Democracy 2.0

A simple, legal way to put power in the hands of the people.

Why art alone is not enough to fix the broken system

As always here’s three examples:
Occupy Poetry
A particularly poorly written piece on why society is bad, man.
OWS Graffiti

This is the kind of bullshit that makes your movement lose credibility. Art (or whatever this is) does not appeal to many people. Check out this quote from this Army of Artist’s facebook page:

“Occupy Wallstreet” didn’t work, but AOA can!!! AOA is an “Army of Artists” working to bring the next Renaissance, which our world is in desperate need for. What past revolutions/calls for movement in the past have lacked is the true empowerment of each individual. Everyone who has lived and can express those experiences is an artist. Our very nature is creative. This is the true liberation, and we live in a society that is currently dominated by consumption, materialism and superficiality. We must begin to create again and to love.

Not only are there no real ideas here, the Army of Artists is claiming that everyone who isn’t an artist doesn’t count. The leader assumes that everyone thinks like her, and that anyone who enjoys consumption, materialism, and superficiality is incorrect about what makes them happy. This movement uses phrases such as “true empowerment” and “true liberation” without once explaining what the “truth” is. I actually went to this meeting last week and it had the same problems that OWS had: as soon as people start listening, leaders grow power-hungry. It’s not their fault, we’re all human and this is a natural response. At the meeting the person who created it referred to AOA as her baby. Any criticism of her idea, was considered an insult to her baby. While claiming that the purpose of this movement was to eliminate hierarchy, she chose to stand up, unlike everyone else attending the meeting who were sitting down. She wanted to be in control. She wanted the glory of being a revolutionary. Most of the discussion (just like at OWS) was people taking turns saying vaguely inspirational things.

A successful movement energizes the disenfranchised, while simultaneously not spooking the middle and convincing the rich. Democracy 2.0 does all three of these.

Energize the disenfranchised: Anyone would have the ability to change society however they want. Obviously the people suffering the most in society are the disenfranchised. D-2.0 should give them hope, and a practical plan to be the change they want to see in the world. None of them can enter politics, but all of them can obtain internet access. They have the most to gain from D-2.0. This is typically the group people try to cater to when developing their movement. Unfortunately, most other movements try to encourage these suffering people to empower themselves with their ability to inflict chaos, not come up with ideas.

Not spook the middle: Democracy 2.0 can also be used to maintain the status quo indefinitely. Initially nothing changes until the people begin to realize the power they have over society. It’s all about gradual change, instead of a violent shift. The middle class is comfortable, but they can see the problems in society clearly. It’s not that they are too lazy or evil to fix the world, but that they are frightened of losing their comfortable position. If they have some say in where society heads next, that fear is at least diminished.

Convince the rich: Rich people aren’t afraid of what’s going to happen next, and they have tons of energy because they have wealth. Like everyone else, they think they know good ideas when they see them but they also have the ability to act on them. They certainly won’t follow a movement that wants them to give all their money to the less wealthy. They won’t follow a movement that brings them down. Why would anyone? Democracy 2.0 is all about giving everyone the ability to control society. Rich people think they have good ideas. With democracy 2.0 they don’t have to play politics in order to see them executed. They don’t even have to give up any of their money.

Explaining Hacking Democracy to Libertarians

If you believe the power of the federal government should be severely limited, you should be a proponent of democracy 2.0. For some reason this is difficult to explain to people: democracy 2.0 is not a new form of government, and it’s not merely direct democracy. It can be eventually but as of right now, it’s a technique, a strategy, to decentralize decision making power.

Let’s look at an example: when legislation was passed in the 1800s strengthening the power of the federal government, those decisions, or legislation, were drafted and voted into law by the elected leaders at the time. These changes in how the government worked were proposed and voted for by citizens, albeit elected citizens. Democracy 2.0 would just give even more citizens a say.

I personally agree that federal government should be toned down, if not entirely eliminated. I think enough other people would agree that legislation could be proposed and voted on using democracy 2.0 & executed by injecting democracy 2.0 that reduced the power of national government. But then again, real democracy has never really been tried at the national level. It would certainly work for some legislation, such as funding a national army or making murder illegal. But more nuanced topics such gun rights or abortion probably are best left to different states.

Democracy 2.0 would even allow states to secede peacefully. As uncomfortable as it might make me to admit, the only thing preventing any state from seceding is the threat of violence brought on by the armed forces of the federal government. Any law that was written against secession can be repealed or amended. There’s nothing inherently special about those particular pieces of legislation. Hypothetically, let’s say a D-2.0 representative was elected to the office of President. If some citizen proposed and received enough support for secession legislation, the hacking democracy representative/commander in chief would have the authority to tell the US armed forces to stand down. Nothing would be preventing states from seceding other than the will of the people.

What do politicians physically do that influences the course of society? They write and vote for laws that dictate the flow of societal funds and energy. They could write legislation banning plants that grow naturally (and they did). They could write legislation that puts taxpayers money in the hands of bankers to gamble with (and they did). They could write legislation strengthening the power of the federal government (and they did). They could write legislation criminalizing alcohol (and they did). They could write legislation undoing the criminalization of alcohol (and they did).

There’s no reason why they couldn’t also write and pass legislation that does the opposite of any of these things. Or why they couldn’t write and pass legislation that does anything else. The point of democracy 2.0 is to give this ability to everyone in society, instead of just the upper echelons with enough money and connections to run for office. Most other movements want you to sign petitions to influence politicians. Signing your name and providing evidence for your claims unfortunately cannot compete with cold hard cash or the allure of acquiring even more power. Instead of trying to alter the minds of existing politicians, we need to start electing a confederate of D-2.0 to office.

It doesn’t matter how much or how little government we have. The people being governed and funding government just need to have the ability to control their lives and where their money is going. This is something every libertarian can agree on. And this is what democracy 2.0 is all about.

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