The answer stares us in the face every day.
Democracy 2.0 is the inevitable movement that will put control of society in the hands of itself. It’s not exactly a new system of government. It’s a mechanism to decentralize leadership (not government itself) in our current system, both legally and peacefully. It can however be used to change government to however the people being governed want.
We all realize that the current system is broken. Democracy 2.0 is the first practical (non-violent, legal, effective, fair) way to begin gradually improving it from the ground-up, as opposed to tearing down the existing system and putting a completely new system in it’s place. It fuses online direct democracy, the United States government’s own public voter registration databases, feedback for all legislation, crowd-sourced funding, and social media with the elected representative system we already have in place.
Direct democracy is an ancient decision making process wherein any member of the community who wishes to participate can propose legislation and every member can vote. Direct democracy wasn’t practical when it was invented in Athens millenia ago because communication was limited due to the laws of physics. Using a revolutionary technology the world is just now truly understanding, known as the internet, legislation is drafted and passed by means of a simple transparent digital direct democracy system referred to as the democracy 2.0 system. For more details as to how exactly this system works you can view the patent I’m working on here.
The ideas of the people are gathered using D-2.0, and the power of the people can be gathered directly using the crowdfunding tool on D-2.0, in order to impact society. If the kind of power that money can’t buy is necessary, the power of the people is gathered via voting for a D-2.0 representative, their ideas are directed by the results of D-2.0 election process, and the power is then channeled by the elected D-2.0 rep. I refer to this concept as democracy 2.0 injection. It involves the community electing representatives of D-2.0 to, initially, low level positions of government. This is no different than the current system, except this electorate representative makes his sole campaign promise to convert D-2.0 legislation to legislation recognizable by the US government. Then, as a community, believers in this system must do their best to get problems in their community fixed. This can involve anything from writing a request to the city to repair a road, to legislation to change traffic laws, to drug laws, to firing ineffective police, to laws concerning this very system; in short, anything a city council member, mayor, or president would be able to do. If no one steps up to the plate, the elected representative must be prepared to do his job in the traditional manner. After all, he is also a citizen in his community.
All citizens can use D-2.0 to propose legislation and vote on it, instead of just the person they elected to represent them. This is a more literal, more efficient version of the representative democracy we claim to already have in place. To be a “citizen” in D-2.0 one must tie their online account to their physical location and their registered voting identity so as to be held accountable and prevent fraud. When a decision is reached using D-2.0, the D-2.0 representative executes this legislation using the legislative powers granted to him by the power invested in him by the state.
Think of an D-2.0 representative as a willing puppet leader. Try to get past the connotations of that phrase “puppet leader.” In the past, despots or the CIA have installed puppet leaders to assert their decision-making ability over foreign countries. Hacking democracy takes that idea and replaces the CIA with the community. Anything society decides using D-2.0, goes. The D-2.0 representative isn’t a leader so much as a conduit for the decision-making power of society. Instead of adhering to the political party views he must keep his campaign promise to the D-2.0 electorate.
Another way to think about it is instead of the elected D-2.0 representative’s brain doing the decision-making, the community using the D-2.0 system does. The introduction of this new way of making decisions concerning the flow of societal funds and energy is immediate, yet viewed from higher levels of government, it appears as though a legally elected city leader is appealing to the people that voted for him. So long as we still have the power to elect our own leaders, D-2.0 will be able to rise up to the highest levels of government.
Should this system prove useful, all levels of government will eventually be infiltrated by D-2.0 representatives. Every city will have an online D-2.0 community, but also be a part of a state D-2.0 community, and finally a national D-2.0. This means that a citizen can simultaneously participate in the legislation process at every level of government that affects him or her. Societies should be able to organize themselves how they want. Different styles of society need to have the freedom and flexibility to experiment, and allow the human population as a whole find the best way to live.
Every system has ideological foundations. These are what I consider the ideological foundations of democracy 2.0:
1) No single human is a god with all the answers. This includes but is not limited to: Obama, Karl Marx, JFK, FDR, Churchill, Washington, and Ron Paul. Most humans have some good ideas, and a few even have many good ideas, but it’s ridiculous to revere political figures as infallible entities.
2) Morality is a social construct. There is no objective right and wrong. Most of what we consider to be “moral” (such as legislation criminalizing killing or raping) is actually only accepted as good not because of what it says in a magic book, but the fact that it benefits society as a whole to criminalize these actions. There are people who think drugs are good, abortion is bad, and all guns should be eliminated. Regardless of what you and your buddies think is right, there will always be others who disagree. You can’t just impose what you consider moral on others without those morals providing them with tangible benefits.
3) We can only determine if legislation is useful after it is executed. No one predicted that the Prohibition would create more problems than it solved. It has only recently been discovered that in societies where abortion is legalized, the crime rate drops dramatically a generation later. If certain legislation is not useful, then our government has the power to repeal or amend it. Furthermore, bad legislation is oftentimes passed with the best of intentions. Intentions don’t matter. Measurable impact on society does.
4) It is much more practical to gradually change laws little by little from the ground up, than to instigate a comprehensive system reboot from the top down. When coups, revolts, top-down seizures of power, or civil wars are the tools used to change a system, the new system always eventually has the same problem as the previous system. The people who recently seized power have to be concerned with maintaining their authority, and make every effort to suppress the potential power of others. The power over society that leaders possess eventually starts to “build up”, corrupting the decision making process. This is what is meant by absolute power corrupts absolutely. Keeping decision making fluid and decentralized prevents this hegemonic build-up.
5) There is no universal best way of living. Different governing styles (and lifestyles for that matter) work for different populations at different locations in space-time. Cultures are not homogeneous. Unlike the rest of the world, Jews, Muslims, and Americans think it’s okay to cut off parts of babies’ dicks. Some cultures find it acceptable to have no minimum drinking age. Some cultures find it acceptable to have an age of consent of 14. Some cultures think guns are necessary to a healthy society. Some cultures think treating criminals nicely reduces the amount of repeat offenders. Some cultures even think it’s okay to kill their own citizens without so much as a trial. All these different ways of living are equally valid. And when you’re born into one of these cultures without your consent, you should always have the ability to change it.
6) There’s no essential human nature, and you’ll never be able to force everyone to behave a certain way. Some political ideologies are based on the idea the system is broken and people are inherently good. Therefore, if everyone just behaved nicely and worked together, we could have a perfect society. This is an unreasonable demand on humanity. Right off the bat this way of thinking doesn’t account for the fact that at least 1% of the human population are sociopaths. Sociopathy is a neurological disorder. People don’t choose to be this way any more than homosexuals choose to be aroused by the same gender. There will always be some good humans, some bad ones, and everything in between. No one can control other people’s behavior; however, everyone should be able to exert some control over their environment.
Instead of politicians telling us “what the American people want” let’s just say what we want. Instead of complaining about problems, take action to solve them. And if you really don’t care, don’t participate.
Democracy 2.0 by Austin Capobianco is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B1sX0g6iXlIKaS1Dam9VN29vQnc/edit.