The Power Dynamics of a Democracy with a Case Study of Current American Democracy


The beauty of democracy is that it is the socialization of power. Every participant in a healthy democracy gets one unit of power in their vote. Any outside entity who gets more than one unit, be it the church, George Washington’s best friend, or General Motors consequently diminishes the effectiveness of everyone else’s unit of power. This can be expressed mathematically as:

P^{_{net}} = \sum_{1}^{pop.} p^{_{n}}


p^{_{1}} = p^{_{2}} = p^{_{3}} = ... = p^{_{Pop.}} 

then P^{_{net}} = pop. \cdot p^{_{n}}


p^{_{n}} = \frac{P^{_{net}}}{pop.}

If p^{_{GM}} > p^{_{n}}


p^{_{n}} = \frac{P^{_{net}} - p^{_{GM}}}{pop.}

The question I have and I think others have is how do you reverse the current state of affairs since everyone’s unit of power in American democracy is obviously not equivalent? I think most people would agree with me when I say that George Soros and the Koch brothers have more political power than the average citizen. There was recently a study done [1] that supports this but most Americans I think have enough anecdotal evidence. They see the huge leaps in wealth disparity [2] that in my opinion was brought about by government policy and a dysfunctional federal government that seemingly only works for companies and correspondingly wealthy individuals. The study that asserts the United States had turned into an oligarchy to a certain extent supports this argument. People recognize this isn’t sustainable and the prosperity of America is in jeopardy from within.

To remedy this, we seem to be trying as a society to appeal to the moral compass of the individuals whose units of power are larger but that seems to be having little effect. For example, we pressure individuals to give their money to charity and companies to have a moral guiding philosophy, among other things. We are finally now trying to throw facts and figures in that direction. Some of the first studies on the new gilded age are coming to light, but the effectiveness of even this argumentative avenue are up for debate as we haven’t had time to judge their impact.

I personally wanted to conduct a study to try and see if a healthy middle class actually trickled up and made the wealthy even wealthier than they otherwise are and use that argument as I’m more confident it would work because it gives the wealthy exactly what they, and more generally all of us, are driven to pursue – more wealth.  However there seemed to be a lack of data in this end to conduct a fairly iron-clad study.

The only other argument I could think of is to warn through the lessons of history: in most other instances like this where there is a disproportionate balance of power driven by huge wealth disparities, those at the top were proportionally those in the greatest danger when inevitably, social disruption occurred; they were the ones that got killed.

So my question stands, what to do next?  What avenue should we as a society take to ensure our experiment in our Democratic Republic survives another 200 years?  The path we are on is absolutely not sustainable and will eventually lead to social collapse.  Historically, wealth disparity of this magnitude has never ended peacefully or without large reforms to society. Can we change it before it’s too late?

One thought on “The Power Dynamics of a Democracy with a Case Study of Current American Democracy

  1. Pingback: The New Church – quantumanalog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s