revolution around the corner

Dutch map of Europe early 19th century

Has our perspective changed since the 19th century? 


Sometimes I wonder at the lack of ambition we can see in the world of politics nowadays.

We have technocrats, we have people who write these long-long terms of agreement which (in the end) very few people read, and then some lawyers quibble about the details and the definitions.

I can accept this as an intrinsic part of the modern world, but the problem is that we are essentially (even in the developed countries, even in the societies we would call democratic) still polities in which

representatives (=certain people) are chosen as leaders for set periods of time and then,

  • if we don’t agree with the policies these certain people enact,
  • we can vote them out and choose others.

We have democracies, we have the power of the people, we have the power to kick out somebody and to put in somebody else, but

only on very big issues we have the so-called referendums in which everybody actually votes on a policy and usually that’s when we are only given a choice between Yes and No.

Why is this?

Politicians, right now, are conscious of the huge change just ahead (just look at the unseemly rush to Tweeter), probably more so than the people who will have the power and will be called upon to live with this change.

This change rests with the technology.

If you can have crowd-funding for an idea that makes sense from a business point of view, why can’t we have a similar system for ideas (=policies) which make sense from a political point of view?

In other words, keep the representatives, keep them there to deliberate, to discuss the proposals, the policies and (perhaps) the wording, but also allow everyone to vote on each policy if they so choose.

Right now we vote every four years on some guy whom you think you know because the commercial (the 30 seconds clip) said that

  • he’s a man with family values
  • he’s a man with faith
  • somebody who has a lot of knowledge about these complex matters.

Okay, let’s keep this system in parallel, but

let’s add a system whereby we can vote on the WHAT as well, and not just on the WHO.

If this becomes possible, then we may be able to get out of the woods (of anomie), as long as these votes are binding, as long as these proposals winning the approval of the voters actually get enacted in legislation. It can be done.

People say we cannot have a democracy the way they had in Athens, where a few men (several hundred) gathered in a hall and everybody shouted, argued, raised their hands, talked and decided on various laws.

We can’t have a gathering where you have 100,000 people in the same place arguing.

Yes, that is not possible.

It is not possible in the physical space, but it has become possible in the virtual space (and it has been possible for the last 10-15 years).

Why is there no IT project to organize this?

Why is there no IT project to make it feasible to have a parliament of the people?

Because it’s much more in the interests of these so-called representatives to keep the current system, although nobody can stand this tide of change coming over us.

Should we be afraid of what the crowds will choose?

Should we be afraid of what they call mobocracy (=rule by the mob)?

I don’t think we need to, not as long as we can educate our citizens. Educate yourself and educate your children and we can all be citizens participating in the shaping of our city, country, community…

Why do we see little change when, say, 60% of the people polled answer that

  • gay marriage should become legal?
  • it should be possible for a woman to choose between having a child and not having a child?
  • actions should be taken to mitigate global warming?

Various pieces of legislation have taken decades to be put into law, long after nearly everybody agreed that it is rational, wise, desirable, preferable, or even just plain common sense to do so.

What are we waiting for?


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