanding of how this system of governance actually plays itself out in the real world, and without finding some way to limit the influence of pre-rational beliefs and mob-rule, democracy can actually become the last best hope for fascism in the 21st century.

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