Democracy 2.0

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

Month: March, 2013

Explaining Democracy 2.0 to Authoritarians

Authoritarianism is a form of government in which a small group of people makes all the decisions in society. There is no accountability to the people they rule over, and there is no constitution or set of rules these leaders must abide by. It might initially seem like authoritarianism and democracy 2.0 are completely incompatible, but remember: democracy 2.0 is a decision making system, not a form of social organization in and of itself (although it can be). It’s entirely possible for a group to make the decision to relinquish all power to a small group of politicians (or even a single individual). Look at how much power we’ve already let Obama have! Philosopher kings haven’t existed in the past but who’s to say they won’t in the future in the form of artificial intelligence? And let’s not forget that many adults really don’t want to have any responsibility or control over their environment. It’s certainly easier to live that way. I think it’s extremely likely that at least some portion of humanity would actually prefer authoritarian societal organization, although I personally would not.

Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of how authoritarians would implement their ideal society from the existing system using democracy 2.0. First, individuals running on the D-2.0 platform must be elected to the majority of political offices. These individuals must at least initially abide by the results of D-2.0 voting. They aren’t authoritarian at this point. The particular individuals representing democracy 2.0 don’t even have to even be authoritarians. Once democracy 2.0 is securely in place and influencing most of the state, the authoritarian individuals (who are also citizens in society) can propose legislation that eliminates the constitution, eliminates voting rights, and appoints authoritarian leaders to positions of power. Of course, the constituency would have to pass these bills in the D-2.0 system, but if they did they would no longer be able to vote in new representatives. The democracy 2.0 system would still exist and the authoritarian leaders could even utilize it to make decisions, but those leaders would no longer have accountability to the people they rule over. The only way to change the system peacefully now would be if the leaders relinquish power and set up a new system that allows for society to have control over what happens to itself, although this is unlikely to happen.

Democracy 2.0 can be used to do anything theoretically, even allow citizens to remove the rights they already have. Our government already does this. The supreme court removed the right of states to secede from the union, something actually guaranteed in the US Constitution. Technically there’s nothing stopping elected politicians right now from passing authoritarian bills, and they do. We should have the ability to take away our own rights! Keep in mind that there are plenty of examples where taking away rights doesn’t solely harm the citizenry. Although it’s a divisive issue, many citizens want to take away your right to own guns. Almost everyone agrees that children should not have the right to have sex with older people.

I leave you with a comical criticism of authoritarianism:

By authoritarian, this comic is referring to the existing US federal government

Remind you of anyone you know?

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What does a politician do?

A criticism I have heard a lot about this democracy 2.0 idea is in defense of politicians. The criticizers claim that politicians are good at one thing, decision making, therefore they should be allowed to make decisions for the community. They cite Giuliani’s successful reduction of crime in NYC, Lincoln and more than half of Congress at his time outlawing slavery against the common people’s wishes, and FDR saving America in the thirties. They claim that not all politician’s are going to be good, but that’s no reason to give decision making power to the retarded common folk who gorge themselves on fast-food, reality TV, and are barely literate. They claim that important stuff happens in Congress or even in their mayor’s office. There are meetings and the kind-hearted politicians persevere in order to protect their constituents from their power-hungry, villainous colleagues.

People seem to have a pretty vague idea of what politicians do after they win the campaign battle/race. Most of politics these days consists of running and getting re-elected. The people who donate campaign money will influence you the most. When was the last time you actually sat down and read through the public records you are provided with? It looks intimidating with all of the unnecessary legal jargon, but it’s really not that difficult to get through. I’m going to save you the trouble, but please, go ahead and look through these minutes yourselves.

I’m not going to post the highlights and try to cover up the good things politicians do. I’m just going to give a general sampling of the minutes from 2-26-2013 for Carrboro, NC:

-MODIFICATION OF AGREEMENT WITH EL CENTRO HISPANO FOR COMMUNITY OUTREACH SERVICES (increasing the amount of money given to a community outreach program)
-CONDITIONAL USE DISTRICT REZONING/CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT FOR 201 NORTH GREENSBORO STREET (permitting a construction company to build a two story building at a particular address)
-PUBLIC HEARING TO AMEND STORMWATER VOLUME CONTROL PROVISIONS OF THE LAND USE ORDINANCE (changing the legally allowed amount of stormwater runoff allowed on a property in order to prevent erosion)

Here’s a sampling of the executive orders and proclamations executed by the current governor of North Carolina:

SAFE DIGGING MONTH (the month of April 2013 is officially recognized as “safe digging month”)
TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT SERVICE
(state departments and agencies must begin using the state-run temp agency instead of third party temp agencies to employ temporary workers)
DECLARATION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY (state and local government agencies must obey the plan outlined in the NC Emergency Operations plan, stores cannot jack up their prices in a declared emergency area, and a secretary must obtain from the US government reimbursement for executing the NC Emergency Operations plan)

Here’s a sampling of the bills being proposed in the senate:

STOP ONLINE AMMUNITION SALES ACT OF 2013 (make it a criminal offense to sell ammo online; no punishment is specified)
PANDEMIC AND ALL-HAZARDS PREPAREDNESS RE-AUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2013 (outlining the duties of the assistant secretary for emergency preparedness and response, outlining measures to improve bio-security, outlining the distribution of medical supplies in the case of a bio-emergency, and outlining plans to accelerate advanced medical research and development for countermeasures; it’s important to note that while there is some detailed information as to what to do in this bill, for the most part the specific products and procedures that are to be used will be explained by medical professionals at a later date)
HURRICANE SANDY RELIEF BILL (increase the amount of tax-payer money in the National Flood Insurance fund by 10 billion USD)
RESPONSIBLE HELIUM ADMINISTRATION AND STEWARDSHIP ACT (amend the Helium Act to complete the privatization of the Federal helium reserve in a competitive market fashion that ensures stability in the helium markets while protecting the interests of American taxpayers)

As you can see, some of this stuff is complicated, some of this stuff is not. In the democracy 2.0 system the complicated stuff would be explained by knowledgeable individuals and presumably the citizens proposing the legislation. Few will vote for what they don’t understand. For the really boring stuff, people will have to explain why voting on their boring legislation is necessary. Politician’s are just people, and most of them don’t really know what they’re doing. They’re just rich and charismatic. Why do they deserve power? Again, please consider going through your government’s legislation. Endure through the ridiculous legal jargon. It’s mostly reasonable stuff that anyone would agree with. You deserve to have a say in what happens with your money in the place where you live.

