[EM] Sorokin on liberty compared to keep values

Richard Lung voting at ukscientists.com
Thu Jan 26 10:45:17 PST 2023

On 26/01/2023 17:21, Richard Lung wrote:
> Sorokin on liberty compared to keep values
> The masterpiece of the worlds most cited sociologist, Pitirim Sorokin, 
> Social and Cultural Dynamics views the span of recorded history as a 
> sacred and secular cultural cycle, he calls ideational and sensate. A 
> transitional period he calls idealistic. I refer to his 1941 
> popularisation, The Crisis Of Our Age.
> Thus, Sorokin, on liberty, distinguishes sensate liberty and 
> ideational liberty. Both are described according to a simple ratio: 
> Sum of means divided by sum of wishes. If ones wishes do not exceed 
> ones means, this defines personal freedom. Consequently, a ratio of 
> one wish for one means defines liberty, at a threshold of unity.
> This liberty ratio compares to the ratio: one person one vote, which 
> is usually regarded as an equality principle. From the Sorokin 
> perspective, however, this universal suffrage is also a liberty 
> principle. The literal meaning, of the word, vote, is a wish. And what 
> Sorokin calls the means are the fulfilment of the wish in a count.
> Sensate liberty seeks to maximise the fulfilment of ones wishes by 
> maximising ones means. As long as the wishes do not out-number the 
> means, a person may still be considered free.According to Sorokin, 
> ideational liberty follows the opposite course of pursuing freedom. 
> Instead, it seeks to minimise ones wishes, so that one is free, with 
> few means.
> I would argue that representative democracy belongs to the compromise 
> idealistic culture, because representation is a compromise between 
> egoism and altruism. The sensate culture is egoist because it seeks 
> personal sensory enjoyment. The ideational culture is altruist for 
> godlike impartiality. Representation involves the sacrifice of 
> self-representation, by many voters, in order to be represented by 
> another.
> This transfered liberty of the representative may be given by another 
> simple ratio, the keep value, which is the quota (or elective 
> proportion of the total vote) divided by the sum of a candidates 
> votes. If the ratio is unity, the representative is just elected, 
> freely by the voters, to freely represent them.
> The keep value may be considered a transfered version of the Sorokin 
> liberty ratio, or a transfered liberty ratio.
> Representative democracy is an example of what Sorokin calls a culture 
> of contractual relations. Western statesmen sometimes uphold it, as 
> the rules-based order, in contrast to the rule of force.
> However, Sorokin thought that the contractual culture was no longer 
> viable, and would pretty well have to be rebuilt on a new more 
> ideational basis. It had achieved much, as the voluntary agreements of 
> a free people. But there was generally a bias, in those contracts, 
> such that they were not entirely free, in practise. And this has 
> gradually built up a resistance to their acceptance, till a 
> contractual culture is simply not enough. The reluctance of 
> non-Western society to align with Western foreign policy, because of 
> perceived hypocrisy, is only one of innumerable examples thru-out 
> society. Politics and economics, in general, were viewed by Sorokin, 
> as a rivalry between state bureaucracy and corporate bureaucracy, 
> over-riding personal freedom.
> A case in point is the world anarchy of election systems. 
> Anachronistic and dysfunctional voting methods, kept-on by safe-seat 
> politicians, the epitome of the sensate culture, give way to 
> demonstrations, strikes, riots and repression.
>  Regards,
> Richard Lung.
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