Aldo Matteucci   27 Aug 2012   Looking Sideways

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My brother recently asked me whether I thought a more rational democratic process could ever eventuate. I harummed a few times, preened my logical feathers, and waffled from social, political, and economic theory. My answer was skeptical – and less than convincing.

Then I watched the trailer of a documentary from China a friend had just forwarded to me. I must share it. It shows how, in a democratic set-up, elections to class leader among 6-7 year olds evolves (before the school teacher autocratically decided).

Of course this is all “construed” – the expressions and the words, to make the story. It is so well done that the decumentary good a swath of prizes though.

Yet I just love the budding personalities, the innocence, the wiliness bordering on the devious, the forcefulness and the bullying, and the cleverness of the arguments. I love the facial expressions, the smiles – and the tears.

This is the splendid unpredictability of being social animals; and this is what will always fascinate me – yet leave me skeptical that something as ponderous as “reason” will ever have the upper hand.

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