Representation Pyramid


Wiki > Chapter 2: Tyranny > Representation Pyramid

The best type of power ascends in a pyramid structure.

The best type of power ascends in a pyramid structure.

The best type of power ascends in a pyramid structure.

The basic building block of representative government is the vote, which has evolved over the years to allow for increasing public participation, inclusion and self-determination. But regardless of what we’re told, this doesn’t necessarily mean that representation, even through votes, is about equality. Yes, all votes are supposed to count equally, but in practice they simply cannot. Equality runs contrary to building power structures. In fact, there is no perfect way to organize a fully representative government, as each system is full of variables: One, two or ten parties? Proportional voting or winner-take-all? Large or small districts, and how to divide them? Frequency of elections? Ease of effecting government, once in place? Paper or electronic ballots? Absentee voting? Same-day registration?

To date, etymologists have defined over 320 different forms of government, from aristocracy to pedantocracy, arithmocracy to autocracy, timocracy to nomocracy[i], but one of the hardest definitions to pin down is democracy, which simply means ‘rule of the people’. About the only thing that all these systems have in common is that none of them are based on pure equality. The over-riding direction has been towards ensuring that as many people’s voices as possible are heard and that each vote counts as much as possible to direct power upwards from the people through layers of representatives. These series of representatives cause the system to take on a pyramid shape.

A pyramid structure does not rely on the pursuit of equality, an unattainable goal, but has the aim of establishing fair and stable inequality. A pyramid representational system builds a concentration of representatives in a variety of governmental bodies that carry out the legislative, executive and judicial functions. Pyramid structures of representation enable the people to elect leaders who can properly serve them and adjust government to suit their needs.

[i] Wikipedia – Forms of government. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_of_government

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