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Systems, Individuals, and Decision Making
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Sebastian Holsclaw has an interesting post on democracy and whether or not it should ever be subverted (e.g., through voter intimidation, etc.):

I have a tendency to respect free markets (I'm not religious about it, but I think free markets provide a good default value which should be strongly disturbed only in extreme cases) and democracy for the same reasons. Both systems aggregate knowledge which could not be held in the mind of any one person or small group of people. In that respect, the systems are smarter than the individuals who are a part of them. The systems sort through more information than any one person could possibly deal with. They don't do so perfectly, but individual decision-makers don't sort through information given to them perfectly either. The intrinsic value of the system is that it systemically accumulates and processes information on a scale that would be impossible for individuals. To say that you should subvert the system when you think it is giving the wrong answer is to fail to understand the virtue of having the system in the first place.

Good stuff. And I think it's relevant to the whole discussion of vigilantism as well. Sebastian suggests that if there's an intrinsic problem with the system, you should try to work within its framework to help it self-correct.

But what do you do if the system is inherently flawed? Or if as an individual you know that the collective decision-making process has failed?

For example, would it be moral to smuggle books into a country for women that were forbidden from reading? Would it be moral to take break out of a prison if you knew you were innocent, and that everyone in the case had been bribed?

I certainly think the answer to such questions is yes, and that slavish adherence to a system, even an extremely good one, is probably not completely sound.

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