Can Logic Rescue Democracy?

Al Gore seems to think so.

Why has America’s public discourse become less focused and clear, less reasoned? Faith in the power of reason—the belief that free citizens can govern themselves wisely and fairly by resorting to logical debate on the basis of the best evidence available, instead of raw power—remains the central premise of American democracy. This premise is now under assault. (Source)

And why has America drifted from logic and reason? Because of soma in the form of television.

Watching TV, even when the shows are funny and provocative (like Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Keith Olberman), is a passive act. You don’t think when you’re watching TV. And if you’re not thinking, you’re not much use to anyone.

As a counterpoint to Al Gore, consider Noam Chomsky, who holds the view that we live in a polyarchy, and not a democracy.

In the light of the state of the world today, I have been wondering how can one increase intelligence in the world.


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