Metagovernment

There are already tools out there to decentralize decision making: http://www.metagovernment.org/wiki/Main_Page

I think Direct Congress is probably the closest to what I’m proposing. There are many ways to decentralize decision making. But guys, why not make your projects open-source? Are you really trying to profit from this? If you want to be a wealthy programmer, you need to be constantly producing new software anyway. Making your source code freely available will make people trust it more.

There are already ways for communities to make decisions. It doesn’t matter which system is used, lets just start using these systems. Decentralization will gradually happen regardless of who takes control in this WWIII.

We’ve been right on the cusp for a while now.

Name change

I changed “hacking democracy” to “democracy 2.0 injection” if you’re confused. Democracy 2.0 refers to what used to be called the digital direct democracy system. I realized that hacking democracy was literally the worst possible thing to call an idea promoting internet voting to make decisions. Democracy 2.0 is a phrase that’s been kicked around a lot these past couple of years,so it’s already kind of in society’s psyche. Furthermore, the phrase democracy 2.0 easily conveys the idea that it’s a malleable system subject to change, it involves technology/computers, and that it’s a superior version of democracy. It also makes for a cooler looking acronym (DDD vs. D-2.0).

The url is now thedemocracytwoexperiment.wordpress.com and this probably won’t change until I buy a real domain name.

Patent rough draft!

Twelve page patent document.

So this is what I came up when formalizing my idea. It’s not pretty, but it might help some people understand what democracy 2.0 is about. The example pages are nowhere near done, and fundamental changes to the system and even the name may occur (working title is democracy 2.0 injection now; brace for a url change btw).

Anything I didn’t account for? Let me know. Here’s some flow charts for you to look at:

so many details

Still need to work out the details of course

i'll do more flowcharts later

A flow chart describing how a user uses the legislation page for everything except voting

It's this easy

A flow chart describing how the decisions made using D-2.0 influence reality

I made this for 4 reasons:

1) So some programmer out there could understand my idea and make a system like what I’m proposing himself.

2) Add credibility to the movement despite not having a voting system already.

3) To prevent a corporation from patenting this idea and preventing us from using it.

4) Have an even more concrete plan for people to read about.

I really think this could be implemented within the next 6 months. I know it’s a bitch to look through but seriously, any feedback would be the best.

Explaining Hacking Democracy to True Anarchists

Democracy 2.0 is all about giving people the tools they need to shape society how they see fit. It doesn’t matter what your vision for society is, it’s compatible with democracy 2.0. The route to true anarchism utilizing D-2.0 is a little less direct as it requires not the reform, but the entire deconstruction of the previous system. I personally do not believe this system could work on a very large scale, but there are many examples of cities or even county-size political entities that are anarchic. I think no laws should apply on anyone’s personal property. This is for all intents and purposes how it is anyway. No one (even the politicians in our existing system, even North Korea) will ever vote or be able to put cameras and guards within every single citizen’s home. This means that serial killers and child molesters can, and do, get away with horrific things on their own private property. Once the public finds out, they will then be punished of course, they just need to be forcibly removed from their homes and brought to trial on public laws. Any judge or jury would likely find this person guilty if there is enough evidence. But I digress. I’m just one dude with my own opinions. If anarchism is the way you want to live, if it turns out to be the entire world’s favorite way to organize society, you deserve the ability to live like that.

If you wanted to implement universal anarchism, you would first need to elect democracy 2.0 representatives to the highest levels of government. Once there, some citizen would need to draft legislation effective for the entire community which removes the legal right of police to prevent you from doing anything, as well as remove the legal weight of every law that could potentially be used in a case in the judicial system. This could be done with a legislation stating a single sentence “All prior laws and legislation are no longer valid.” Laws are nothing but words on paper that a judge and cops can use to justify punishing you for the actions you take. Ideally these words on paper would be things all citizens agree on, but of course that will never happen. If someone tried to sue you for theft after getting the anarchist legislation passed, your lawyer could point to the “All prior laws are no longer valid” legislation and claim that theft is no longer a criminal offense. Any judge worth his salary would have to agree. Legislation could also be drafted dissolving the military, the FBI, the EPA, NASA, public education, taxation, public health organizations, and anything else you can think of. You really only need those first two pieces of legislation to get enough votes to pass though.

True anarchy is a society where people are completely free to do what they want. Police won’t stop you, courts won’t stop you, no one would have any authority to stop you from doing anything, be it benign or malicious. Let me preface this next bit by stating again, this is just my personal opinion. Democracy 2.0 is not about anarchism, communism, capitalism, or anything else. It’s a group decision making process. Regardless of what you or I think is right, we agree that we need to begin taking realistic steps to fixing our current problem. Anyway: something to remember is that when given complete freedom many people will form coalitions for their own benefit and naturally hierarchies will emerge. True anarchy dissolves immediately. You may not like the video I’m posting, but you need to be prepared to deal with hilarious criticisms of your ideas.

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